Austin's oldest park is about to undergo some big changes. The Moody Foundation, a charitable organization which funds projects across Texas, announced on Saturday, October 28, it would be giving a $9.7 million grant to the Pease Park Conservancy.
Pease Park, which includes the Shoal Creek Greenbelt, runs parallel to Lamar Boulevard between 15th and 31st streets, and is one of the city's most popular green spaces. This new funding has been earmarked for improvements to the lower six acres of the 83-acre park. This portion of Pease, known as Kingsbury Commons, includes a children’s playground, splash pad, and the 1920s-era Tudor Cottage.
The Conservancy says it will use the Moody grant to create additional playscapes including a tree house, and will work with Austin-based architects Clayton & Little to turn the Tudor Cottage into an "activated community gathering space." Changes to the cottage include updated bathrooms, an expanded event space, and a new stone terrace.
"This is a transformational gift for Pease Park — and for the entire community," said the Conservancy's CEO, Kristen Brown, in a release.
The announcement is part of a years-long, multimillion-dollar master plan spearheaded by the Conservancy and unanimously approved by the Austin City Council in 2014. In addition to updates to Kingsbury Commons, the plan includes improvements to the park's cultural, recreational, and natural features. In order to achieve these goals, the Conservancy says it will launch a capital campaign to raise funding for new trails, tree planting, and better amenities throughout the park.
Overall, the projects is estimated to cost between $20-$40 million, which will be raised through a combination of grants, city funding, and private donors.