Palm Park remains a hidden gem for most Austinites…even those who live in close proximity to downtown. Sure, we’ve all walked by it a million times but few realize how green and pretty this little pocket park along Waller Creek can be. Leave it to the fine folks at the Waller Creek Conservancy to bring it to front-of-mind for the third year in a row as they hosted the now annual Waller Creek Picnic.
Charged with raising funds to complete the 1.5 mile revitalization of Waller Creek, the Conservancy has a vision for a future public space that will transform the eastern edge of downtown. That vision is shared by plenty of folks, especially if Saturday’s picnic was any measure of interest in the project.
Before the sky opened up at the close of the event, hundreds of the city’s citizens, ranging from philanthropists to artists, laid out their blankets and feasted on baskets prepared by culinary favorites Jeffrey’s, Franklin Barbecue, Gardner, Sway, St. Philip, Justine’s and Home Slice to name just a few. The proceeds from the sale of the baskets, in turn, goes straight to the Conservancy. Our chain of blankets alone (dubbed “media island” from a vocal passerby) hosted media heavyweights like Kathy Blackwell and Steve Scheibal, Samantha Davidson, Elaine and Rich Garza, Andy Langer and Rose Reyes.
In addition to Elaine Garza and other event co-chairs Julie Blakeslee, Lauren Smith Ford, Caroline Huddleston Haley, Lauren Moorman and John Spong, we spotted: Paula and Kevin Burns, Caleb Campaigne, Lynn and Tom Meredith, Larry McGuire, Conservancy CEO Peter Mullan, Victoria Corcoran and Jeff Neal, Kelly and Kathrin Schneider, Keri-Dawn and Rick Solner, Bryan Gardner and Armando Zambrano…and too, too many others.