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[Austin Federal Grant Award Waterloo Greenway News Conference on April 25,2022]

[00:00:04]

WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UH, AUSTIN HAS ALWAYS BEEN MADE STRONGER AND BETTER BY ATTRACTING THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

SO WE'RE PARTICULARLY PLEASED TO HAVE A NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FROM SEATTLE FOR THE WATERLOO GREENWAY.

AND IT'S GOOD TO JOIN YOU TODAY.

UH, WE GATHER TO ANNOUNCE THE NEXT IMPORTANT STEP, UH, IN THE WORK OF WATERLOO GREENWAY, UH, THE WATERLOO PARK, UH, WHICH I HAD A CHANCE TO SHARE IN CELEBRATING YESTERDAY FOR EARTH DAY AND SEE SO MANY FAMILIES OUT.

SO MANY WONDERFUL EXHIBITORS, INCLUDING, UH, UH, FOLKS FROM THE WATER DEPARTMENT FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN, UH, EXPLAINING A RANGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY, UH, AND HOW WE ADDRESS THE CLIMATE CRISIS.

REALLY GREAT IN A WATERLOO PARK.

I SEE AS A SHINY NEW JUUL IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT IS HERE BECAUSE OF THE COMMITMENT OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND BECAUSE OF A NUMBER OF OUR NEIGHBORS, SEVERAL OF WHOM LIKE MY FRIEND MELBA LOCKLEY ARE HERE TODAY.

COTTER CUNNINGHAM.

OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BOARD GAVE GENEROUSLY AND COMMITTED THE PRIVATE RESOURCES THAT WE NEEDED TO MAKE IT A REALITY.

UH, I SALUTE, UH, OF COURSE OUR MAYOR WHO WE'LL HEAR FROM AND JORGE WITH WATERSHED AND KIMBERLY WITH PARKS AND REC FOR ALL THAT THEY'VE DONE TO MAKE THE WATERLOO PARK CONSERVANCY, UH, A VERY MEANINGFUL PART AND PARTNERSHIP HERE IN THE CITY TO COMPLETE, UH, THE ORIGINAL PLAN TO EXTEND FROM LADY BIRD LAKE TO WATERLOO PARK, UH, THAT REQUIRES SUBSTANTIAL ADDITIONAL FUNDING.

AND SO TODAY WE'RE ANNOUNCING AT LEAST $9 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING THAT WILL BE INVESTED THROUGH THE CITY, UH, AND PROVIDE THE ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE BEGINNING WHERE WE HAD HOPED TO HAVE THE DAY'S EVENT OUTSIDE OF BEHIND PALM SCHOOL WITH A, A MAJOR BIOFILTRATION POND, UH, TO ASSURE WATER PURITY, UH, AND THEN CONTINUING WITH ANOTHER $6.5 MILLION, UH, TO ENHANCE THE AREA BETWEEN BASICALLY RIGHT OUTSIDE BETWEEN LADY BIRD, LAKE AND WALLER CREEK.

UH, AND I CAN TELL YOU FROM BEING A FREQUENT CYCLIST MYSELF, ALONG THAT AREA, IT NEEDS ENHANCING, UH, IT, UH, UH, WILL HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 1500 TREES, 200,000 PLANTS AND 10 ACRES OF SEED MIXES THAT I THINK WILL IMPROVE AIR QUALITY, UH, HELP, UH, REDUCE THE HEAT EFFECT THAT WE HAVE, UH, IN THE SUMMER.

THAT IS ABOUT TO BE A BONUS.

AND WE'RE REALLY GIVE PARK GOERS, UH, A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE, UH, IN WHAT IS 13 ACRES OF THE MOST ECOLOGICALLY DIVERSE SECTION OF WALLER CREEK, THE, UH, THE WATERLOO PROJECT.

UH, I THINK MIKE RESTORE A LITTLE BIT OF THAT AREA, UH, AND REDUCE THE EROSION, UH, THE WAY IT APPEARED WHEN THE FIRST PEOPLE CHANGE WATERLOO, A LITTLE FRONTIER VILLAGE INTO THE CITY OF AUSTIN, BECAUSE IT WAS WITHIN THE ORIGINAL PLAT AND WHITE NEXT DOOR TO WHERE UNION SOLDIERS IN CAMP, JUST AFTER THE CIVIL WAR.

NOTABLY THIS FEDERAL INVESTMENT IS THE FIRST, UH, ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT THAT HAS EVER BEEN APPROVED WITHIN THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND I'M SO PLEASED THAT WE HAVE THESE FEDERAL DOLLARS BACKING UP GENEROUS NEIGHBORS WHO'VE CONTRIBUTED PRIVATELY, AND THE CITY OF AUSTIN IT'S SO FITTING THAT AUSTIN IS THE STATEWIDE MODEL FOR A HEALTHIER DOWNTOWN HABITAT.

UH, AND, UH, THEN IT SHOWS THE STRENGTH OF WHAT WE CAN DO WITH A CITY FEDERAL PRIVATE PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP TO ACHIEVE, UH, SOME VERY AMBITIOUS GOALS.

I WISH THAT SOME OF MY OTHER COLLEAGUES WERE HERE TODAY, BUT UNFORTUNATELY WHAT WAS CALLED THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL WAS NOT BI-PARTISAN IN TEXAS THOUGH BRINGS A TOTAL OF OVER $30 BILLION TO THE STATE OF TEXAS, MOSTLY FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS.

UH, NOT, UH, ONE OF MY HOUSE OR SENATE REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES, UH, CHOSE TO VOTE FOR IT.

UH, THE INFRASTRUCTURE BILL, UH, IS LAW IN IS WHAT HAS PERMITTED THE CORPS TO HAVE THE FUNDING TO DO THIS 9 MILLION TODAY IN ANY FUTURE FUNDING UP AHEAD OF THE, UH, BICENTENNIAL IN THIS COUNTRY, UH, IN 1975, UH, LADY BIRD JOHNSON LED A THREE-DAY SEMINAR AT UT ABOUT WALNUT CREEK AND ACTUALLY WALKED PART OF THE CREEK A LITTLE NORTH OF WATERLOO PARK.

I THINK WE CONTINUE THAT WALK TODAY, UH, ACHIEVING A DREAM OF REDUCING THE FLOODS, THE ACHIEVING A LASTING, UH, ENVIRONMENTAL SEGMENT THAT WILL BE, UH, SUCH A BENEFIT TO OUR COMMUNITY AND CREATING PUBLIC LAND AND PUBLIC PARKS.

UH, EQUITY IS A REALLY IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THIS, UH, DOING JUST A LITTLE BIT OF RESEARCH

[00:05:01]

ABOUT THIS AREA AND REFLECTING ON MY OWN PAST, UH, AS A BOY HERE IN AUSTIN, UH, I NOTED THAT AS LATE AS 1961, THE STATESMAN REPORTED ON AN ELDERLY WOMAN CHOPPING WOOD IN A TILTING SHACK, LITTLE LARGER THAN A TELEPHONE BOOTH RIGHT HERE ON THE EDGE OF WALLER CREEK.

AND SO THIS WATERLOO GREENWAY IS ABOUT OPENING UP GREENSPACE TO ALL OF AUSTIN'S, UH, REFLECTIVE AND, AND SHOULD REFLECT AT THE TIME A LITTLE OF THE HISTORY OF THE AREA.

THERE'S NONE OF THIS FEDERAL INVESTMENT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT OF COLONEL JONATHAN STOVER, WHO WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE WITH US TODAY AS COMMANDER OF THE FORT WORTH DISTRICT OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS.

UH, I WAS IN CONTACT WITH HIS TEAM LAST YEAR.

WE MET AGAIN RECENTLY ON A WINDY DAY AT THE UNITED STATES CAPITAL, UH, AND DISCUSSED THE INFUSION OF ADDITIONAL FUNDS, UH, GOING OVER SOME OF THE DETAILS OF THE PLANNING AND THE BUILDING TECHNIQUES THAT WILL BE USED.

I THINK HE'LL, UH, IDENTIFY ALL OF HIS TEAM THAT'S HERE, BUT AREN'T PARTICULARLY PLEASED THAT KATHY SPLAIN WHO'S THE CHIEF OF THE CIVIL WORKS PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS HERE, UH, JOINED BY MIKE KINGSTON, WHO WAS NOT WITH US THAT DAY AT THE CAPITOL, BUT IS AN AUSTIN KNIGHT, UH, WORKING WITH THE CORPS AND HAS SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR SEEING THIS PROJECT THROUGH.

I MENTIONED THE MAYOR, I'M GLAD TO SEE COUNCIL MEMBER, KATHY TOVO, WHO I KNOW CARES SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING THROUGHOUT OUR CITY, BUT ESPECIALLY HERE IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA.

I WORK WITH THE CORPS OVER THE YEARS, UH, TO GET FUNDS FOR THE ONION CREEK, UH, CHANGES AFTER THE BIG FLOOD OUT THERE.

UH, AND WE'RE RECENTLY, UH, ON THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER, UH, AND THE WEST SIDE CREEKS THAT ARE ITS TRIBUTARIES.

WE ARE SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE PROFESSIONAL MILITARY LEADERSHIP IN THE CORPS, WHICH THOROUGHLY ANALYZES THE TAXPAYER FUNDS THAT ARE GOING IN AND HOW THEY CAN BE MOST EFFECTIVELY EXPENDED TO ACCOMPLISH A PUBLIC.

GOOD.

SO THANK YOU, COLONEL FOR JOINING US FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY, FOR YOUR HELP ON THIS PROJECT.

AND I KNOW YOU CAN GIVE US MORE INSIGHT INTO IT IF YOU COME FORWARD.

THANK YOU.

CONGRESSMAN DOGGETT, MAYOR ADLER, MR. HARRY, MR. MORALES HAS BEEN DEALING, UH, OTHER DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, UH, IN THE CROWD.

GOOD MORNING.

I THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN YOU ON THE NEXT MAJOR STEPS IN PRESERVING THE IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM OF WALNUT CREEK FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF TEXANS.

I WOULD LIKE TO SPECIFICALLY THANK OUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, THE CITY OF AUSTIN, AND THE WATERLOO GREENWAY CONSERVATORY FOR YOUR UNWAVERING SUPPORT FOR, WITHOUT THEIR HARD WORK AND DUE DILIGENCE.

NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP AS WE JOIN YOU IN THIS VITAL URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT.

THIS PROJECT WILL NOT ONLY ENHANCE THE BEAUTY OF THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN AREA, BUT IT WILL ALSO ADD TO THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WORK AND LIVE NEAR WALNUT CREEK.

IN 2011, THE CITY LEADERS BROKE GROUND ON THE $161 MILLION WALNUT CREEK FLOOD CONTROL TUNNEL.

IT IS THIS IMPORTANT INVESTMENT BY AUSTIN TAXPAYERS, WHICH PROVIDES THE INFRASTRUCTURAL BACKBONE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A RESTORED CREEK TODAY.

THE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND JOBS ACT OF 2022 IS PROVIDING $9 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO CONSTRUCT IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES OF THE CREEK OF DELTA RESTORATION PROJECTS.

ONE OF THE KEY FEATURES IS A BALL AT BIOFILTRATION POND, BUT ON THE WEST END OF WATERLOO PARK, THIS WILL BE A GREEN WATER QUALITY TREATMENT FEATURE USING AN ORGANIC FILTRATION MEDIA WITH VEGETATION INSTEAD OF A TRADITIONAL SAND FILTER, WHICH WILL REMOVE POLLUTANTS AND MANAGE STORMWATER RUNOFF.

THIS PAWN WILL ALSO PROVIDE EXTENDED DETENTION THAT WILL ENHANCE BASE FLOW AND REDUCE EROSION.

I AM PROUD TO BE STANDING HERE WITH OUR KEY PARTNERS TO HELP CONTINUE THE RESTORATION OF AUSTIN'S ECOLOGICAL VISION OF THE WATERLOO GREENWAY PROJECT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

AND WE'LL HEAR FROM OUR MAYOR.

NO ONLY IN A ROOM FULL OF, UH, PARKS ADVOCATES.

UH, CAN WE, UH, ACTUALLY CELEBRATE THE FACT THAT WE'RE NOT OUTSIDE AND IT'S RAINING BECAUSE WE DESPERATELY NEED THIS WATER, UH, ALL OVER OUR, OVER OUR CITY.

UH, LET ME FIRST BEGIN BY SAYING, UH, UH, THAT

[00:10:01]

I'M REALLY EXCITED TO BE HERE WITH THIS NEWS, EXCITED TO BE HERE WITH MY COLLEAGUE, UH, COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO, WHO I KNOW HAS BEEN WORKING ON THIS PROJECT SINCE, BEFORE I WAS EVEN ON THE, ON THE, ON THE COUNCIL.

UH, AND AS I'VE FREQUENTLY SAID, YOU KNOW, A HUNDRED YEARS OR NOW 150 YEARS FROM THAT WHEN PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING IN THE CITY, I'M NOT SURE THEY'LL REMEMBER MUCH OF WHAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT NOW.

UH, UH, SO MANY ISSUES THAT SEEM TO TAKE UP ALL OF OUR ENERGY, BUT THEY WILL KNOW ABOUT THIS SERIES OF PARKS, UH, IN THE, UH, IN THE GREENWAY, THE STITCHING TOGETHER OF PARKS AND THE MILE AND A HALF.

THAT IS THE ORDER.

THE GREENWAY, UH, IS OUR HIGHLINE, IT'S OUR CENTRAL PAR.

UH, IT, UH, IT WAS REAL EXCITING YESTERDAY.

CONGRESSMAN I MISSED YOU.

I THINK I WAS THERE A LITTLE BIT AFTER YOU WERE, UH, BUT TO BE THERE FOR THE, UH, EARTH DAY, UH, UH, CELEBRATION, UH, TO SEE THE UT DANCE COMPANY, UH, TO SEE THE, UH, SUPER FUNNY COSTS, UH, AS THEY WERE APPLYING TO SEE A MIX OF PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER OUR CITY, UH, SOME OVER IN THE CORNER OR WATCHING THE DEMONSTRATIONS ON THE BIRDS OF PREY, UH, ALL GATHERED TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY IN THIS PLACE IS SO MUCH THE DREAM AND THE, AND THE POTENTIAL, UH, OF THIS NOW BEING NOW BEING REALIZED THROUGH THE HARD WORK OF SO MANY, IT'S HARD TO EVEN IMAGINE HOW EXCITING IT'S GOING TO BE WHEN ALL OF THE ELEMENTS ARE IN PLACE THAT TIE TOGETHER, UH, THE LAKE ALL THE WAY UP TO, TO WHERE WE ARE AND BEYOND, UH, SO INCREDIBLY EXCITING, UH, PROJECT, UH, CONGRESSMAN DOGGETT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MARSHALING.

THIS, THIS, THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT A CONGRESSMAN SAYING TO HIS PEERS, INTO LEADERSHIP.

