Autumn is upon us, so hopefully this hot weather has checked out for the rest of the year. The cooler temperatures will allow us all to get out a little more and enjoy some of the great activities throughout the city. There are definitely plenty of places to relax outdoors and enjoy the beautiful views.
One place you can enjoy the great outdoors and get in some exercise - our beautiful parks. City Park has undergone some changes I know you will be happy with. Yes – the porta potties have moved out, and we’ve made room for a brand new restroom facility. It’s stone masonry and has a refillable water bottle station complete with a cooling system, because you know, the hot weather in Texas will just be around the corner. Also, for those long-time residents, you may be familiar with an abandoned decades-old structure in City Park that has been sitting vacant for many years. It’s not only been an eye sore, but a potential hazard for people choosing to hang out there – slowly collecting trash and graffiti. Well, that structure has now been demolished and the area cleaned up. We want to keep our parks clean and safe for our residents, so this is one step towards improving that.
For those art enthusiasts, there is now a new sculpture in place near Municipal Court. It has the appearance of two figures playing a game of chess, so is fittingly named “The Game.” The statue was a generous donation by John and Judy Hogge by way of Janet Wright and our Arts Committee Members. A formal ceremony for the unveiling of the statue is planned next month. The Arts Committee has also installed new kinetic wind sculptures in Lakeway Park I, which is that small island you typically drive by when going to the Lakeway Resort and Spa.
Speaking of arts, if you enjoy music, then you will really enjoy this. The Austin Symphony Orchestra is planning a concert on Saturday, November 16 at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center. The concert will also feature a few dozen student musicians with Lake Travis High School. Tickets are on sale now, so visit ltisdschools.org/finearts for more information.
If you are looking for some fun activities to do with your family, there are several to choose from at the Activity Center. The Heritage Committee is bringing back Lt. General JD “Beak” Howell, former director for the Johnson Space Center for a presentation later this month on his experience working for NASA during the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. Another indoor garage sale will also take place in the next few weeks, so come out and explore some great finds from other local residents. Do you like snakes? Well I don’t. If you’re curious, you can learn more about them later this month at the Activity Center, which includes a live demonstration. So again, I probably won’t be there =).
Speaking of things that will make your hair stand up at the Activity Center this month, Halloween will quickly be upon us, so what better way to usher in this spooky holiday by having the Lake Travis High School Chamber Orchestra perform music from the classic 1922 Dracula film, Nosferatu. There is also a Halloween-style workshop for the younger crowd. Make sure to visit the Activity Center page on our website (Lakeway-tx.gov) for a variety of other activities and classes.
Finally, last month nearly 150 residents took part in the Heritage Trail Tours, exploring some of the historical sites around Lakeway. We opened up the historic Liebelt Cabin near City Hall and had Gwendolyn Wunneburger, a former resident of the 19th century cabin itself come out and talk about her life living in the Lakeway area before it was a city. The 89-year old musician even played a few songs for visitors. It was a real treat. I gave a proclamation naming Friday, September 20, Gwendolyn Wunneburger Day. A few days before the tour, Gwendolyn donated several historical items to the City, which are now a part of the cabin.
Our history is important. As we move forward on improving the quality of life for our residents in Lakeway with a new Comprehensive Plan and improved transportation options, we should also take time to reflect on the past. As Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”