john-gaines-rendering-01Mueller Austin is already gearing up for summer with two new parks in section 7! Construction for both John Gaines Park and the Southeast Greenway is officially underway, and residents can expect to enjoy both by late summer 2015.

John Gaines Park, named after Austin’s first African-American police officer, will feature community garden plots (designed by the Sustainable Food Center) where more than 130 gardeners can grow their favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs. Compost bins, a covered work area and an enclosed tool shed will also be available for gardeners. Additionally, the 3.6-acre park will offer family-friendly amenities including a unique playscape, large open sports field, a community pool with lap lanes, a children’s wading pool and changing facilities that feature built-in rain cisterns and xeriscaped green roofs.

The first phase of the Southeast Greenway is expected to open in mid-March and will serve as a community orchard of fruit and nut trees for the public to enjoy, and gateway to the future Southeast Greenway. This six-acre phase of the future park will include an array of edible offerings including Loring peaches, Asian pears, cork oaks, figs, kumquats, loquats, Meyer lemons, olives, pecans, persimmons, pomegranates and a variety of herbs. Informational signage will describe the harvest potential for each season. The greenway will include decomposed granite trails, picnic tables, bike racks and benches. It will also feature Habiturf, a mix of native grass species grown in Texas, developed and tested by Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

The community garden plots will be open to both Mueller residents and neighbors. The registration process for the community garden plots will be determined at a later date, so stay tuned!

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[h/t Mueller Austin]