The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is dedicated to serving the individuals, community groups, and non-profits that make Austin such a vibrant city. Our city is renowned for its 300 plus parks, which are built and maintained in collaboration with the amazing community members who call Austin home. The goal of the Community PARKnerships Program is to assist members of the Austin community in creating their own visions of public space.  

The Community PARKnerships Program encompasses opportunities to coordinate community-led clean-ups, facilitate activities, and propose and advocate for park enhancements. By leveraging resources, volunteer time, and talent, we are able to enhance Austin’s parks and help grow a sense of community and stewardship. We encourage you to explore the programs below. By working together, we create community! 

The PARD Community PARKnership initiative encompasses the following programs:

Parkland Stewardship

Groups and individuals can participate in environmental stewardship on their local parkland.  From creek clean-ups to mulching and invasive removal, there are opportunities for everyone. In fiscal year 2023, over 11,900 volunteers participated in parkland stewardship. Together, we planted 1,478 trees and removed 82,698 lbs of litter. Check out our partner’s websites to find an opportunity that best fits what you’re looking for! 

Adopt-A-Park Program

The success of our parks system depends on the support, assistance, advocacy and enthusiasm of the public as stewards of their parks. The Adopt-A-Park Program helps people like you become those stewards through a collaborative partnership between the Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD) and Austin Parks Foundation (APF). The goal of this program is to build community pride and ownership around every neighborhood park in Austin. As of 2024, 75 groups have adopted parks, and another 104 eligible parks are not yet adopted.

Community Activated Park Projects

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department is proud to offer the Community Activated Park Projects program for our neighborhood groups and partners. Community Activated Park Projects (CAPPs) provide an opportunity for neighbors, non-profits, community groups and partners implement park improvement projects that meet community priorities. 

Learn more about the CAPP program and the steps to propose and fund improvements in your neighborhood park. 


Non-profit organizations, conservancies, community groups and businesses are invited and encouraged to partner with the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to enhance and improve parks, increase recreational and cultural opportunities and preserve natural areas in Austin. 

At Austin Parks and Recreation we are committed to partnerships that align with our overall mission and provide benefit to the public and the Austin parks system. This program helps to connect PARD to the many organizations and businesses that represent Austin's community. Our PARKners are integral in park programming, maintenance, and development. 

Cities Connecting Children to Nature

Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) is a national initiative that seeks to create more equitable and abundant access to nature in cities through a partnership between The National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and the Children & Nature Network. CCCN supports robust citywide action plans to implement policy, develop new partnerships, amplify nature-based programming, and create more equitable nature access. The initiative seeks to ensure that a connection to nature becomes an integral part of city priorities, planning and policymaking across a range of areas, including community health and wellness, education, out-of-school time programming, job creation, transportation and land use. Austin is one of 18 cities that is part of the CCCN national cohort.

School Parks

A School Park, often known as a Joint-Use Site, is an outdoor space next to a school that is available to the public during non-school hours through an interlocal agreement between City of Austin (COA) and Austin Independent School District (AISD). These outdoor spaces are special purpose parks with recreational amenities responding first to the student population, then to the neighborhood. They are co-owned and co-managed between both AISD and COA. Because of the co-ownership of the park grounds and associated amenities, maintenance services and improvements are provided by AISD and COA. 

School Parks are free and open to the public outside of the school day during the AISD school district calendar (7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday). On weekends, holidays, and summer months School Parks are open to the public from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

More ways to get involved: