Jul 20, 2022 - 09:32 am CDT

Zilker Shuttle

 

There’s a free shuttle service to Zilker Metropolitan Park from the One Texas Center parking garage this summer through Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2022. 

  • It runs 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, and on Labor Day Monday

  • Park in the One Texas Center parking garage, 505 Barton Springs Rd. 

  • Get parking ticket validated by the shuttle driver  

  • Drop-off location is at Zilker Playground/Barton Springs Spillway, a two-minute walk to Barton Springs Pool 

  • No dogs or other pets and no coolers allowed on shuttle 

This is a pilot program to explore alternative transportation and parking options for Zilker Metropolitan Park. To give feedback on this service, email Zilker.Shuttle@austintexas.gov

 

 

Jun 22, 2022 - 03:15 pm CDT

Hundreds of people jump off bridges, so it must be harmless, right? Wrong! It is prohibited in Austin primarily because you can hurt or kill yourself or someone else. Jumpers can land on rocks, rebar, swimmers, boaters or animal life.

It can also impact the environment and negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem. People who jump off the Barton Springs pedestrian bridge could even harm the Barton Springs Salamander and the Austin Blind Salamander which are federally endangered species. 

It is a violation of City of Austin Municipal Code § 8-5-44, which states, “a person may not dive or jump from a bridge that crosses the Colorado River or Barton Creek.” Austin Parks and Recreation staff are looking at innovative ways to deter this dangerous behavior. 

Learn how to Leave No Trace in Austin's natural spaces at AustinTexas.gov/LeaveNoTrace.  

Water Under the Bridge Part of EcosystemNo Jumping From Bridge SignBoaters Under Bridge

May 26, 2022 - 12:15 pm CDT

Eastwoods Park

Eastwoods Park has a notable history as the site of Wheeler’s Grove, one of Austin’s earliest Emancipation Parks where African Americans celebrated Juneteenth annually. One of Austin’s first public parks, it was formally opened to the public in 1930. In 1964, it became the first home of Eeyore’s Birthday Party.

The Juneteenth interpretive sign was proposed by the Eastwoods Neighborhood Association in 2021. The neighborhood association surveyed the surrounding community regarding support for the installation and funded the signage fabrication. The Lone Star Legacy designation was received in 2020. Both markers were installed in 2021 with the goal of having a joint ceremony on site to dedicate and celebrate.

Celebration of the Juneteenth Historical Interpretation Signage and Lone Star Legacy Award Plaque
Eastwoods Park, 3001 Harris Park Ave.
Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 11 a.m.

It is an outdoor park event, so please dress comfortably. 

May 04, 2022 - 11:41 am CDT

Sport

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is bringing back its youth basketball leagues for our upcoming summer basketball season. Youth co-ed recreational basketball is a great opportunity for participants to learn skills, practice teamwork and have fun while being physically active. This co-ed basketball league is structured to be a safe, recreational league aimed at beginner to intermediate players. This is a non-competitive league with volunteer coaches. Weekly practices are scheduled for eight weeks and are held at your registering  recreation center. A total of six games will be played in the season at the determined recreation center in each area. Game times, dates, and locations are subject to change based on total league enrollment.

Registration is required and will be  available May 1 though June 11. Program space is limited, and registration is first come, first served. $10 late fee will be applied for registration after June 4. There must be a minimum of 80% of the maximum participants registered in a division to conduct the league for that age group. Due to safety and fairness to the players, teams will not exceed the maximum number of participants. Each league will offer the following age divisions for registration : 6U (5-6 years old), 8U (7-8 years old), 10U (9-10 years old), and 12U (11-12 years old). Divisions are based off participants age as of January 1, 2022.

Registration costs are $40 for city of Austin residents and $70 for non-city of Austin residents. Financial  aid will be available for any eligible households. For more information related to financial aid please visit www.austintexas.gov/financialaid.

The program fee is refunded in full only if the class is canceled by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. 

Please visit your local community recreation center listed below for an opportunity to register.

North Austin Sites

Central Austin Sites

South Austin Sites

Sports

Sports

Apr 29, 2022 - 09:56 am CDT

CelebrASIA

Join us for CelebrASIA at the Asian American Resource Center at 8401 Cameron Rd. on Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This family-friendly festival is free and open to the public. There will be performance groups, musicians, and hands-on activities by AARC and community organizations. Lala's Kitchen, Mama Kong, Flavors of Guam, and Peace Bakery and Deli will be selling food on site. RSVP to the Facebook event or the Eventbrite event.

