Conservancy promotes Waller Creek preservation



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ANDREW CHUNG / KVUE Meteorologist

Posted on September 8, 2013 at 10:26 PM

AUSTIN -- If you visit Waller Creek in downtown Austin, you'll see the network of limestone walkways.


In some places, it's not easy to see the history behind this creek - but it's there.

Historic photos from the Waller Creek Conservancy show how the area has endured floods - and development. Waller Creek even made it to the big screen - being transformed into an Arabian marketplace for the 2003 movie "Secondhand Lions."

Stephanie Lee McDonald is the conservancy's executive director. She explained why Waller Creek was crucial to Austin's founding in the 1800s. 

"Waller Creek is that critical geographic feature," McDonald said. "Without clear running water, you're not going to have a community, right? Especially in the 1830s."

While the redevelopment has begun, the conservancy's goal is to make sure the public understands the creek's history with the help of those historic photos. 

“I think it's really amazing to see how Austin's changed and grown around Waller Creek," she said. "It's also fascinating to see the other side where Shoal Creek is anhow much redevelopment and development has occurred along Shoal Creek that has not happened along Waller Creek, primarily because of the storm conditions."

Like the rest of Central Texas, this creek is no stranger to flash flooding. However, a diversion tunnel is being built to solve the flooding problem. 

From the running water to the limestone to the trees, it's a very scenic stroll along Waller Creek. The conservancy wants to make sure this is preserved for future generations. 

"We're gonna take care of the creek for as long as there are Austinites to enjoy it," said McDonald. "That is our commitment to the city."

She hopes that by both preserving and improving Waller Creek, more people will want to visit.

“This has become my dream, and I can't wait until there is a restored, beautiful space along Waller Creek," she said. "I feel like I had a part in making something wonderful and beautiful for Austin.

To do that her group is asking the public to contribute while understanding the creek's history. 

"You can come to Waller Creek now," she said. "It's not what we want it to be, but we can't do it without your help."

If you'd like to help the Waller Creek Conservancy, or if you'd like to contribute to the preservation effort, click here.


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