Rathgeber Natural Resource Park – Conceptual Plan

The Rathgeber Natural Resource Park is a proposed 300-acre, nearly pristine park, in the heart of Texas Hill Country. As the region continues to face rapid development and growth, this piece of land would not only protect and improve an indispensable piece of Hill Country habitat and watershed, it would also provide the greater Hays County community with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience and learn from this majestic and endangered landscape.
The Rathgeber Natural Resource Park Masterplan is a 20-page document assembled by Studio Balcones to help the City of Dripping Springs secure Bond funding for $7.5 million. Studio Balcones worked closely with the client to develop a site-sensitive approach to creating a irrefutable case for funding. Through site visits, in-depth research , and discussions with the client, owner and some commission members – Studio Balcones created a compelling vision to successfully earn the Hay’s County Commissioner’s Court designation as a Tier One project, highly recommended for funding.

Butler Trail Safety & Mobility Study

As Austin grows, The Butler Trail continues to be a beloved asset and destination for citizens and visitors alike. With that, the trail must evolve to ensure safety and mobility for everyone. Nelson / Nygaard, Studio Balcones, and Oldner Lighting are working together to analyze, study, and document the areas of concern along The Trail. Studio Balcones is focused on the materiality of the trail – addressing issues such as erosion, sloughing, sharp edges, and goat paths. The team has developed a digital and print tool-kit to help stewards of the trail identify the best fit solution for each area of concern. All solutions are meant to be low-tech and easily achievable for the Trail Foundation – helping to provide multiple strategies for widespread maintenance and repair across the trail.
As part of the study, Studio Balcones has researched a number of decomposed granite binders such as Stabilizer and Stalok, as well as geogrids, porous-recycled rubber surfaces, and phosphorescent and reflective materials. In addition, Studio Balcones will oversee the installation of four materials test-sites, and observe them over a year to monitor their effectiveness.
Throughout the project, Studio Balcones has worked closely with the Trail Foundation, Nelson/Nygaard, PARD and Oldner Lighting to gather public feedback and produce a final report with conceptual renderings of key-identified locations.

Austin Parks & Recreation Long Range Plan

In collaboration with WRT Design, Studio Balcones served as the local subconsultant for Austin’s Long Range Plan: Our Parks, Our Future. This citywide parks assessment project serves as a guide to Austin’s future land acquisitions, capital improvements, and new programs and amenities for 2020-2030. It was funded in part through contributions from the Austin Parks Foundation and was adopted unanimously by the Austin City Council in 2019.

Throughout the process, Studio Balcones and WRT assessed 150 parks, taking extensive inventory of park conditions and amenities, as well as trends in demographics, industry standards and engagement. During this assessment process, Studio Balcones participated in a number of planning meetings or open houses, where the public was invited to provide valuable input. In a city that is rapidly growing, Our Parks, Our Future serves as a vital assessment of Austin’s parks and a pivotal step towards strategies for Austin’s future development of public space.