Local nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy announced Aug. 21 the name for its ongoing urban parks project. Waterloo Greenway will run 1.5 miles along a restored Waller Creek from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake.

Waller Creek Conservancy also rebranded as the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy. Generally, the organization will go by Waterloo Greenway.


The name is meant to focus on place rather than the organization, Waterloo Greenway CEO Peter Mullan said.

Austin was originally called Waterloo after the first permanent Anglo settlers arrived in the area in the early 19th century, according to the Austin History Center. Also the name of a city in Belgium, the place name combines “water” with the Flemish word "loo," which means “sacred wood.”

“This is a major turning point for us,” Mullan said in a news release. “Up until now, our vision was aspirational; it was a concept, a collection of places and ideas, and it lacked a name to unify it. Now, it is tangible—something we can live, feel and experience together.”

The 10-year, 35-acre project is estimated to cost $230 million and is the result of a public-private partnership with the city of Austin.

“What Central Park is for New York City, Waterloo Greenway will be for Austin,” Mayor Steve Adler said in the release. “Because of this project, Austin will be smarter, greener, healthier, more creative, more connected and more equitable.”

The conservancy was founded in 2010, and the project broke ground in 2017.

When complete, Waterloo Greenway will span from near the Brackenridge campus redevelopment and Palm Park.

The first phase of construction—Waterloo Park, an 11-acre park bordered by East 15th, Red River, East 12th and Trinity streets—will open in fall 2020. It will include the new Moody Amphitheater.