Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is excited to launch the new and improved Community Activated Park Projects Program (formally Community Initiated Project). PARD’s goal for the Community Activated Park Projects program (CAPP) is to streamline the proposal process for our nonprofit partners and community member’s seeking to initiate improvements on parkland.  CAPP proposals will be reviewed on a quarterly basis by the PARD Review Committee (some exceptions apply – please read the proposal form for details). The proposal encompasses all phases of project inception.

Infographic text reads: Community Activates Park Projects in 5 Stages. Stage 1: Submit A Proposal - Submitting organizaiton provides details, scope, & graphics of project. Stage 2: Internal Review - Feasability, implementation, & maintenance are considered. Stage 3: Site Visit - Submitting organization and City staff meet no-site to review feasability and determine next steps. Stage 4: Partner seeks funding and community support - If supported by PARD, submitting organization seeks funding and community support for project implemenation. Stage 5: Implementation - PARD supports the group with community engagement, design, permitting, improvement agreements, and execution.

 

Photos of Previous CAPP Projects

The Geo Sign at the summit of Mt. Bonnell. The sign is at the edge of a concrete platform with trees visible behind the sign. The sign has a panoramic image of the Colorado River and text and graphs that are illegible at the distance the photo was taken.

Mt. Bonnell GeoSign at the summit of Mt. Bonnell illustrating the geological processes that shaped Mt. Bonnell over millions of years. Installed as part of the Texas GeoSign project. Project led by the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT Austin.

A playscape called "Territories." It consists of several sections of repurposed 36" diameter drainage pipe, some covered by thick rope cargo net.

The Fortlandia installation, "territories.", originally located at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and relocated to Butler Trail. The fort establishes a series of shelters, or territories, which are meant to expose infinite ways to tunnel, crawl, claim, and discover space. Project led by the Trail Foundation.

Top down view of a field. Colored squares are painted on the field in a 5 x 16 grid. Several people are occupying some of the squares.

P A R K S P A C E can be found in several locations: the Bat Observation Area, Long Center, Pease Park, Republic Square, Roy Guerrero Colorado River Park, and Zilker Metropolitan Park. A project led by the Austin Foundation for Architecture and AIA Austin, P A R K S P A C E is an intervention that helps visualize social distancing guidelines in Austin’s parks and green spaces.

A gravel path running through a garden. Plants can be seen on the right and left. There is a fence in the back of the photo, and people can be seen along the fence behind the plants on the left.

The Reilly School Park SEL Gardens are located at Reilly Elementary School. The gardens are designed to bring restorative ecosystem functions as well as intergenerational learning elements through the plants and workshops. The project was led by Austin Independent School District.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Community Activated Park Projects (CAPP) Program? 

Community Activated Park Projects (CAPP) provide an opportunity for neighbors, non-profits, community groups and partners to raise funds and in-kind contributions to implement park improvement projects that align to PARD goals and meet community priorities. The goal of the CAPP Program is to create community ownership and stewardship on parkland. CAPP is a program under the Parks and Recreation Department Community PARKnerships Program.

What is the Community PARKnerships Program?

The Community PARKnerships Program coordinates the efforts of partners and volunteers to enhance Austin’s parks while providing a sense of community and stewardship. Through the PARKnerships program, community members and business partners can adopt their park, participate in volunteer days, propose enhancements at their local park, and donate resources.

Opportunities for Community PARKnerships involvement include:

Where can I find the CAPP project proposal form?

The English, Spanish, and PDF forms can be found on the CAPP webpage.

English CAPP Online Proposal Form; Spanish (Español) CAPP Online Proposal Form; PDF

What does the CAPP process look like?

The CAPP process is described as follows:

  1. Fill out and submit CAPP proposal form
  2. Form is reviewed for feasibility by City staff on a timeline that is based on the project
  3. budget, site constraints, and grantor deadlines
  4. City staff will schedule and attend a site visit with the project community member
  5. If project is deemed feasible, apply for, and receive, project funding
  6. Project implementation 
How long does the CAPP process take, from the moment the proposal form is submitted to
the completion of the project?

Every project differs from start to finish. Projects that are less than $2,000 are reviewed monthly and projects that are greater than $2,000 are reviewed quarterly (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1). Additionally, feasibility reviews differ based on project scope, site, and staff availability. Throughout the process, PARD staff will update the submitter on the project status and next steps.

What types of projects are proposed through the CAPP program?
  • Playscape replacements
  • Nature play installations
  • Park furniture
  • Nature trail installations
  • Invasive species removal
  • Environmental stewardship opportunities
  • Interpretive signage installations
Where can CAPP projects be implemented? How do I know if the area is City of Austin
parkland?

CAPP projects must take place on City of Austin parkland. If unsure whether a greenspace is an Austin park or not, refer to the PARD Interactive Map.

Does my idea need to be fully formed before submitting a CAPP?

No, but the more detail you provide the better equipped we will be to direct your next steps.

Do I need to show community support before submitting a CAPP proposal?

No. PARD encourages gathering community support after your proposal has been reviewed for feasibility. This helps ensure that the project is viable before promising parkland improvement implementations.

Please note that although PARD does not require community support in the CAPP proposal, some grant programs may require demonstrations of community support in their grant application process. 

Do I need to secure funding in order to submit a CAPP proposal?

No. It is recommended that funding be sought after the project is deemed feasible by City staff. This is to allow for discussion and clear understanding of what has been approved and what the underlying costs of the project will be prior to starting a fundraising campaign or submitting a grant proposal. Not all projects on parkland require funding to be implemented (invasive removal, native plantings, art pieces), but undergoing the CAPP process is still required.

Do all CAPPs require funding?

No, not all CAPPs require funding to be implemented, but the CAPP process is still required. Examples of this include invasive species removal, native plantings, and art pieces. 

If needed, where can I find funding for my project?

The funding resources listed below can assist in bringing your project to life:

When will my proposal be reviewed for feasibility?

Before moving forward with the proposed project, PARD staff must review the proposal in order to determine its viability. Questions considered during this step include:

  • Does the project align with PARD and community goals for the park?
  • Does the project have community support?
  • Does the proposed project conflict with existing City of Austin plans or ordinances?
  • Does the project have high maintenance requirements?
  • Have funding sources for the proposed project been identified?

Proposal forms are reviewed based on your project’s estimated budget:

  • Projects that are less than $2,000 are reviewed monthly
  • Projects that are greater than $2,000 are reviewed quarterly
What do we do at a site visit?

After the CAPP proposal passes through the review process, City staff will meet with the project organizer at the proposed project park site. The purpose of the site visit is to walk through the site and discuss feasibility and scope of the proposed project.

Are any other forms required?

Projects occurring on joint use school parks must also submit AISD’s Schoolyard Improvement Plan form. An approved CAPP form is required prior to submitting a grant application for improvements on parkland.

This proposal form provides PARD and the Review Committee the relevant information to understand, research, and review the project for feasibility. Proposed CAPP projects over $2,000.00 are reviewed on a quarterly basis (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1).

Contact

For additional information or assistance, please contact Christine Chute Canul by email or phone at 512-974-9515.