Austin Parks Foundation, in partnership with the City of Austin and the Mueller Foundation, are proud to be leading the work to make the EastLink Trail a reality.
EastLink is a 5.1 mile urban trail in Central East Austin that connects Bartholomew Park to Lady Bird Lake and all the civic assets in between. Throughout the years, many pathway infrastructure projects have been completed by City partners to close the missing segments of the trail and current effort see to provide enhancements to the trail and parks above this base level of infrastructure.
Benefits of Eastlink community improvements
Restore neglected trails and natural systems
Creates many opportunities for environmental enhancements including erosion control, stream bank stabilization, invasive species removal, ecological restoration, wildlife habitat, shade, and more.
Foster pride in the culture and history of East Austin
Creates opportunities for more art in public spaces as well as cultural and neighborhood-specific enhancements to preserve the history.
Bring the Eastside community together
Creates a continuous and identifiable "signature" pathway between Lady Bird Lake and Bartholomew Park, linking a multitude of places and people.
Increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists
Protected pathways and bicycle facilities will be added, while existing ones are repaired and enhanced.
Encourage active transportation
Provides increased options for walking, biking, jogging, skateboarding, and other activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. Neighbors can walk the loop in 60-90 min. and bike it in 20-30 min.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility
This project will ensure that the highest levels of ADA accessibility are met throughout the corridor.
Overview of Current Project Effort
What's Happening in the Fall 2019
The purpose of the Interpretive Placemaking Plan is to link people to the parks and destinations of East Austin, both physically and culturally, by creating a trail that brings alive the history of the area and addresses the recreational and cultural needs of the surrounding community.
The Plan aims to identify those elements, amenities, spaces, landscaping, facilities, trail design, and interpretive signage that the community desires. The Plan’s recommendations are intended to enhance community identity and cohesion, provide safe and active access to many key destinations (on and off the trail), and reflect the uniqueness of the area.
Community engagement approach
Here's How the Community is Involved
The engagement strategy consists of both traditional and non-traditional methods, meetings, activations and events to ensure we reach different community members with different perspectives in a way that works best for them to the extent possible.
Part of the more traditional methods employed with be to meet at three Project milestones where we will be seeking input: first a technical advisory group (the TAG); and second, with a community advisory group (the “PALS”).
Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
The Technical Advisory Group consists of technical experts that serve to advise the Project Team’s approach and efforts. The TAG shares invaluable insights and expertise ensuring the planning efforts are informed and implementable. The TAG is coordinated by APF and MAS with Public City participation.
Park Anchored Liaisons and Stakeholders (PALS)
The Park Anchored Liaisons and Stakeholders serve as engagement advisors throughout the project scope and help the project team to better understand relevant and meaningful ways to engage with the communities along the Trail. This input from the PALS has informed the development of the Community Engagement Plan.
Community benefits Down the road
Improved health outcomes
EastLink addresses public health head on, including reducing childhood obesity, heart disease, etc. by creating an easily accessible route.
Restores the ecological integrity of the corridor as the desired pathway improvements are made.
Reinforces the unique sense of place by celebrating and making visible both the human and natural history of this corridor.
Transportation network improvements
Reduces vehicular congestions in the central area of the city by making travel by foot and bike a more attractive option for short trips.