Get ready for performances from Lara Price Band, Austin Taiwanese Association, Myanmar Chin Cultural Unity, Formosa Association of Students Culture Ambassador (FASCA), Austin Japanese Minyo Group, Navrus School of Performing Arts, Baila Pacifica Entertainment, The Love of China, ATX Korean Dance Crew, Diversity Band, and Don Bosco Lion Dance! Asian Family Support Services of Austin, Austin Asian Community Health Initiative, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Dougherty Arts Center, George Washington Carver Museum, and Oakwood Cemetery are some of the local community organizations taking part in the celebration. CelebrASIA will also be an opportunity to learn more about the AARC Phase 2 Expansion Project and Performing Arts Center. 

The event will be outdoors with some indoor activities. There is no virtual event option this year. Please do not to attend if you or your family have been exposed to COVID, have a recent positive COVID diagnosis, or have been ill. Learn more about the AARC at AustinTexas.gov/AARC.

Apr 28, 2022 - 10:56 am CDT

Bonuses

Join Austin Parks and Recreation on Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM for a Hiring Open House to learn about summer job opportunities at any one of these 17 locations. We're hiring hundreds of lifeguards (ages 15+) and summer camp staff (ages 18+). Bring your ID. Job offers will be made on the spot!

Lifeguard and Aquatic Temp Jobs
Offering up to $1250 in bonuses for staff who meet the criteria. 

Summer Camp Staff
Get up to $750 in bonuses.  

Pay starts at $16/hour and increases with experience. Job benefits include paid sick leave, a free bus pass, and flexible scheduling. These temporary jobs are perfect for teenagers, college students, teachers on summer break, and retirees looking for a fun way to earn extra money.

We hire candidates from diverse origins, orientations, identities, and abilities. Apply now or tell someone you know about these great summer earning opportunities. 

Apply now or get more information about summer jobs and bonus criteria at AustinTexas.gov/SummerJobs.

Bonus

 

Apr 26, 2022 - 01:35 pm CDT

Aerial View of Parkland Near Downtown Austin

Why does Austin need a Commercial Parkland Dedication Ordinance? Parkland is an essential city service that affords well documented economic, recreational, physical, and mental health benefits to its users. Parks provide recreational opportunities, create community, preserve the city’s character and natural resources, contribute to economic growth and tourism, increase transportation opportunities, and keep Austin beautiful. Parkland, greenbelts and trails are essential to Austin’s character.

Parkland is utilized by more than just residents and hotel occupants, with commuting workforces adding to the demand for park services. In downtown Austin alone, there are 14,000 residents, but 96,000 employees that enjoy its parks (as of 2020). Overall, 58% of the city’s workforce (about 451K employees) commutes into town and uses parks before, during and after work. Those employees are not currently accounted for in the parkland dedication ordinance. Adjacency to parkland plays an influencing role in determining site locations for new commercial developments. Commercial developments receive direct benefits in the form of parks for employees, thereby attracting, expanding, and retaining their workforces, all while creating a greater demand for parks with the growth of those workforces. By enacting a new parkland dedication ordinance to create dedication requirements for office, retail, and industrial developments, the city would be able to continue to provide active and passive recreational opportunities near the places of employment, thereby advancing the health, safety, and general welfare of the workforce without asking Austin residents to pay more for parkland. 

Austin’s quality of life is routinely cited as an economic driver for workforce growth, and parkland plays a pivotal role in creating that high quality of life. The data shows that in Austin 11.11 jobs are created per $1 million of investment in off-street, multi-use trails (compared to 8.37 jobs per $1 million of investment in sidewalks). A new parkland dedication ordinance for office, retail, and industrial, and office development would ensure that Austin stays competitive in attracting jobs nationwide by continuing the current level of service for high-quality parks, trails, natural spaces, and recreational opportunities.

Austin is known for its trail system, but many greenbelts are incomplete due to private land ownership. Parkland dedication provides an opportunity to realize the greenbelt potential in Austin with the most stakeholder input recommended amenity in the Austin area, trails. Currently, office, retail, and industrial developments located in park deficient areas, along greenbelts, or adjacent to parks are not subject to the existing parkland dedication ordinance. PARD is not able to close critical gaps in greenbelt and trail infrastructure without negotiating the purchase of land on these types of development sites from willing sellers, even in sections of the commercial sites that are otherwise undevelopable.

