This is a community-driven project that aims to fulfill the purposes of the Austin Memorial Park cemetery by improving and preserving the property by allowing a natural respite to pray, meditate, or reflect in ways that honor those who are interred here while also contributing ecological benefit to the cemetery property. District 7

Image of open area at Austin Memorial Park with flowers and trees in background

Background

Austin Memorial Park was established in 1927 and houses the Cemetery Operations offices. The lawn cemetery is more than 80 acres with multiple areas still unused for burials.

In the fall of 2021, community leaders approached the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) about the possibility of expanding upon the purposes of the cemetery by adding to the natural beauty of the space and expanding how those interred can be honored. Recognizing the alignment with historical cemetery use as well as the Cemetery Vision Plan, PARD agreed to support these efforts to improve the space.

Project Description

The prairie restoration project is a community-led initiative exploring ways to provide habitat restoration to unused areas in Austin Memorial Park Cemetery (AMP). Spaces will be identified by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) with community support provided in the implementation of the prairie restoration.

The project aims to fulfill the purposes of the Austin Memorial Park cemetery by improving and preserving the property by allowing a natural respite to pray, meditate, or reflect in ways that honor those who are interred here while also contributing ecological benefit to the cemetery property. 

The project also supports the Cemetery Vision Plan and sustainability by:

  • expanding its relationship with the community through everyday use thereby leading to increased awareness and support for the cemetery; 
  • providing appropriate opportunities for passive activities and programming; and
  • highlighting the particular aspect of nature within the cemetery.

Anticipated Timeline

  1. Interest Assessment: November to January 2022 (Complete)
  2. Prairie Planning: February to March 2022 (Complete)
  3. Prairie Implementation: Begins Spring 2022 (Ongoing)

Community Engagement

In accordance with the Community Engagement Plan (PDF), the Prairie Project community engagement process will:

  • Provide information to community about AMP projects.
  • Share feedback and input received by community members.
  • Obtain additional community input on the locations, possible purposes and additional questions.
  • Provide ongoing updates through the process and project completion.

1. Interest Assessment

During the initial phase, PARD received stakeholder feedback on community proposal for habitat restoration in unused portions of AMP. The initial survey was open from 

2. Prairie Planning

Virtual Community Meeting
Thursday, March 10, 2022, 6:30 p.m.
Recording of meeting
Presentation (PDF, 13 MB)

Follow-up Questionnaire Results (PDF)

3. Prairie Implementation

During implementation, PARD will keep the community informed by providing updates to stakeholders engaged or interested in the process.

Contact Information

For additional information, please contact Caitlen Hill, Cemeteries Program Manager, at programs_conservation@austintexas.gov or by phone at 512-978-2320.