I WANT THIS PROJECT FUNDED, UH, AND THEN TO GET THIS PROJECT IN TO SELECT THIS FOR OUR CITY, UH, UH, AND YOU'RE CHAMPIONING THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HELPING TO GET THAT PASSED, UH, IS SEEING SO MANY DIVIDENDS FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, IT IS IT'S GONNA HELP US SEE PROJECT CONNECT.

IT'S, IT'S THE SAFETY PROJECTS WE'RE SEEING NOW ON BIRDS AND LAMAR, SO MANY THINGS, BUT ON TOP OF THAT, AND WITH THAT, IT IS THIS, IT IS THIS PARK, YOU KNOW, AS OUR CITY GROWS AND CHANGES.

AND SO MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING, WE HAVE TO KEEP OUR EYE ON URBAN DESIGN ON OUR PARKS.

WE HAVE TO KEEP OUR DESIGN ON THOSE THINGS THAT WILL MAKE THIS NOT ONLY A GROWING DOWNTOWN, BUT A GROWING DOWNTOWN THAT WE WANT TO LIVE IN.

AND THEN A COMMUNITY WANTS TO BE ABLE TO PROFIT, BUT I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY HERE, KATAR AND EVERYBODY THAT'S ON THE, UH, ON THE, ON THE CONSERVANCY, UH, FOR THIS, THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT THAT EFFORT.

UH, AND, UH, BACK, UH, 10 YEARS AGO, AND CATHY WAS WORKING ON THIS AS A COUNCIL MEMBER, DIANE AND I WERE PUTTING OUR SHOULDER TO THE CONSERVANCY, UH, WORK, UH, BUT IT WOULD NOT HAVE LAUNCHED, UH, THE WAY THAT IT DID WITHOUT THE PRIVATE INVOLVEMENT, WITHOUT THAT MOMENTUM, THAT CITY COUNCIL WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TAKE THAT A HUNDRED PLUS MILLION DOLLARS ON THE TAIL END OF THE, ON THE TIP AND TO REDIRECT IT TO, TO, TO THIS, TO THIS PROJECT.

SO THANK YOU ALL TO THE BOARD AND YOU GUYS STILL HAVE A REAL HEAVY LIFT TO, TO GO.

WE ALL KNOW THAT.

SO LET US KNOW WHAT WE COULD DO TO, TO HELP WITH THAT FOR EVERYONE IN THE WATCHING.

UH, THIS IS A GREAT PROJECT TO BE INVOLVED IN.

YOU'RE NOT INVOLVED IN HELPING REALIZE THE POTENTIAL AND PROMISE OF THE ORDER OF GREENWAY NOW IS THE TIME TO GET, TO GET INVOLVED.

UH, BUT THE, BUT THE CONSERVANCY HAS ALSO BEEN A MODEL FOR THE CITY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A COMMUNITY STEPS FORWARD, A COMMUNITY STEPS FORWARD TO EMBRACE AND ADOPT AND PARENT, UM, PARKS IN OUR CITY.

AND THAT'S THE DIRECTION THAT WE'RE GOING IN MORE AND MORE PLACES BECAUSE OF THE SUCCESS AND THE MODELING OF WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE.

UM, I DID, THIS IS JUST REALLY EXCITING AND EVERY STEP THAT MAKES THIS MORE AND MORE REAL, UH, BECOMES JUST A HUGE CELEBRATION IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, NOBODY YOU, I THINK ARE BEEN THE CHAMPION OF ALL OF THIS AND IN PUSHING EVERYBODY, INCLUDING ME, SINCE AGAIN, BEFORE I WAS ELECTED.

AND WHY IS THAT? IT WAS A LIGHT THAT, UH, TO, TO HELP WITH THIS PART IN PARTICULAR, IN DESIGNING OUR CITY IN GENERAL MESA.

THANK YOU.

[00:15:02]

UH, AND WITH THAT, UH, I NOW WANT TO INTRODUCE SOMEONE WHO HAS COME IN OUT OF THE CAVALRY COMING OVER THE HORIZON, UH, TO HELP DELIVER THIS PROJECT, THE NEW WATERLOO, GREENWAY, NOT NEW ANYMORE, UH, CEO.

UH HACES THANK YOU.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

UM, I HAVE TO SAY WHEN, WHEN THE CONGRESSMAN WAS TALKING ABOUT THE NUMBERS AND THE $9 MILLION, IT WAS SO QUIET IN THIS ROOM, CAN WE JUST APPLY? CAUSE THAT'S A BIG AS A PARKS AND REC PERSON THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE, TO THE ARMY CORPS, TO THE CONGRESSMEN AND TO EVERYONE HERE.

SO TODAY IS ABOUT CELEBRATING.

IT IS ABOUT ACKNOWLEDGING AND EXPRESS SOME GRATITUDE.

SO I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE TODAY.

UH, AS MAYOR SAID, UH, MY NAME IS , I'M THE NEW CEO, NOT SO NEW SOME DAYS, OTHER DAYS, I FEEL LIKE I JUST GOT HERE.

SO, UH, STILL LEARNING A LOT, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I'VE LEARNED QUICKLY IS JUST THE TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF SUPPORT THAT THIS PROJECT HAS HAD HISTORICALLY, AND REALLY AM PROUD TO BE A PART OF THE TEAM HERE.