Commercial parkland development requirements are present in cities throughout Texas including El Paso, Colleyville and Hutto. Commercial parkland requirements can be found throughout the rest of the country as well, including in Denver, Atlanta and Palo Alto. A Commercial Parkland Dedication Ordinance for office, retail, and industrial developments promotes the health, safety, and general welfare of the community and establishes an essential nexus and a rough proportionality of parkland dedication requirements. 

Watch a presentation to the Parks and Recreation Board about Parkland Dedication Ordinance for Commercial Developments.

Community Feedback and Education:  

PLD Commercial Project Webpage 

Speak UP Austin! PLD Commercial  

Community Survey 

Community Forum: Park Amenities and Impact of Parkland on You 

PLD Commercial Storymap 
 
Resources: 
City Council Resolution 20220407-042 
Study of Parkland Dedication Requirements for Commercial Uses 

 
Dedicated contact for feedback and to request more information: pld.commercial@austintexas.gov.  

Apr 15, 2022 - 11:08 am CDT

Austin Parks and Recreation hosted a ceremony to honor Joan Means Khabele on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Barton Springs Pool. After not being allowed to swim at her high school senior picnic, Khabele was the first Black person to jump into Barton Springs Pool in an act of civil disobedience. In doing so, she sparked a movement of swim-ins that took place on a weekly basis throughout the summer of 1960.

A performance by the Smooth and EZ dancers kicked off the ceremony. Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeely was the event MC. Speakers included Mayor Steve Adler, Dr. Larry Wallace, Chief of Staff to Mayor pro tem Natasha Harper-Madison, followed by Council Member Chito Vela, Council Member Ann Kitchen as well as Council Member Paige Ellis who read the City proclamation. Saundra Kirk, Joan’s contemporary, and Inonge Khabele, Joan’s daughter also spoke. Geraldo Perez of the Native American Church performed a water blessing ceremony.

Inonge Khabele speaking at the event to honor her monther

See More Photos

Apr 14, 2022 - 04:40 pm CDT

Join Austin Parks and Recreation on April 23 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM for a Hiring Open House to learn about summer job opportunities located at any one of these 18 locations. We're hiring hundreds of lifeguards (ages 15+), summer camp staff (ages 18+) and more. 

Pay starts at $15/hour for entry level positions and it increases with experience. Job benefits include paid sick leave, a free bus pass, and flexible scheduling. PLUS, Austin Parks and Recreation is offering a $250 sign-on bonus and a $500 Bonus for staff members who work from June through August.

$500 Summer Completion bonus for temp staff who meet the criteria

Austin Parks and Recreation is a robust and expanding department with opportunities for career growth at every stage of your career. We hire candidates from diverse origins, orientations, identities, and abilities.   

Learn more at AustinTexas.gov/ParkJobs.  

Mar 16, 2022 - 11:43 am CDT

Ceremonial Moment of Silence & Splash Honoring Joan Means Khabele 

We invite the community to come together for a ceremony at Barton Springs Pool on Saturday, April 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to honor Joan Means Khabele. Her courageous act of swimming in Barton Springs to protest segregation at the pool sparked the civil rights era swim-ins that eventually led to the desegregation of Barton Springs Pool. There will be free entry to the pool before 12 p.m. and free valet parking from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note that swimming will pause from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The event will include a proclamation, speakers, and water blessing ceremony performed by Geraldo Perez. The PBS documentary featuring Khabele talking about her swim at Barton Springs will be screened at the pool. Additionally, there will be listening booths set-up for community members to share oral histories and personal experiences regarding race and Barton Springs. The oral histories will become part of an exhibit, virtual and physical, that will be featured on site at the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center. Over the next few years, Austin Parks and Recreation will continue to collect diverse stories to tell the full history of Barton Springs. This is just the beginning.

Joan at school

Joan Elizabeth Means Khabele was an activist and scholar from Austin. Born at Holy Cross Hospital in East Austin, she attended Blackshear Elementary School and Kealing Junior High. She was among the third group of students to integrate Austin High School in the late 1950s. In her senior year, she was a student leader in activism that led to the integration of Barton Springs and Zilker Park. After not being allowed to swim at her high school senior picnic, she was the first Black person to jump into Barton Springs Pool in an act of civil disobedience. In doing so, she sparked a movement of swim-ins that took place on a weekly basis throughout the summer of 1960.

