Another phase of the Auditorium Shores renovation project was recently completed. Over the past year, the West Lawn and Trailhead areas were renovated, and now the large Event Lawn overlooking downtown has been reopened.
Over the past six months, the Event Lawn was regraded and a new sprinkler system was installed. Most of the lawn was planted with a drought-tolerant variety of grass, matching the rest of the park. Lush, bright-green sod, similar to the Zilker Park Event Lawn, was installed in the section towards Lady Bird Lake. The two types of grass are separated by a low concrete strip.
Ramps have been added for easy access to and from the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. The areas surrounding the live oak trees were enlarged and mulched. Lighting was improved along the pathways. A new water fill-up station along the trail still remains to be completed.
The Event Lawn was completed just in time for the free SXSW Music concerts. A stage was set up and plywood was set down to try to protect the new grass. Only the first concert took place—the others were cancelled due to rain—but that was enough to damage the fragile new turf. I suspect this section will need to be replanted.
A new leash-free dog park is still under construction near the railroad tracks on the western side of Auditorium Shores. In the meantime, signs warn that, while dogs are temporarily allowed on the Event Lawn, they must be on leash. Everyone seems to be ignoring this, and I haven’t heard that it’s being enforced. Dogs have been running leash-free across Auditorium Shores for many years, and now they have a new lawn to frolic in!
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