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News Article

River Hills Sports Park

River Hills Sports Park Files For Construction Permits and Announces New Non-Profit Partners Field Shortage Forces Community to Find Privately-Funded Solution AUSTIN TX— April 10, 2013


Two years after securing a lease with Eanes Independent School District, Western Hills Little League is excited to announce its partnership with Westlake Pop Warner and Westlake Youth Soccer Association to develop the River Hills Sports Park. Together these groups have submitted plans for site development permits to Travis County and the City of Austin. In recent years, the surge of population growth in Austin has put tremendous pressure on existing sports facilities and increased the need for additional fields at an alarming rate.


Envisioned as a community anchor, the River Hills Sports Park will help fill the growing demand for athletic space serving the youth who live in the West Austin area from Interstate 35 to Resaca Boulevard (Lake Pointe area). Year over year, youth organizations are often put at odds against each other competing for limited field space.


The River Hills Sports Park encompasses a 50 acre parcel of land located on 80+/- acres owned by Eanes ISD. The Park will consist of; 8 baseball fields; 4 multi-use fields lined for football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby; a state-of-the-art indoor gym equipped for volleyball and basketball; 3 tennis courts; dedicated concessions; restroom facilities; and 2 community playscapes.


Chris Ellis, president-elect of Western Hills Little League and lead volunteer spearheading the project said, "Youth sports organizations in our area have been actively seeking potential property to purchase or lease in order to build new fields for several years. Our mission has been fueled by the families we serve. After several years of hard work, they are taking matters into their own hands and facing the challenge. We are very excited to announce our partnership with Westlake Pop Warner and Westlake Youth Soccer Association." United together in support of the project along with Western Hills Little League (WHLL), Westlake Pop Warner (WPW), and Westlake Youth Soccer Association (WYSA), are the area's remaining youth sports organizations Western Hills Girls Softball (WHGS), Westlake Lacrosse (WL), Westlake Youth Basketball Association (WYBA), i9 Sports (i9), and Lonestar Soccer Club (LSC).


Together these organizations serve over 8,000 of children each year, in various programs Carl Natenstedt, President of Westlake Pop Warner said, "There simply are not enough fields to meet the demands of users. We are looking forward to creating new fields and more opportunities for our kids who feed into the area’s exemplary school sports programs. It would be a disservice to our children and future generations, not to make this happen. We must invest in our youth. It is long overdue. " Due to inadequate space, organizations are forced to limit enrollment, shorten practice times, schedule at games and practices at late hours, or delete games from seasons altogether. Also adding fuel to the movement in today's digital age, is the need to advance access to quality outdoor and indoor athletic facilities to learn new sports and foster a healthy, active lifestyle. Stephen Ferguson, General Manager of Westlake Youth Soccer Association said, "After many years of searching for additional fields, this extraordinary need for new space is about to be solved.


A centralized place to play multiple sports will ease daily travel to multiple locations for practices and games for our families. Team sports bring communities together and teach fundamental skills that last a lifetime." River Hills area homeowner said, "The River Hills Sports Park is a gift to our community and a treasured amenity to be enjoyed by families for generations. The neighborhood kids will finally have a place to go. We are grateful for this heartfelt investment being made by local philanthropists."


About Western Hills Little League

For more than 40 years, Western Hills Little League has provided sports programs for youth in the Tarrytown, West Austin, and Westlake areas. 100% volunteer-led, WHLL offers baseball programs for girls and boys from ages 4 to 18. Our mission is to have fun playing baseball, learn to be a team player, and to improve baseball skills and knowledge of the game. WHLL maintains that it is more important to provide players with opportunities to improve and excel rather than to win games at all costs. WHLL is proud of its history of offering opportunities, teaching life lessons, giving children and young adults excellent role models, and introducing players to the wonderful and timeless game of baseball. WHLL is a proud member of Little League International. For more information, visit www.whll.org or become a fan on Facebook at Facebook.com/Western Hills Little League AustinTx.


About Westlake Pop Warner

Founded in 1929, Pop Warner is the largest youth football, cheer and dance program in the world. Westlake Pop Warner seeks to teach kids the importance of work ethic, discipline, and team work through competitive football while allowing them to have fun in a safe, controlled atmosphere and provide them an avenue to learn the spirit of competition. Pop Warner requires its participants to maintain academic standards in order to participate. Pop Warner's commitment to academics is what separates the program from other youth sports on and off the field.


For more information, visit www.chapspopwarner.com.org or become a fan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WestlakePopWarner.


About Westlake Youth Soccer Association

For over 30 years Westlake Soccer has been serving the needs of our community by providing a youth soccer program for players aged 3-18. WYSA has over 2500 members and 350 volunteer coaches each year and offers Recreational, Academy & Select soccer to families primarily located inside the boundaries of Eanes ISD and West Austin. WYSA's goal as a youth soccer association is to nurture children and young adults in their development both as athletes and as people. We provide a firm and supportive environment, which encourages learning while building self-confidence and self-esteem. Our collective goal is to see our soccer players mature into adults who will enjoy full participation in the social and economic life of their community.


For more information, visit www.westlakesoccer.com or call 512.291.3176.