SO REALLY EXCITED TO BE HERE.

I, MY FAMILY AND I ARE, UH, RELOCATING FROM SEATTLE.

SO I'M GOING TO TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS WEATHER THAT I BROUGHT WITH ME FROM SEATTLE.

CAUSE I KNOW WE NEED THE RAIN AND YES, MR. MAYOR, IT'S GOOD TO BE INDOORS ON A RAINY DAY.

UM, PARTICULARLY IF WE ARE OUR EARTH AND OUR GRASS NEEDS IT.

SO, UM, JUST TO CONTINUE WITH THE GRATITUDE, I DO WANT TO SAY A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE HERE IN THE ROOM.

UH, ALL OF OUR CITY PARTNERS, OF COURSE, THE MAYOR, THE COUNCIL MEMBER, THANK YOU, COUNCIL MEMBERS OVER FOR BEING HERE.

I LEARNED TODAY THAT SHE'S BEEN ON AS PART OF THIS PROJECT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING AS A CITY ON THE CITY OF THE ADVISORY CITIZEN ADVISORY COUNCIL.

SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR STEADFAST SUPPORT.

I KNOW COUNCIL MEMBER, OUR PARAMEDICINE HAS STAFF HERE.

UM, I THINK SHE'S IN THE ROOM.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE AND REPRESENTING, UH, OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL.

I ALSO WANT TO APPRECIATE OUR PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE WATERSHED DEPARTMENT AND WITH PARKS AND RECREATION.

AGAIN, THESE, THESE, UH, UH, UM, PROJECTS DON'T HAPPEN.

UH SINGLE-HANDEDLY SO IT REALLY TAKES ALL OF THIS, UH, PARTNERSHIP.

SO, UH, IN ADDITION TO THE FOLKS, UH, ALREADY MENTIONED, I ALSO WANNA EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO OUR BOARD MEMBERS.

I KNOW WE HAVE SEVERAL OF OUR BOARD MEMBERS HERE, OUR STAFF, UH, WHO WORK REALLY, REALLY HARD EVERY, EACH AND EVERY DAY TO BRING THIS PROJECT TO FRUITION.

AND THEN OF COURSE, TO EVERYONE HERE AND EVERYONE WATCHING.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT, UH, CONGRESS, CONGRESSMAN DOUG, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT HERE IN AUSTIN AND AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

UM, AND AGAIN, TO EVERYONE IN THE ROOM TO EVERYONE WATCHING THIS ON BEHALF OF THE ORGANIZATION, WE'RE JUST INCREDIBLY, INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL FOR THE SUPPORT THAT WE'VE RECEIVED.

UM, AND FROM ALL OF US HERE AT THE CONSERVANCY, I'M LOOKING AT OUR FRIENDS AT THE TABLE OVER THERE FROM THEIR ARMY CORPS.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE HERE IN THE ROOM, UH, GIVES US ANOTHER, ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE KERNEL INTO YOUR TEAM FOR YOUR SUPPORT HERE FOR YOUR PARTNERS.

AGAIN, THIS IS MOMENTOUS AND THIS IS CERTAINLY MOMENTOUS FOR US AS A CITY AND FOR US AS AN ORGANIZATION.

AND I HOPE AS WELL TO OUR FEDERAL PARTNERS, UH, COLONEL STOVER, THE ARMY CORPS SUPPORT FOR OUR MISSION REALLY MEANS THE WORLD TO US.

UM, WE BIG ASPIRATIONS IN THE NEXT PHASES OF THE WATER GREENWAY, UH, AND IT'S ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS UNIQUE PUBLIC NON-PROFIT PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UH, BUT BY COMBINING THE CITIES AND INVESTMENTS, BY COMBINING THE PRIVATE PHILANTHROPIC INVESTMENTS, AND NOW THIS, UH, SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC FEDERAL INVESTMENT, WE'RE REALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO MOVE THIS MISSION FORWARD, THIS VISION FORWARD, BUT WE'VE GOT A LOT TO CELEBRATE WITH THE REOPENING OF WATERLOO PARK.

AND THANK YOU, MAYOR AND CONGRESSMAN AND MELBOURNE, OTHERS WHO WERE THERE YESTERDAY AT OUR EARTH DAY EVENT.

IT WAS REALLY AN INCREDIBLE CELEBRATION FOR THE COMMUNITY.

AND THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE COMMUNITY AMENITY.

UH, BUT WE'RE NOT DONE YET.

THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING.

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN THERE, I INVITE YOU TO ATTEND THE CONCERT AT TEN ONE OF OUR COMMUNITY EVENTS.

UH, BUT IT REALLY IS JUST THE BEGINNING.

SO IT WAS MENTIONED EARLIER THIS NEXT PHASE OF THE PROJECT.

UM, THERE WERE BEGINNING OF PHASE TWO, IT WILL KICK OFF IN OCTOBER, IT'S CALLED THE CONFLUENCE.