In this interview with Austin PBS, Khabele describes the measures she and others took to desegregate the iconic Austin landmark. 

Jun 22, 2022 - 03:15 pm CDT

Hundreds of people jump off bridges, so it must be harmless, right? Wrong! It is prohibited in Austin primarily because you can hurt or kill yourself or someone else. Jumpers can land on rocks, rebar, swimmers, boaters or animal life.

It can also impact the environment and negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem. People who jump off the Barton Springs pedestrian bridge could even harm the Barton Springs Salamander and the Austin Blind Salamander which are federally endangered species. 

It is a violation of City of Austin Municipal Code § 8-5-44, which states, “a person may not dive or jump from a bridge that crosses the Colorado River or Barton Creek.” Austin Parks and Recreation staff are looking at innovative ways to deter this dangerous behavior. 

Learn how to Leave No Trace in Austin's natural spaces at AustinTexas.gov/LeaveNoTrace.  

Water Under the Bridge Part of EcosystemNo Jumping From Bridge SignBoaters Under Bridge

In the Parks
May 26, 2022 - 12:15 pm CDT

Eastwoods Park

Eastwoods Park has a notable history as the site of Wheeler’s Grove, one of Austin’s earliest Emancipation Parks where African Americans celebrated Juneteenth annually. One of Austin’s first public parks, it was formally opened to the public in 1930. In 1964, it became the first home of Eeyore’s Birthday Party.

The Juneteenth interpretive sign was proposed by the Eastwoods Neighborhood Association in 2021. The neighborhood association surveyed the surrounding community regarding support for the installation and funded the signage fabrication. The Lone Star Legacy designation was received in 2020. Both markers were installed in 2021 with the goal of having a joint ceremony on site to dedicate and celebrate.

Celebration of the Juneteenth Historical Interpretation Signage and Lone Star Legacy Award Plaque
Eastwoods Park, 3001 Harris Park Ave.
Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 11 a.m.

It is an outdoor park event, so please dress comfortably. 

In the Parks
May 04, 2022 - 11:41 am CDT

Sport

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is bringing back its youth basketball leagues for our upcoming summer basketball season. Youth co-ed recreational basketball is a great opportunity for participants to learn skills, practice teamwork and have fun while being physically active. This co-ed basketball league is structured to be a safe, recreational league aimed at beginner to intermediate players. This is a non-competitive league with volunteer coaches. Weekly practices are scheduled for eight weeks and are held at your registering  recreation center. A total of six games will be played in the season at the determined recreation center in each area. Game times, dates, and locations are subject to change based on total league enrollment.

Registration is required and will be  available May 1 though June 11. Program space is limited, and registration is first come, first served. $10 late fee will be applied for registration after June 4. There must be a minimum of 80% of the maximum participants registered in a division to conduct the league for that age group. Due to safety and fairness to the players, teams will not exceed the maximum number of participants. Each league will offer the following age divisions for registration : 6U (5-6 years old), 8U (7-8 years old), 10U (9-10 years old), and 12U (11-12 years old). Divisions are based off participants age as of January 1, 2022.

Registration costs are $40 for city of Austin residents and $70 for non-city of Austin residents. Financial  aid will be available for any eligible households. For more information related to financial aid please visit www.austintexas.gov/financialaid.

The program fee is refunded in full only if the class is canceled by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. 

Please visit your local community recreation center listed below for an opportunity to register.

North Austin Sites

Central Austin Sites

South Austin Sites

Sports

Sports

In the Parks
Apr 29, 2022 - 09:56 am CDT

CelebrASIA

Join us for CelebrASIA at the Asian American Resource Center at 8401 Cameron Rd. on Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This family-friendly festival is free and open to the public. There will be performance groups, musicians, and hands-on activities by AARC and community organizations. Lala's Kitchen, Mama Kong, Flavors of Guam, and Peace Bakery and Deli will be selling food on site. RSVP to the Facebook event or the Eventbrite event.

