Ramsey Park fundraising campaign nearing final goal

A neighborhood campaign to raise money for Ramsey Park improvements is getting closer to its $480,000 goal.

Fundraising efforts got a boost in mid-August with a $10,000 contribution from Highland Resources, the Houston-based real estate company developing multiuse project Lamar Central at the corner of North Lamar Boulevard and 38th Street. Total contributions, including a $66,000 Austin Public Works grant, a $50,000 Austin Parks Foundation grant, a $15,000 neighborhood association donation and more than 200 individual and business donations, have reached $455,000 after more than two years of effort.

"It's a great story of a community coming together to work closely with the city to improve quality of life," said Alison Alter, a Rosedale resident and Ramsey Park Renovation Committee co-chairwoman.

Three years ago the city set aside $241,000 for Ramsey Park in return for a storm drainage project that took up much of the park's space. Rosedale Neighborhood Association members crafted a Ramsey Park Master Plan based on survey responses from nearby residents that outlined project priorities and phases.

The neighborhood emphasized the need for amenities that appeal to more than just small children, she said. The master plan gained city approval in April 2013.

Enough city money and donations have allowed the first phase of park improvements, including basketball and tennis court upgrades as well as new picnic tables, to be nearly complete, Alter said. The project's second phase will connect park pathways, and Phase 3 plans call for upgrading the playscape. Second and third phases will take place this fall, Alter said.

The final phase, still in the fundraising stage, includes new bleachers, benches, bike racks, water fountains and additional trees, she said. To help reach the fundraising goal, advocates are selling personalized bricks and pavers that can be installed in Ramsey Park. The bricks and pavers start at $250. Visitwww.ramseypark.org for more information.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.