The Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park improvements will center on the existing Lakeside Park area and emphasize the rehabilitation of the site's infrastructure. These improvements will help sustain park operations until implementation of vision plan elements can begin in the future. This project is in the Schematic Design Phase. City Council District 1


The expansion of the City of Austin’s steam turbine plant along Decker Road in the mid-1960s required a constant source of water for cooling and resulted in the need and development of a new lake in the area. Construction of the dam started in May 1966 and the introduction of water began in early 1967.

Since 1968, the following Land Use Plan items have been implemented and constructed:

  • Two Nature Preserves: Louis Rene Barrera Indiangrass Wildlife Sanctuary and the Decker Tallgrass Prairie Preserve;
  • two boat docks;
  • restrooms (no longer in operation);
  • a portion of a hike and bike trail; and
  • enhanced native grassland areas, main park road, picnic areas, and a swimming area.

In January 2018, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department began a new vision planning process (formerly called master planning). Austin City Council adopted the Walter E. Long Vision Plan on October 15, 2020. Vision Plan recommended long-term improvements to the metropolitan park.

Project Description

The proposed park improvements will primarily address utility work, restroom upgrades, road improvements, and a nature trail. Adjustments to road layouts and other amenities will be made based on their alignment with the vision plan.

Anticipated Schedule 

Background research was conducted summer of 2022 by the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments.

  • Fall 2022: Scope Development (Complete)
  • Winter 2022: Approved Consultant Project Scope (Complete)
  • Spring 2023: Project Kick Off  (Complete)
  • Fall 2023: Community Meeting and Schematic Design (In Progress)
  • Spring 2024: Design Development, Construction Drawings, Permitting

Bidding and Construction timeline to be determined.

Community Engagement

Information on future and past community engagement events will be listed here.

Previous Engagement

Funding and Resources

This project will be funded by 2018 Prop C – Parks and Recreation (Infrastructure) Bond.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Reynaldo Hernandez by email or by phone at 512-974-9464.

Final Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park Vision Plan

View the final Vision Plan here.