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.

Reilly Gardens

Project Description

This project will focus on community engagement as it pertains to the local residents and school through engaging gardens and workshops. The gardens are designed to bring restorative ecosystem functions as well as intergenerational learning elements through the plants and workshops. The garden will be an example to the community of how to replace a lawn with native plantings, incorporate a cistern into your own watering plan at home and the benefits of edible landscaping. 

The goal of the gardens is to engage the community beyond the school through care and maintenance of the space, with each taking pride in the continued success of the landscaping. The gardens will provide a much needed sense of welcome green space to an underserved section of the city. The gardens will feature custom components designed in conjunction with the University of Texas and A&M students.


  • Engage the community in gardening
  • Illustrate ways of incorporating plants into home landscaping projects
  • Provide a community space for meetings and workshops
  • Provide an intergenerational community picnic area
  • Provide a habitat for native animals and insects

Anticipated Schedule

  • February - May 2020: Design park
  • May - June 2020: Community and city meetings
  • September: Construction begins
  • February 2021: Park opens to public


This project is funded by the Parks with Purpose grant from the St. David’s Foundation, with support from Austin Parks Foundation. 

Community Engagement

Throughout this project, the team will be working closely with the Austin Independent School District and Parks & Recreation Department to design and implement the gardens. The coordination among the parties includes the community. We will be hosting 2 community meetings, the first with the Highland Neighborhood Association. 

Community Meeting #1
June 9, 6:40 – 7:00 pm

Community Presentation
June 25, 6:30-8:00 pm
Location TBA


For more information or if you have questions, email Melody Alcazar