Renaming the Recreation Center

The Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez Recreation Center was recently named to honor a pillar of East Austin, Rudy Mendez. Learn more about the process and about Rudy.

Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez, born in Austin in 1944, studied dance and performing arts in New York and Spain. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile and Costa Rica, touring with each country's national ballet company and developing performing arts curriculum and programs for youth. In 1978, he returned to Austin and founded the Ballet East Dance Company to provide a platform for young choreographers and dancers and to develop vigorous outreach to Black and Hispanic communities in East Austin. From 1978 to 2000, Mr. Mendez worked for the Parks and Recreation Department as a program specialist at Metz Recreation Center. In 1989, he developed the city-wide program "Dare to Dance," recognized nationally. Mr. Mendez also created the Folkloric Dance and Mentoring Program to encourage students of living in East Austin to graduate high school. Rudy Mendez died in 2019.

Rudy Mendez posing at the ESB-MACC

Per the COVID-19 Mayoral declaration, the Center is closed to the public effective Monday, March 16th .  Please check the Closure page for update.

 

 VIRTUAL PROGRAMS

Stay Active with Austin Parks and Recreation’s online Virtual Programing!

Stay Playful with our Virtual Afterschool Clubs

Register Online

Out-Of-School Time Youth Programs

The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs that foster Youth Development in a safe and caring environment. We believe in creating opportunities for youth that expose them to critical thinking and leadership development while helping explore interest through enhancements, arts, and active play. Come and experience the spectrum of opportunities with the Parks and Recreation Youth Programs.

  • Afterschool Kids Club         
  • Parents Night Out
  • Camp Days and Spring Break Camp
  • Boredom Busters
  • Youth Summer Camp
  • Girl Scouts Troop 2407
  • Cookies & Milk
  • Skate Crew

Youth Sports

The Parks and Recreation Department Co-Ed Youth Sports are structures to be safe, recreational league aimed at beginner to intermediate players

Teen Programs

The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs that encourage Youth Development through outdoor exploration, the arts, critical thinking, and leadership development.

  • Archery
  • Paint & Jam
  • Summer Camp
  • Teen Turn Ups
  • Friday Night Hoops
  • Totally Cool Totally Art (TCTA)

Toddler Programs

The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs that foster Youth Development in a safe and caring environment. We believe in creating opportunities to help explore interest through enhancements, arts, and active play.

  • Toddler Fundamentals and Fun League

Adult and 50+ Programs 

The Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of programs and services for adults and people 50 years of age and older. We are committed to providing an environment that encourages active and healthy lifestyles through recreational and educational programs and services.

  • Energetic Seniors Program (50+)
  • Coed and Women's Kickball
  • Ceramics Class
  • Core Class (Free!)

Community and Special Events

The Parks and Recreation Department provides opportunities for families, friends and neighbors to come together and socialize, meet new people, enhance existing relationships, and create community.


Program Documents and Forms

Virtual Programs Release Form (PDF)

Adult Registration Form (PDF)

Youth Registration Form (PDF)

Youth Financial Assistance - English (PDF)

Youth Financial Assistance - Spanish (PDF)

Parent Handbook - English (PDF)

Parent Handbook - Spanish (PDF)

Facility and Grounds Rental Information

User Guide and Rental Agreement


Mendez Recreation Center Staff

Melissa Rios Recreation Supervisor

Stephanie Martinez Program Specialist

Iliana Dominguez Program Specialist

Antonia Riojas Program Instructor

Cindy Palacios Buildings & Grounds Assistant

About Mendez Recreation Center

The original land on which Mendez Recreation Center is located was acquired by a bond purchase in 1933. The present center opened in 1972 and was renamed after Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez, a pillar of East Austin and former program specialist. The existing facility was built in 1972 through matching funds from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and Model Cities funds. The facility includes a main building, playground, outdoor stage, tennis court, covered outdoor basketball court, picnic tables, and is located just off the Hike & Bike Trail. In 1978, Martin Junior High facilities were acquired as a satellite facility. Satellite facilities adjacent to Festival Beach include tennis courts and lighted ball fields. In 1982, Austin voters gave approval for the expansion of facilities through the Capital Improvements Program. On July 29, 2020, City Council approved the renaming of the facility to honor Rudy Mendez.

The Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez Recreation Center offers a wide variety of programs for youth, adults, seniors as well as fun community events throughout the year. Youth programs include After School Program, Girl Scouts (Troop 2407), youth sport clinics and leagues, Toddler sport programs, out-of-school-time camps, summer camp and more! Adult programs include a FREE Seniors program for 50+ adults, Coed and women’s kickball, sport leagues and tournaments, ceramics classes and a FREE core exercise class. Mendez Recreation Center also offers Teen Camp for teens ages 12-15 during the summer. Community events include Movie under the Stars during the summer, Community Easter Egg Hunt, Cinco De Mayo Fiesta, 4th of July Celebration, Community Halloween Carnival, Dog Extravaganza, Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Night Before Christmas with Santa and Youth Valentines Dance. One event every month to bring the community together for a good time at the park!

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