A 2-acre recreational environment within Butler Park, the Alliance Children’s Garden represents the fulfillment of a multiyear master plan effort to provide Austin citizens with a multi-purpose cultural park. The garden design is intended to be tailored for children while providing a variety of play and recreational experiences -- including promotion of wellness and education for families and visitors of all ages and abilities. Construction is currently underway and is expected to be completed by April 2020.
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is a major contributor to the high quality of life that Austinites and visitors enjoy. It is important that PARD facilities, as well as programs and services, be accessible, inclusionary, and welcoming to all. To reach the goal of having all PARD facilities eventually become fully accessible, the Department has created a “Transition Plan.” This document will help the Department and elected officials prioritize investments in upgrading current park spaces and facilities to align with federal accessibility standards.
In 2016, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) completed the Aquatic Master Plan. The Aquatic Master Plan is used to guide pool improvements and assessments for the municipal aquatic system across Austin. The Master Plan guides PARD on decisions regarding management of aging pools and guide pool improvements and installation of new pools where they are most needed.
In partnership with Pinthouse Pizza, PARD will be installing nature play features across the parks system in an effort to increase the opportunity for children and families to engage with the natural world. The first round of parks to have this installation in 2020 focus on areas of Austin that are considered “nature deficient,” including Armadillo Neighborhood Park.
The Asian American Resource Center (AARC) Master Plan was adopted by the Austin City Council on September 19, 2019. The master plan envisions Phase I development to include a new Performing Arts Center, an Outdoor Stage/Pavilion, Main Entry Point/Drop-Off Area, Event Court, Event Lawn, Pedestrian Bridge, Picnic Areas and an Exercise Equipment Area. These recommended improvements are a direct result of our community engagement efforts and process, which identified desired programming and established Master Plan Values.
The new trail improvements at Bartholomew District Park are in the initial phase for the implementation of the Bartholomew Master Plan. The main focus will be a trail starting at the intersection of Berkman Drive and East 51st Street, crossing Tannehill Branch Creek and terminating at the intersection of Berkman Drive and Greenbrook Parkway.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of designing a restroom to serve users of the Barton Creek Trail and other amenities near to the trailhead, located on the north side of Barton Creek, near the west end of Barton Springs Pool. The Parks and Recreation Department is looking to add a facility to serve park and trail users that will fit in with the character of the unique Barton Springs environment. To aid in this process, the Department is seeking input from the public as to what materials, colors and shape will best complement the Zilker Park setting.
The Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation is a major task identified in the Barton Springs Master Plan (completed in 2009) and further outlined in the Zilker Bathhouse Zone Feasibility Study (and completed in 2016). Major elements of work will include access improvements, replacement of the plumbing systems, structural repairs and restoration of critical parts of the entry rotunda and the changing rooms.
A renovation of the children’s play area at Battle Bend Neighborhood Park is being proposed in order to address the outdated playscape while exploring opportunities for other site enhancements for family play, picnicking, walking, nature contact and other beneficial park uses. The project will also address the need for improved ADA access and pedestrian connectivity within the park.
As a continuation of the Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation project, the education center will be receiving a facelift. The main entrance to Barton Springs Pool will be moved into rotunda and the Beverly Sheffield Education Center and Splash! Exhibit, creating an opportunity to educate everyone who visits the pool about the importance of protecting water and preserving salamander habitat. The mission of Sheffield Education Center and Splash!
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) will be working with the community to create a new vision for Beverly S. Sheffield Northwest District Park.
The Brush Square Master Plan was adopted by the Austin City Council on March 28, 2019. The master plan envisions Brush Square as a unique park for downtown Austin that is distinct yet complementary to other downtown squares and public spaces. Existing heritage trees will be protected and an array of native or adapted plantings will be added to provide visual delight and habitat. Shaded, small gathering spaces will be abundant as places of respite for nearby residents, workers, transit users, and event attendees. The square will also comfortably support larger events, such as the annual O.
Bull Creek District Parks is one of the city’s most popular and visited parks. Known for its unique limestone outcropping and popular swimming opportunities, Bull Creek District Park is the anchor for Bull Creek Greenbelt. Many hikers enjoy the space year round, but the high-use experienced in the summer months call for improved park amenities to ensure the space is enjoyed for generations to come.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is partnering with The Trail Foundation and the Public Works Department for a Safety and Mobility Study for the Trail to focus on how recent growth in Austin and increased use of the Trail has impacted the Trail experience for residents and visitors.
The Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD) is partnering with The Trail Foundation (TTF) to replace and enhance the existing exercise equipment that sits adjacent to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail near the PARD headquarters on West Riverside Drive.