UM, AND THE SPACE WILL START JUST NORTH OF US HERE, UM, AT FOREST STREET AND WE'LL CONNECT, UH, ALL THE WAY DOWN TO LADY, LADY, BIRD LAKE, RESTORING THE CREEK, AND ACTUALLY IN MANY PLACES REBUILDING THE CREEK, UH, THAT HAS BEEN WASHED AWAY THROUGH, UH, MANY DECADES OF, OF FLOODING.

UM, AND THE CONFLUENCE TECHNICALLY IS A TERM THAT DESCRIBES WHEN TWO RIVERS OR STREAMS OF WATER COME TOGETHER.

AND THAT'S WHAT SORT OF HAPPENS HERE AT THE END AT THE LAKE.

UM, BUT THIS WORD ALSO, UH, REFERS TO, I THINK IN MY MIND, THE VIBRANT, THE CONFLUENCE OF ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THIS PART OF AUSTIN, ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN AUSTIN IN GENERAL, THE VIBRANCY OF THE CITY COMING TOGETHER HERE, ALL OF THE TREMENDOUS CULTURAL GROWTH, THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THE CIVIC INVESTMENT, UM, ALL OF THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF, OF WHAT'S MAKING SEATTLE A GREAT PLACE TO DELIVER HAPPENING HERE, UH, IN THIS, IN THIS HUB OF, OF, OF THE CITY.

SO IN TERMS OF THE CREEK, THE RESTORATION, AS I MENTIONED, IS REALLY A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CREEK.

WE'RE GOING TO RE CREATE THIS THRIVING ECOSYSTEM WITH A RESILIENT LANDSCAPE.

THAT'S GOING TO CLEAN AND MANAGE STORM WATER RUNOFF.

[00:20:01]

IT WILL FEATURE OVER 200,000 THOUSAND PLANTS AND 1500 TREES, INCLUDING SOME CEDAR TREES THAT WILL HELP, UM, EXCUSE ME, THAT WOULD HELP, UH, MAINTAIN AND RESTORE OUR CREEK.

UM, AND THIS SECTION IS THE MOST ECOLOGICAL ECOLOGICALLY DIVERSE SECTION OF THE PROJECT.

UH, BUT AGAIN, AS I MENTIONED, IT IS ALSO WHERE ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE COMING TOGETHER IN AUSTIN.

IT'S CONNECTING THESE IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS LIKE PALM PARK BEHIND US, THE HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT PALM SCHOOL, THE RAIMI HISTORIC DISTRICT, THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER, THE BUTLER HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL, AND ALL OF THESE LANDMARKS AND DESTINATIONS THROUGHOUT THE CITY ARE COMING TOGETHER IN THIS SPACE.

AND IT'S REALLY EXCITING.

AND IT'S THIS KIND OF ACTIVITY THAT REALLY EXCITES ME THE MOST ABOUT THIS PHASE OF THE PROJECT.

UM, AND SO AS WE MOVE FORWARD THROUGH, UM, WE'RE GOING TO BREAKING IT, WE REALLY ARE EXCITED.

AND AGAIN, WANT TO UNDERSCORE HOW GRATEFUL WE ARE TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE CITY OF BOSTON, THE U S ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UH, REPRESENTATIVE DOGGETT AND ALL OF HIS GREAT STAFF.

UH, AND OF COURSE, ALL OF OUR GENEROUS DONORS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED PRIVATELY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PROJECT.

UM, AND JUST AGAIN, JUST TO UNDERSCORE AND MAYBE BE A LITTLE REDUNDANT, BUT I DO WANT TO SAY THAT THAT THE SUPPORT THAT'S BEING DEMONSTRATED BY THIS IMPRESSIVE FEDERAL INVESTMENT REALLY IS, UM, A MOMENTOUS OCCASION FOR US AT THIS PROJECT.

IT REALLY ALLOWS US TO BRING THIS WATER NEW GREEN BAG PROJECT TO FRUITION, AND WE ASK THE COMMUNITY TO CONTINUE TO, TO SUPPORT US BECAUSE AS THE MAYOR SAID, WE STILL HAVE QUITE A LIFT TO GO QUITE A BIT OF WORK TO DO.

UH, BUT WE'RE EXCITED TO KICK OFF THIS NEXT PHASE.

AND THEN JUST FINALLY, JUST A QUICK, SINCE WE'RE IN THE, IN THE MODE OF APPRECIATION, I DO WANT TO WANT TO APPRECIATE OUR, UM, NEIGHBORS HERE AT THE FAIRMONT FOR DONATING THE SPACE FOR US TO BE OUT OF THE RAIN TODAY AND ALLOW US TO HAVE THIS EVENT.

SO THANK YOU TO THE FAIRMONT FOR THEIR SUPPORT.

UH, AND NOW IT'S MY PRIVILEGE.

AND AN HONOR TO INTRODUCE ONE OF OUR KEY PARTNERS HERE, ONE OF OUR COLLABORATORS WORKING WITHOUT US AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE WATERSHED DEPARTMENT AND A REALLY TRUE, UH, COLLABORATIVE PARTNER WITH US.

THANK YOU EVERYBODY FOR BEING HERE AT, AS MS. MR. EVA SAID, MY NAME IS AND WHAT I LIVE, I NAMED THE DIRECTOR OF THE WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT.

