The project to improve Ramsey Park was the result of a remarkable and unprecedented partnership between the Rosedale neighborhood and the City of Austin. A group of caring, concerned citizens made up of your friends and neighbors worked with the City of Austin for more than two years to develop a Master Plan in order to undertake major renovations at Ramsey Park. Improvements included laying new pathways, resurfacing the tennis courts, covering the basketball court, integrating a natural play area, adding climbing equipment, installing new picnic tables and water fountains, replacing bleachers, planting trees, creating an amphitheater and more.
After soliciting input and ideas from park users at public meetings and via email, the Ramsey Park Renovation Committee identified seven goals for the Master Plan:
- To offer a multigenerational place to play and relax
- To serve as a neighborhood retreat from the heat
- To preserve the park’s open spaces
- To maintain and enhance the access to nature the park provides residents
- To increase opportunities for the community to gather on a regular basis
- To enhance multipurpose and year-round use of different spaces around the park
- To renovate existing infrastructure, install desired new infrastructure, and adopt park rules consistent with the first six broad goals
The fundraising occurred during 2014 and 2015 and the project was completed in 2017. The total cost was $480,000.
Funding came from a number of sources, including mitigation funds and grants, as well as contributions from the Rosedale Neighborhood Association, individual and business donors. Between January 2011 and June 2012, the Rosedale neighborhood lost the use of a significant portion of Ramsey Park while the City of Austin’s contractor used the northeast corner of the park as a staging area for heavy equipment and other materials required to support the Rosedale Storm Drain Project. As restitution for the use of the park, the City of Austin allocated $241,000 for Ramsey Park renovations. With the mitigation funds available for renovations, the Ramsey Park Renovation Committee successfully sought grants from the Austin Park Foundation (APF) and the Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP). The APF grant provided $50,000. The Neighborhood Partnering Program awarded us a grant of $66,000, and required us to raise $22,000 in private funding as a “match” to receive this grant. The NPP grant funds the connecting pathways in the park. Finally, The Rosedale Neighborhood Association allocated $15,000 towards the renovations. Many individuals came forward with contributions. See the Walk of Friends in Ramsey Park (near the toddler playscape) for the names of many of those contributors.
THE MASTER PLAN FAQ
How was the Master Plan created?
The Master Plan for Ramsey Park was created by the Ramsey Park Renovation Committee, a committee of the Rosedale Neighborhood Association. It consisted of friends and neighbors who have taken the lead on working with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to design the Master Plan, oversee its implementation and fundraise for the Ramsey Park improvements. The committee solicited input from park users and neighbors throughout the process of drafting the Master Plan.
Why didn’t we renovate the pool?
The Rosedale Neighborhood Association (RNA) installed an aerator purchased from RNA funds to help keep Ramsey Pool fresher and cooler. Beyond that, the major renovations required for the pool involve a complete overhaul of the bathrooms and changing rooms. Such work would have completely used up the available funds (and then some) on a part of the park that is accessible for only one-third of the year. The general feeling is that these renovations should come from City of Austin funds. A desire for longer pool hours and bathhouse renovations is featured prominently in the Master Plan. If City of Austin funds become available for pool renovations, we have the advantage of a Master Plan already in place.