Next Phase of Republic Square Park Restoration Begins Dec 1st

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Austin Parks Foundation Tackles Next Phase of Republic Square Park Restoration.

Street trees and berms to be removed, new trees planted and pathways installed.

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Central Auction Oak, August 2008

Central Auction Oak, August 2008

Contact: Charlie McCabe, Austin Parks Foundation, 512.965.1960 or cmccabe@austinparks.org

The next phase of improvements for historic Republic Square will begin on December 1st. The work, expected to take 30 days, includes berm and tree removal, regrading and revegation, tree planting, irrigation installation, and pathway installation.

TBG Partners designed the restoration plan, working in conjunction with Austin Parks Foundation and the Republic Square Partners, which includes residents, business and property owners and government officials who confer monthly. The cost of this phase is just under $100,000 and is being funded through a percentage of ticket sales from the Austin City Limits Music Festival, as well as donations from both individuals and the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association.

Austin Parks Foundation intends to recycle or reuse all of the materials removed from the park. Soil from the berms will go to Waterloo Park to help restore turf areas, and the concrete from the sidewalks and the trunks of the four street trees will be donated to Austin Green Art.

This phase will continue the project begun in August 2008 to improve the health and viability of the three historic Auction Oaks in southwestern corner of the park. Through August and September, the Auction Oaks were pruned and treated; sidewalk, retaining walls and parts of the berms were removed; and the soil was tilled and amended around each of the three Auction Oaks.

The Auction Oaks mark the site where the first auction of city lots was held in 1839 by Edwin Waller. The trees have suffered since the 1950s, when the park was a parking lot, and on through the 70s when the park was rebuilt and the hill-like berms were added over a significant portion of their root zones.

Future park improvements include the installation of a rock and chain enclosure to protect the Oaks area (expected in early 2009) and the installation of a deck (which also doubles as a stage) surrounding the central Auction Oak. The deck will give visitors a place to relax in the shade without impacting the oaks. It will be modeled after the deck created to protect the Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City Memorial. Austin Parks Foundation hopes to raise the remaining $200,000 needed to construct the deck over the next year.

The Austin Parks Foundation is thrilled to tackle this next phase of improvements to historic Republic Square and welcomes donations for the deck project @ www.austinparks.org or at 512.477.1566.

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