In 1939, Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1805 that had just finished Bastrop State Park moved to the site to begin developing the tract of land into a municipal park. The company's primary work included seeding and sodding grass, planting trees, and protecting the bank of the lake from erosion. They built docks, piers and a boathouse. They also built a wooden bath house and concession stand. These wooden structures burned and were replaced with stone structures that are still in use.
In 1984, the Austin City Council renamed the park after Emma Long, a former Austin City Council Member. Long was the first woman to serve on the council of a large city in Texas. She also served as the first woman Mayor Pro Tem from 1967-1969.