UH, THANK YOU, CONGRESSMAN CONGRESSMAN DOGGETT, COLONEL STOVER, UH, FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT ALONG WALLER CREEK, UH, MAYOR COUNCIL MEMBERS.

UM, YOU'VE CHALLENGED US AS CITY STAFF TO BE INNOVATIVE.

AND THIS PARTNERSHIP, I LOVE THE CONFLUENCE DEFINITION BECAUSE IT'S COMING TOGETHER.

UH, IT'S BEEN A LEARNING PROCESS, BUT WE'RE IN A BETTER PLACE NOW IN THIS FUNDING GOING TO HELP US KEEP CARRYING THAT VISION FORWARD.

SO THANK YOU FOR THAT.

WE ARE THRILLED TO RECEIVE THE FEDERAL FUNDING ALONG WITH OUR PARTNERS AT WATERLOO GREENWAY IN PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.

I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO RECOGNIZE WATERSHED PROTECTION STAFF WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THIS PARTICULAR GRANT APPLICATION, UH, WHICH TAKES A LOT OF EFFORTS.

SO I WANT TO ASK KRISTEN PITKIN, MAYBE A GOOD WAY.

YEAH.

WE HAVE DIANA WANG TO MIKE KELLY IN THE BACK OVER THERE.

SO BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER, WHEN YOU GO FOR GRANTS, THERE'S, IT'S A PROCESS AND IT TAKES EFFORT.

SO ALSO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE ALL THE OTHER WATERSHED STAFF THAT'S HERE.

UH, THIS IS ONE PARTICULAR PROJECT WE'RE MOVING FORWARD, BUT WE'RE ALSO THE DEPARTMENT THAT MANAGES THE WA WATER CREEK TUNNEL.

I'VE BEEN PRIVILEGED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THAT PROJECT AS WELL DURING THE CONSTRUCTION, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

UH, BUT I APPRECIATE IT.

UH, THAT PROJECT IS TRULY AN INVESTMENT THAT HAS TRANSFORMED AND WILL CONTINUE TO TRANSFORM THIS PART OF TOWN.

UH, I HAVE A PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH THE WALNUT CREEK.

I ACTUALLY, MY FIRST HOUSE WAS IN EAST AUSTIN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM.

WHEN I GOT OUT OF THE MILITARY, I USED TO LIVE ON WATER STREET BETWEEN THE 11TH AND 12TH STREET.

SO MY TRIG JOURNEY TO A UT EVERY MORNING WAS GOING DOWN 12TH STREET OF WATERLOO, GREENWAY, UM, WATERLOO PARK, UH, TO GET MY BUS TO THE ENGINEERING SCHOOL.

AND SO IT MEANS A LOT TO ME TO BE ABLE TO BE PART OF THIS PROJECT AND TO BE ABLE TO HELP TRANSFORM, UH, THIS PROJECT.

SO I WAS THERE YESTERDAY AS WELL, I WITH MY KIDS, AND I'M GLAD THAT WE GET TO PASS THIS GREAT INFRASTRUCTURE, ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO OUR KIDS AS WELL.

SO STRETCHING FROM WATERLOO PARK TO LADY BIRD LAKE, THE WALNUT CREEK TUNNEL REDUCES THE RISK OF FLOODING IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN BECAUSE OF THE TUNNEL.

WE CAN REVITALIZE THE WALNUT CREEK DISTRICT AND IMPLEMENT THE VISION OF THE WATER DEGREE.

WAITS CREATE A WORLD-CLASS GREENSPACE STEP, THAT BENEFITS ALL OF US, SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION AT THE CONFLUENCE WHERE WE CREATE A THRIVING ECOSYSTEM WITH A RESILIENT LANDSCAPE TO CLEAN AND MANAGE STORMWATER RUNOFF.

THE GRANT WILL FUND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PAWN THAT WILL REMOVE POLLUTANTS FROM THE WATER BEFORE IT ENTERS THE CREEK.

THE GRANT ALSO SUPPORT CREEK RESTORATION WORK ALONG THE LOWER WALNUT CREEK.

THE COMBINED USE OF NATURAL MATERIALS WITH STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS ALLOWS THE PROJECT TO PROVIDE CREEK BANK STABILIZATION AND ENHANCE WILDLIFE HABITAT AND INCREASED BIODIVERSITY PARK.

GORES WILL EXPERIENCE A ONE OF A KIND IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE IN THE DEEPEST AND MOST ECOLOGICALLY DIVERSE

[00:25:01]

SECTION OF WALNUT CREEK, INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE AND OTHER PROGRAMMING WILL ENGAGE AND EDUCATE VISITORS ON THE USE OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, NATIVE PLANTS, AND INNOVATIVE FEATURES OF THE PROJECT.

NEXT, IT'S MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE MY COLLEAGUE LEANNA.

CARDIACA THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN PARKS AND REC DEPARTMENT.

HELLO EVERYONE.

AND THANK YOU FOR, UH, THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION, AS EVERYBODY HAS SAID, THAT BROUGHT US HERE TO CELEBRATE THIS STAGE AT, UH, AT OUR JOURNEY.

UM, THANKS FOR HEN.

