AUSTIN (KXAN) – Butler Shores Park is undergoing some major renovations.
The area that holds the exercise equipment is getting an updated ‘lift’. The space is located on West Riverside near the headquarters of Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD). The Trail Conservancy partnered with PARD on this project with the goal of completely replacing and enhancing the old equipment area. The construction is projected to be fully completed and open to the public by the end of April.
This new enhancement should please a larger variety of people. Whether it’s used to rest and take a break after a long run along the trail, or as space to stretch, or to get a workout in while enjoying the beautiful sights of Lady Bird Lake, this updated space will be larger and accommodate more park visitors and trail users.
Meteorologist Sean Kelly got to visit the construction site and speak with Charlotte Tonsor, who is the Capital Projects Director for the Trail Conservancy. “What used to be here was two old pull up bars, and a declining incline bench and a drinking fountain that was kind of leaking. So we’re replacing all this.” Tonsor says.
They were strategic in the planning and choosing of the new exercise equipment, encouraging the community to play an active role with each decision along the way. From the aesthetics, durability, functionality, all the way to the size of the area the community was able to help voice their opinion and give feedback on what they wanted back in the late summer months.
“We put out two different types of exercise equipment to the community to get their feedback”. Tonsor said.
Much of the community was able to agree on one major thing and that was the aesthetics. The new and improved equipment traditionally arrives from the manufacturer in a bright orange color. Tonsor explains because of the feedback from the community they went with a custom gray color to have more of a natural feel to it.
Much of the community pushed for pull up bars at varying heights. The Trail Conservancy listened and one large portion of the major enhancements is just that: aiming to make this iconic Austin spot more accessible for everyone.
Some additional notable features this new area will have:
- An app to download that can help and guide you through up to 100 different exercises that utilizes the equipment.
- Planted trees around the exterior of the area to help canopy and shade the area during the heat of the summer.
- The coolest feature that stands out will be a new solar powered water fountain set to be installed for the debut.