Waller Creek Conservancy’s mission is to create and maintain a chain of extraordinary urban parks around a restored Waller Creek, in partnership with the City of Austin, for the benefit of all. We sat down with Waller Creek Conservancy’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Dana Efthim, to talk about how they’re working to achieve their goals. 

How has Give 5 helped Waller Creek Conservancy in the past?

We were thrilled to be invited to participate in the Give 5 program last year––we connected with many brand-new supporters and our organization raised dollars for free programs on Waller Creek. The Give 5 initiative is bringing new interest and awareness to these nine incredible non-profits focused on improving the environment in Central Texas; we couldn’t be more excited to be a beneficiary again this year!

Why should people care about your cause?

Our mission is to create and maintain a chain of extraordinary urban parks around a restored Waller Creek in downtown Austin. The Waller Creek Park district is a place for everyone. Our new parks, along with a restored Waller Creek, will encourage play, renew the natural environment, promote health and wellness, and connect people to green space. The first park, Waterloo Park, and the Moody Amphitheater will open to the public in 2019––inviting all of Austin to experience a new parks district.

Do you see any negative effects from the constant construction and expansion of Austin’s urban areas?

Development and growth in Austin in not necessarily a negative, but we have to grow smart. That means putting people at the core of our city’s expansion and listening to the needs of our community. Reconnecting south and east Austin to the urban core, creating pedestrian and bicycle-friendly mobility options, along with places for kids and families to connect with nature are at the heart of the Conservancy’s revitalization of Waller Creek. Together, we can find solutions that impact everyone in a positive way.

What can Austinites do today that will contribute to the preservation of the Austin environment?

Start small. Joining our young leaders’ group, GenWaller, presents many opportunities for advocacy, leadership, and volunteerism. Consider volunteering at a clean-up or through our new Waller Creek Park Stewards program––launching later this year––designed to give a hands-on approach in the restoration of the creek’s natural environment.

Are there any cool projects being worked on now, or that are planned for this coming year?

Construction on Waller Creek Park’s northern-most section at Waterloo Park begins later this year! This 11-acre park will include the world-class Moody Amphitheater for performing arts events and concerts, along with a variety of green spaces for play and interaction.

Thousands of locals and visitors enjoyed Orly Genger’s interactive art installation, Hurlyburly, at the Waller Delta this past year. Be on the lookout for a new collaborative art exhibit with The Contemporary Austin this summer!

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The annual Creek Show event returns for the fourth year this November. Austinites are invited to experience five new light-based art installations along Waller Creek for ten nights. The event also includes live music, kids’ activities, and opens imaginations to the possibility of the future of Waller Creek Park.

Any closing comments or thoughts?

Big thanks to the entire Austin community and Give 5 for their continued support of Waller Creek Conservancy. We have a big mission and we couldn’t do it without you! If you haven’t heard of us, we invite you to come see what we’re all about. Join us at a free event or check us out on social media. #wallercreek

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