Get ready for performances from Lara Price Band, Austin Taiwanese Association, Myanmar Chin Cultural Unity, Formosa Association of Students Culture Ambassador (FASCA), Austin Japanese Minyo Group, Navrus School of Performing Arts, Baila Pacifica Entertainment, The Love of China, ATX Korean Dance Crew, Diversity Band, and Don Bosco Lion Dance! Asian Family Support Services of Austin, Austin Asian Community Health Initiative, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Dougherty Arts Center, George Washington Carver Museum, and Oakwood Cemetery are some of the local community organizations taking part in the celebration. CelebrASIA will also be an opportunity to learn more about the AARC Phase 2 Expansion Project and Performing Arts Center. 

The event will be outdoors with some indoor activities. There is no virtual event option this year. Please do not to attend if you or your family have been exposed to COVID, have a recent positive COVID diagnosis, or have been ill. Learn more about the AARC at AustinTexas.gov/AARC.

In the Parks
Apr 28, 2022 - 10:56 am CDT

Bonuses

Join Austin Parks and Recreation on Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM for a Hiring Open House to learn about summer job opportunities at any one of these 17 locations. We're hiring hundreds of lifeguards (ages 15+) and summer camp staff (ages 18+). Bring your ID. Job offers will be made on the spot!

Lifeguard and Aquatic Temp Jobs
Offering up to $1250 in bonuses for staff who meet the criteria. 

Summer Camp Staff
Get up to $750 in bonuses.  

Pay starts at $16/hour and increases with experience. Job benefits include paid sick leave, a free bus pass, and flexible scheduling. These temporary jobs are perfect for teenagers, college students, teachers on summer break, and retirees looking for a fun way to earn extra money.

We hire candidates from diverse origins, orientations, identities, and abilities. Apply now or tell someone you know about these great summer earning opportunities. 

Apply now or get more information about summer jobs and bonus criteria at AustinTexas.gov/SummerJobs.

Bonus

 

In the Parks
Apr 26, 2022 - 01:35 pm CDT

Aerial View of Parkland Near Downtown Austin

Why does Austin need a Commercial Parkland Dedication Ordinance? Parkland is an essential city service that affords well documented economic, recreational, physical, and mental health benefits to its users. Parks provide recreational opportunities, create community, preserve the city’s character and natural resources, contribute to economic growth and tourism, increase transportation opportunities, and keep Austin beautiful. Parkland, greenbelts and trails are essential to Austin’s character.

Parkland is utilized by more than just residents and hotel occupants, with commuting workforces adding to the demand for park services. In downtown Austin alone, there are 14,000 residents, but 96,000 employees that enjoy its parks (as of 2020). Overall, 58% of the city’s workforce (about 451K employees) commutes into town and uses parks before, during and after work. Those employees are not currently accounted for in the parkland dedication ordinance. Adjacency to parkland plays an influencing role in determining site locations for new commercial developments. Commercial developments receive direct benefits in the form of parks for employees, thereby attracting, expanding, and retaining their workforces, all while creating a greater demand for parks with the growth of those workforces. By enacting a new parkland dedication ordinance to create dedication requirements for office, retail, and industrial developments, the city would be able to continue to provide active and passive recreational opportunities near the places of employment, thereby advancing the health, safety, and general welfare of the workforce without asking Austin residents to pay more for parkland. 

Austin’s quality of life is routinely cited as an economic driver for workforce growth, and parkland plays a pivotal role in creating that high quality of life. The data shows that in Austin 11.11 jobs are created per $1 million of investment in off-street, multi-use trails (compared to 8.37 jobs per $1 million of investment in sidewalks). A new parkland dedication ordinance for office, retail, and industrial, and office development would ensure that Austin stays competitive in attracting jobs nationwide by continuing the current level of service for high-quality parks, trails, natural spaces, and recreational opportunities.

Austin is known for its trail system, but many greenbelts are incomplete due to private land ownership. Parkland dedication provides an opportunity to realize the greenbelt potential in Austin with the most stakeholder input recommended amenity in the Austin area, trails. Currently, office, retail, and industrial developments located in park deficient areas, along greenbelts, or adjacent to parks are not subject to the existing parkland dedication ordinance. PARD is not able to close critical gaps in greenbelt and trail infrastructure without negotiating the purchase of land on these types of development sites from willing sellers, even in sections of the commercial sites that are otherwise undevelopable.

Commercial parkland development requirements are present in cities throughout Texas including El Paso, Colleyville and Hutto. Commercial parkland requirements can be found throughout the rest of the country as well, including in Denver, Atlanta and Palo Alto. A Commercial Parkland Dedication Ordinance for office, retail, and industrial developments promotes the health, safety, and general welfare of the community and establishes an essential nexus and a rough proportionality of parkland dedication requirements. 

Watch a presentation to the Parks and Recreation Board about Parkland Dedication Ordinance for Commercial Developments.

Community Feedback and Education:  

PLD Commercial Project Webpage 

Speak UP Austin! PLD Commercial  

Community Survey 

Community Forum: Park Amenities and Impact of Parkland on You 

PLD Commercial Storymap 
 
Resources: 
City Council Resolution 20220407-042 
Study of Parkland Dedication Requirements for Commercial Uses 

 
Dedicated contact for feedback and to request more information: pld.commercial@austintexas.gov.  

In the Parks
Apr 15, 2022 - 11:08 am CDT

Austin Parks and Recreation hosted a ceremony to honor Joan Means Khabele on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Barton Springs Pool. After not being allowed to swim at her high school senior picnic, Khabele was the first Black person to jump into Barton Springs Pool in an act of civil disobedience. In doing so, she sparked a movement of swim-ins that took place on a weekly basis throughout the summer of 1960.

A performance by the Smooth and EZ dancers kicked off the ceremony. Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeely was the event MC. Speakers included Mayor Steve Adler, Dr. Larry Wallace, Chief of Staff to Mayor pro tem Natasha Harper-Madison, followed by Council Member Chito Vela, Council Member Ann Kitchen as well as Council Member Paige Ellis who read the City proclamation. Saundra Kirk, Joan’s contemporary, and Inonge Khabele, Joan’s daughter also spoke. Geraldo Perez of the Native American Church performed a water blessing ceremony.

Inonge Khabele speaking at the event to honor her monther

See More Photos

In the Parks
Apr 14, 2022 - 04:40 pm CDT

Join Austin Parks and Recreation on April 23 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM for a Hiring Open House to learn about summer job opportunities located at any one of these 18 locations. We're hiring hundreds of lifeguards (ages 15+), summer camp staff (ages 18+) and more. 

Pay starts at $15/hour for entry level positions and it increases with experience. Job benefits include paid sick leave, a free bus pass, and flexible scheduling. PLUS, Austin Parks and Recreation is offering a $250 sign-on bonus and a $500 Bonus for staff members who work from June through August.

$500 Summer Completion bonus for temp staff who meet the criteria

Austin Parks and Recreation is a robust and expanding department with opportunities for career growth at every stage of your career. We hire candidates from diverse origins, orientations, identities, and abilities.   

Learn more at AustinTexas.gov/ParkJobs.  

In the Parks
Mar 16, 2022 - 11:43 am CDT

Ceremonial Moment of Silence & Splash Honoring Joan Means Khabele 

We invite the community to come together for a ceremony at Barton Springs Pool on Saturday, April 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to honor Joan Means Khabele. Her courageous act of swimming in Barton Springs to protest segregation at the pool sparked the civil rights era swim-ins that eventually led to the desegregation of Barton Springs Pool. There will be free entry to the pool before 12 p.m. and free valet parking from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note that swimming will pause from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The event will include a proclamation, speakers, and water blessing ceremony performed by Geraldo Perez. The PBS documentary featuring Khabele talking about her swim at Barton Springs will be screened at the pool. Additionally, there will be listening booths set-up for community members to share oral histories and personal experiences regarding race and Barton Springs. The oral histories will become part of an exhibit, virtual and physical, that will be featured on site at the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center. Over the next few years, Austin Parks and Recreation will continue to collect diverse stories to tell the full history of Barton Springs. This is just the beginning.

Joan at school

Joan Elizabeth Means Khabele was an activist and scholar from Austin. Born at Holy Cross Hospital in East Austin, she attended Blackshear Elementary School and Kealing Junior High. She was among the third group of students to integrate Austin High School in the late 1950s. In her senior year, she was a student leader in activism that led to the integration of Barton Springs and Zilker Park. After not being allowed to swim at her high school senior picnic, she was the first Black person to jump into Barton Springs Pool in an act of civil disobedience. In doing so, she sparked a movement of swim-ins that took place on a weekly basis throughout the summer of 1960.

In this interview with Austin PBS, Khabele describes the measures she and others took to desegregate the iconic Austin landmark. 

In the Parks