THANKS EVERYONE FOR ALL OF THE COMMENTS BEFORE THAT, BEFORE ME, UM, THAT ACKNOWLEDGE THE HARD WORK THAT HAS ALREADY BEGUN, BUT WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.

MY NAME IS LEANNA AND I SERVE AS THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.

AND WE TALKED ABOUT THIS PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP, UH, BETWEEN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND WHAT ARE THE GREENWAY CONSERVANCY THAT HELPS CREATE MORE GREEN SPACE, MORE PARKS, MORE TRAILS IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN.

THE PARTNERSHIP BUILDS UPON DECADES OF PLANNING AND VISIONING FOR THE DISTRICT.

AND OVER 10 YEARS OF DIRECT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, THAT INCLUDES COLLABORATIONS WITH MULTIPLE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT NONPROFITS, HOMEOWNERS, ASSOCIATIONS, DEVELOPERS, UM, ADVOCACY GROUPS, AND THE COMMUNITY.

THE 13 ACRE CONFIDENCE PROJECT WILL BE THE SECOND PHASE OF THE WATERLOO GRANT WAY.

WHAT ARE THE PARK OPENED LAST SUMMER? AND IT HAS BEEN A THRILL TO VISIT EVERY TIME THE CURRICULUM CONSTRUCTION WORK FOR THE CONFERENCE PROJECT WILL CREATE THE FOUNDATION FOR A HEAVY PLANTED GREENWAY THAT WILL HELP TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND VISITORS THROUGHOUT THE URBAN CORE, AS WELL AS IMPROVE WATER QUALITY FOR THE LOVER WATER CREEK, THROUGH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND LOW IMPACT DESIGN.

WHAT ARE THE GREENWAY STRIVES FOR UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY THROUGH THE ENTIRE CREEK CORRIDOR, DESIGNING ABOVE AND BEYOND THE FEDERAL ACCESSIBILITY OF THE STANDARDS AND ADDITIONAL ONE MILE OF NEW TRAILS AND BRIDGES FOR PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS WOULD BE COMPLETED WITH THIS PHASE, ADDING SAFE AND EQUITABLE NEW ROUTES FOR AUSTINITES AND VISITORS TO ACCESS DESTINATIONS IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN AUSTIN, NEW TRAILS.

WE ALSO CONNECT TO EXISTING ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS, INCLUDING THE ANN AND ROY BUTLER HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL.

THE LANCE ARMSTRONG BIKEWAY HALF THE METRO DOWNTOWN STATION AND THE FUTURE PROJECTS CONNECT BLUE LINE, BENEFITING UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS BY IMPROVING MOBILITY TO DOWNTOWN EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICES AND REDUCING BARRIERS FOR LOW INCOME RESIDENTS AND PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT OWN A CAR.

THE CONFERENCE IS ALSO DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE SITE CERTIFICATION, WHICH IS THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE RATING SYSTEM FOR THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS.

SITES IS DESIGNED TO DISTINGUISH SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES, MEASURE THEIR PERFORMANCE AND ELEVATE THEIR VALUE.

AFTER ALL THE WORK IS DONE, THE COMPLETED WATERLOO GREENWAY TRAIL SYSTEM WOULD PROVIDE A SAFE OFF-STREET MOBILITY CORRIDOR THAT TRANSPARENT TO I 35 FROM THE 15TH STREET DOWN TO LADY BIRD, LIKE A LONGER RESTORED WALLER CREEK.

THIS WOULD CREATE A GREEN SPINE THROUGH THE EASTERN DOWNTOWN AND PROVIDE CONNECTIONS TO CULTURAL RESOURCES, INCLUDING THE MS. BERRY ENTERS NEXT SECOND AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER, THE RAINY STREET, HISTORIC DISTRICT, THE AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER, PALM PARK AND SCHOOL, THE FIFTH STREET, MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CORRIDOR, THE SIXTH STREET ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT, THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT SYMPHONY SQUARE WATERLOO PARK, AS WELL AS THE STATE CAPITOL DELL MEDICAL DISTRICT AT UT AND THEY AUSTIN INNOVATION DISTRICT.

YOU CAN SEE WHAT THE IMPACT IS GOING TO BE.

SO THIS IS A TRULY TRANSFORMATIONAL AND INSPIRATIONAL PROJECT THAT IS CHANGING AUSTIN, AND WE ARE GRATEFUL TO BE PART OF IT.

WE ARE GRATEFUL TO BE PART OF HISTORY FOR ASTON, AND THANK

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YOU FOR GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ON THIS.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED TODAY'S CEREMONY.

THANK YOU.

THAT COMPLETES OUR FORMAL REMARKS.

DO YOU HAVE YES.

UM, THAT COMPLETES MY REMARKS TODAY.

UM, OUR GRACIOUS PARTNERS AT THE FAIRMONT, UH, WOULD LIKE TO VALIDATE EVERYONE'S PARKING.

SO JOEL, CAN YOU WAVE YOUR HANDS IN THE BACK? FEELS, UH, VALIDATIONS FOR YOUR, SO PLEASE GRAB THEM FROM THEM ON YOUR WAY OFF.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

AND ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PRESS.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.