The CarverMuseumATX facility expansion planning process will continue the previous planning efforts of the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural, and Genealogy Center and will guide future development in alignment with the community’s values, needs, and priorities.
With passage of the 2012 GO Bond, the Parks and Recreation Department received two million dollars in funding for improvements within the five municipal cemeteries. Community engagement for associated projects was completed in 2014 in conjunction with the Cemetery Master Plan outreach.
Following a lengthy review by the community and key city boards and commissions, the Historic Cemeteries Master Plan was approved by the Austin City Council September 17, 2015. Links to the final plan are provided below. Select Cemetery Master Plan process for more information about the process, including the review by city boards and commissions.
Planning for the Central Williamson Creek Greenway is underway and community members can help create a vision for the green space along the creek between Menchaca Road and Congress Avenue. The nearly 58 acres of parkland and 17 acres of residential floodplain buyout properties form almost two miles of connected publicly owned green space along Central Williamson Creek.
The purpose of Circle C Playground replacement is to provide an inclusive, accessible playground equipment that meets today’s playground safety standards. Our goal is to improve the quality of play experiences while providing environmental stewardship in the sensitive area.
This phase of the Colony Park District Park - General Park Improvements project develops approximately 9 acres and provides the following: a baseball field, soccer/multi sports field, a large play area with elements of nature based play, fitness equipment, two pavilions, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and a portion of the hike and bike trails network to connect the adjacent communities from the west to the park facilities and elementary school.
Parque Comal or Comal Park is nestled in central east Austin on the corner of Comal and 3rd Street. Originally home to Comal School in 1925, the small park was established around 1955 after the building of the AB Cantu/Pan American Center. In 2002, the colorful archway was built as a community project by neighborhood volunteers.
The DAC Today
The first phase of improvements at Dove Springs District Park is a playscape replacement. The park was originally built in the 1990s and the playscape component has aged, become obsolete by current standards, and identified for replacement. Included in this scope are nature pathways with nodes of discovery along the pathway.
The Dove Springs Recreation Center (DSRC) opened its doors on March 28, 1998 to provide citizens of the Dove Springs community recreational and educational resources. The 18,000 square foot center contains a full court gymnasium, weight room, arts and crafts room/computer lab, class room, dance studio, and meeting rooms.
The Preliminary Plan for Duncan Neighborhood Park was completed in May 2017 in partnership with Shoal Creek Conservancy. The Implementation phase is currently underway with construction anticipated to begin in 2021.
The master plan for Earl J. Pomerleau Pocket Park has been adopted by the Parks and Recreation Department. The master planning process received input from the surrounding community to provide a long range vision and amenity prioritization for future development of the park.
EastLink is an existing five-mil, urban trail from Bartholomew District Park to Lady Bird Lake. The trail connects residents to parks and pools, schools and recreation centers, grocery stores and community gardens, cultural and historic sites, local merchant districts, public transportation, and bike lanes. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with Austin Parks Foundation to create an interpretive placemaking plan for the trail.
PARD recognizes the potential of Eilers Park as a family-oriented experience, in conjunction with the Deep Eddy aquatic facility, due to its proximity and history. The existing amenities on the park site include a play structure, barbecue grills, picnic tables and small contained open space areas.
Emma Long Park is a large metropolitan park with a diverse user-base and a variety of amenities and recreational opportunities. Situated along Lake Austin, the park offers woodland trails, boating and water activities, camping, a motorcycle course, an archery range, and camping facilities. This Vision Plan will identify Phase 1 Improvements that can be implemented with funding from the 2012 GO Bond.
The Austin City Council adopted the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) Master Plan on May 24, 2018. The plan presents design recommendations to better meet the current and future needs of the center. The process sought public input on programming to guide the expansion of the existing facility, new facilities, new shade structures, parking, landscaping and the potential redesign of the plaza.
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation recieved a one time allocation of funding from Council through the 2015-16 budget cycle to develop Georgian Acres Park. This park was identified for need of development to fill a recreation gap in the area. There is $500,000 allotted for design, engineering, and development of the park. The planning process was conducted in partnership with the District 4 Council Office, the area neighborhood association, and community leaders.
The Givens District Park Master Plan was approved in January 2019. Using 2018 bond funds, the first phase of implementing the park plan is set to begin. Community engagement began in November 2019.
In collaboration with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) and the surrounding community, Austin Parks Foundation (APF) plans to improve Govalle Neighborhood Park, emphasizing the playground area by focusing on accessibility, ADA compliance, and maintaining the character and history of the park.
The findings of the completed Aquatic Assessment identified Govalle Pool as a Critical Pool. The term ‘critical pool’ refers to an aquatic facility that has the potential to functionally fail within the next 5 swim seasons. The classification was determined per the condition of the 60 year old facility. In September of 2014, Austin City Council awarded a onetime allocation for refurbishment of Govalle Pool in the amount of $3,100,000.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with Ecology Action of Texas to convert an old road into an accessible trail at Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park. Ecology Action owns the adjacent Circle Acres Nature Preserve, a former City of Austin landfill, illegal dump, and brownfield. The organization has spent 15 years converting Montopolis' most polluted tract to one of Austin's most biodiverse 10 acres of land.
Founded in 1899 by Lewis Hancock, former mayor of Austin, Hancock Golf Course stands today as one of the oldest golf courses in Texas. However, financial challenges at Hancock Golf Course have created a need for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to reexamine the sustainability of the golf course as it is today.
The master plan for this new park was completed in through input from stakeholders will provide a vision and plan for the future development of the park. Norris Design, a local landscape architecture and planning firm, was selected through a Request for Proposal process to lead this planning effort.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with The Trail Foundation (TTF) to implement elements proposed in the Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach Master Plan.
In September 2009, City Council passed a resolution that reallocated funds from the Holly Good Neighbor Program to develop a Master Plan for Edward Rendon Sr Park at Festival Beach, Fiesta Gardens and the Holly Power Plant Site Park, which provides an additional 9 acres of parkland.
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation (PARD) is developing a vision plan for John Treviño Jr. Metropolitan Park at Morrison Ranch. John Treviño Jr. was the first Mexican-American elected to City Council who went on to serve 14 years. This metropolitan park was named to honor his work for the East Austin community and Austin as a whole.
Pease District Park is an 84-acre public park that runs along North Lamar Blvd, bounded by Kingsbury Street to the south and 31st Street to the north. Most of the park's recreational infrastructure is located in Kingsbury Commons at the southern end of the park. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with the Pease Park Conservancy to implement the Pease District Park Master Plan.
The Latino Arts Residency Program (LARP) is a City of Austin Parks and Recreation program that began in 2013 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC). LARP fosters the development of Austin-area Latino arts organizations and artists in all disciplines in an effort to build and enhance quality, sustainable community arts, and cultural programming. LARP is completing a shift to the Latino Arts Residency Program after a review in 2019.
The 6.73-acre neighborhood park serves the Travis Heights-Fairview Park Neighborhood. Little Stacy is sited at a distinctive horseshoe bend of Blunn Creek. Existing park amenities include a shelter house with restrooms constructed in the 1930s along with a wading pool. Other existing amenities include lighted tennis courts, volleyball court, half-court basketball, playground and picnic area.
The Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt encompasses over two hundred acres of largely undeveloped land near the intersection of 51st Street and US-183 in East Austin. Its vistas, natural features, and proximity to residential areas lend it tremendous potential to become a recreational space for all Austinites. The Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt master plan initiative is a community-driven effort to increase awareness of the greenbelt and develop a plan for future improvements.
Liz Carpenter Fountain is located at 201 Dawson Rd. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
The Parks and Recreation Department is working with the Public Works Department and City Hall to bring needed improvement to Margret Hofmann Oaks Park. As a gateway to downtown, the park will be updated to increase pedestrian safety, prevent tree damage, and compliment the city hall campus landscape.
On Dec. 5, 2019, the Austin City Council passed Resolution No. 20191205-117, initiating the process for renaming Metz Recreation Center to Rodolfo “Rudy” Mendez Recreation Center. Community members provided feedback in support of the name change, PARD director and the Parks and Recreation Board endorsed the renaming, and on July 29, 2020, Austin City Council approved the renaming of the facility. Continue reading to learn more about the background, process for renaming, and information about Mr.
In partnership with Pinthouse Pizza, PARD will be installing nature play features across the parks system in an effort to increase the opportunity for children and families to engage with the natural world. The first round of parks to have this installation in 2020 focus on areas of Austin that are considered “nature deficient,” including MLK Station Neighborhood Park.
The Montopolis Recreation + Community Center will jointly replace two aging facilities and be co-operated by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Austin Public Health Department. This building will be rebuilt to provide over 33,000 square feet of new space, including a commercial kitchen, gymnasium, fitness room, computer lab, conference rooms and educational programming areas. The building’s design seeks to support the initiatives of each partnering department by fostering mental and physical well-being through community recreation and the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.
The Nash Hernandez Building is in the heart of the Holly Shores / Edward Rendon Sr. Metropolitan Park at Festival Beach. The building was built in 1966 and formerly housed the AFD Arson Division and a museum. It has been empty since 2009 when AFD moved locations. The Nash Hernandez Building is a part of the Holly Shores / Edward Rendon Sr. Metropolitan Park at Festival Beach Master Plan.
In 2011, the Parks and Recreation Department completed a feasibility study to assess the condition of an existing Arts and Crafts wood frame bungalow house dating to 1922, on approximately 9 acres of the Norwood Tract at Town Lake Metropolitan Park at 1012 Edgecliff Terrace, Austin Texas. This area of parkland lies along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake just west of IH-35 and north of Riverside Drive. At the conclusion of the assessment and public engagement Council approved the staff recommended option for rehabilitation of the house and grounds.
The historic Oakwood Cemetery Chapel was constructed in 1914 to function as a mortuary chapel. Designed by Austin architect, Charles Page, the historic Gothic-revival chapel is located within Oakwood Cemetery, a City of Austin Historic Landmark, registered Historic Texas Cemetery, and National Register of Historic Places site. In the subsequent 103 years since its construction, the historic building suffered from uneven foundation settlement and deferred maintenance.
The Onion Creek Metropolitan Park is a 555-acre regional park located in southeast Travis County, just south of Onion Creek. The land – flat, woody and pond-filled – is undeveloped and used by area residents. The Onion Creek Greenbelt is north of the creek. Onion Creek travels approximately 79 miles.
The Park Security Lighting Project addresses safety and security priorities at park locations through the city through the installation of LED lighting with an emphasis on solar-powered lights in areas without grid-supplied power.
On November 7, 2006, Austin voters approved an $84.7 million bond program in tax-supported General Obligation bonds and notes for constructing, renovating, improving and equipping public parks, recreation centers, natural areas and other related facilities, including, without limitation, playgrounds, hike and bike trails, sport courts and swimming pools; and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.
The Public Parks Master Plan for The Grove at Shoal Creek is being developed by the property owner in collaboration with the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) with input from the community. The project goal is to develop a Master Plan for the public parks at The Grove at Shoal Creek including the 16.25-acre Signature Park and the Pocket Park in compliance with City Parkland Improvement and Operations Agreement for The Grove at Shoal Creek Planned Unit Development (PUD).
The Austin City Council adopted the Pease Park Master Plan at its October 16, 2014 regular meeting. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) appreciates the contributions of the Pease Park Conservancy (PPC) and all the community members who participated in the development of the master plan. With a focus on enhancing and preserving the naturalistic feel of the park, opportunities were identified for improving gateways, sensitively adapting the historic Tudor Cottage restroom building and enhancing the playscape area.
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) will be rehabilitating the Burnett “Blondie” Pharr Tennis Center. The tennis courts have reached the end of their service life and the proshop is in need of rehabilitation.
Exposure to nature improves social cohesion, enhances mental wellness, and improves physical health. By leveraging existing amenities and community-driven design, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, Megan O’Connell, and Jade Florence, PhD will create an ecologically-sound neighborhood park that fosters well-being and belonging.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is constantly working to maintain and improve the parks system. Much of this happens through planning and development projects. Below are common terms and definitions PARD uses on various projects.
With the growth of the Rainey Street District, the connection between the Ann & Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake and Rainey Street is becoming more vital for transportation and access to nature. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with The Trail Foundation to identify park improvements south of Cummings Street between Rainey and East Ave.
In partnership with the Austin Independent School District and the Parks & Recreation Department, we are designing and building Social Emotional Learning gardens at Reilly Elementary School Park. The gardens will be a sustainable, meditative space and wildlife habitat that encourages children’s healthy self-esteem, curiosity, cooperation and mental well-being through gardening and intergenerational gardening programs.
Ricky Guerrero Neighborhood Park reopened on Saturday, November 9. The 1.91-acre now complies with ADA standards and has addressed existing drainage issues which caused erosion problems to the park grounds.
Rosewood Park dates back to the last quarter of the nineteenth century as a family homestead. The park has been a part of the Austin community since the 1930’s. Different amenities were added to the park over the years with the last pool expansion occurring in the 1950’s. The expansion consisted of adding a bathhouse, concession stand and BBQ pit. The current Bathhouse is a large concrete structure located on the east side of the pool that is accessed via steps.
During the 2015 Memorial Day rain event and flooding, the concrete bridge at Country Club Creek sustained major structural damage and collapsed when the concrete footings supporting the bridge sections were undermined by flood waters surging downstream through the channel. The City has begun contract negotiations for evaluation and design services for a replacement bridge.
As part of Austin’s Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative and the Green School Park program, PARD will be installing nature-based features and general park amenities at Sanchez Elementary Park in the fall 2021.
The completed 2014 Aquatic Assessment identified Shipe Pool as a Critical Pool. The term ‘critical pool’ refers to an aquatic facility that has the potential to functionally fail within the next 5 swim seasons. The classification was determined per the condition of the 60 year old facility. In September of 2014, City of Austin City Council awarded a onetime allocation for refurbishment of Shipe Pool in the amount of $3,100,000.
Sparky Pocket Park is the site of the former North Austin Electric Substation at 3701 Grooms Street, which was rededicated as a public park in 2009. The North University Neighborhood Association has been working diligently to help transform the site into a neighborhood pocket park. The first phase of Sparky Pocket Park’s redevelopment included the installation of an award-winning public art piece, the Grotto Wall at Sparky Park, as well as landscape improvements to the site.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is partnering with Austin Parks Foundation (APF) to create a new playground at Springdale Neighborhood Park.
Tanglewood Neighborhood Park was constructed as part of a Municipal Utility District (MUD) back in the 1990’s. The City annexed the park and PARD now has responsibility for the park and its amenities. The park is used by nearby residents for its wooded trails, Tai Chi, playscape, picnics, basketball, and volleyball.
The focus of the Veterans Park project is to relocate and enhance the exhibition of three war memorials, originally located at Waterloo Park, to the existing Veterans Park at the intersection of Atlanta and Veterans Drive, adjacent to the American Legion. The intent of the proposed design will create a setting for the monuments that expresses a respectful and peaceful sense of place.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is partnering with Austin Parks Foundation (APF) and the Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) to construct the trailhead at the entrance to the Violet Crown Trail at the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Zilker Metropolitan. Currently, no a trailhead exists even though hundreds of trail users daily enter the trail at this point.
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park Playground replacement will provide inclusive, accessible playground equipment that meets today’s playground safety standards. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department's goal is to improve the quality of play experiences at the park for children of ages and abilities. PARD will be partnering with Earth Native Wilderness School to offer programs during summer 2020. This nature-play expansion is supported by a grant from St. David's Foundation.
Walsh Boat Landing is a concrete boat ramp on Lake Austin, operated by the Parks and Recreation Department. Capacity issues at the dock have created the need to look at how access at the dock can be safely and efficiently managed for all dock users. After a significant community engagement, the Department began construction to address issues at the boat landing.
The City of Austin and Travis County conducted a Market Study for the Travis County Expo Center. The study recommended potential future facility improvements and uses of the Expo Center to meet community needs and regional demand.
The Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park Vision Plan will help determine the long-range vision for the entirety of the park, including areas currently used by other organizations.
The Westenfield Park tennis court surface is failing due to an unknown condition causing the settling of the subsurface and slab. Currently, one court is unsafe and has been temporarily closed to the public. Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding for this project will provide engineer services to determine the cause and the required work to provide a long-term solution that restores the courts to a playable condition.
This project will open up a portion of the Williams School Park to the neighborhood during school hours with a separately-fenced tot lot, or play area for children under 5 years old.
In partnership with 4ATX, the charitable arm of Austin FC, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is exploring creating a new soccer mini-pitch for the Austin community.
Volunteers from Austin Parks & Recreation, Austin Parks Foundation and the community will join KaBOOM! on Wednesday, November 6th to transform an empty site into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in just six hours at Wooten Neighborhood Park. The new playground will help make play the easy choice for kids and families in Austin.
City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) recently launched Phase 1 of the Zilker Botanical Garden Master Plan, in collaboration with the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy, Austin Area Garden Council, and a planning team led by the Austin-based firm Asakura Robinson.
Zilker Café plays a significant role as an ancillary recreational amenity for the comfort and enjoyment of visitors to Zilker Park. The provision of food and beverage services promotes extended use of the many recreational opportunities at the park including swimming, hiking, picnicking and canoeing. The concession also has historic ties to the community, holding a cherished place in the memory of generations of park visitors.
The overall scope of the Zilker Metro Park Clubhouse Rehabilitation project will be to focus on general preservation and restoration of the building’s character defining features, keeping in mind the topmost programmatic priority will be the flexibility of the site to host many types of groups and events, from weddings and parties to corporate or non-profit group events/retreats. And, included as a possible future-phased portion of the work, are plans to restore the historic structural elements framing the view from nearby Lookout Point.
In recognition of the most intensively used parkland within the City of Austin (COA) the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) has begun preliminary work to identify park improvements that build upon the recent renovations at Barton Springs Pool.