Donde Corre El Agua, or Where the Water Runs, is a community initiated proposal to improve parkland in the Williamson Creek Greenbelt. The project began when three long-time residents, Blanca Ortíz, Elena Rodríguez and Enedina Sánchez, adopted a section of Williamson Creek in the Dove Springs neighborhood. The site is a forested area along the creek where homes stood until a major flooding event in the 90’s. Elders in the Dove Springs neighborhood hold memories of the flood, but also of strolls in the park, candying pecans and maintaining the forested area with their families. In 2020, seeing that the park was in need of improvement, the Creek Adopters initiated a project to transform the natural area. Community members reached out to Go Austin, Vamos Austin (GAVA), Urban Roots, and the Community and Regional Planning program at the University of Texas at Austin. Together they initiated an imaginative and collaborative project. Throughout the process, community members of Dove Springs mapped the area, documented residents’ perspectives on the park, engaged in multi-generational dialogue, and designed prototypes for murals and interpretive signs. Read more about the community proposed project below or visit the plan webpage.

image collage: children drawing site plans on a picnic table, the Williamson Creek floodwall, a rendered image of a girl riding her bike on a new trail next to community gardens

Site History

Although the site was originally developed for housing, the consistent flooding made it a dangerous area to live. In 2001, the City of Austin acquired the land and constructed a floodwall to protect the rest of the neighborhood. Since then, residents have utilized the sites for natural trails and gathering areas. Today, partners from across the city are working together to develop a park that will be meaningful for members of the Dove Springs Community.  


This project was initiated and carried out by community members. After building partnerships, community members began to share their personal memories and knowledge of Dove Springs and channeled those ideas to develop the park design alongside planning professionals and students. Interviews and structured walks through the park provided opportunities for community members to share their experiences of the space, and photography, mental mapping, drawing and participatory design methods helped facilitate the community activated park project proposal.  

Community Engagement

The Dove Springs neighborhood was engaged through a series of collaborative processes from July to November 2020, including a series of meetings to develop the research and design process, site visits, an amenity preference survey, mural design and interpretive sign drawing sessions, and workshops to analyze the information that was collected. An important aspect was that youth and elders worked together to share their hopes for the space and their memories of experiences there. After a discussion of the area’s history with elders, local youth designed murals and incorporated themes that felt important for their neighborhood. These drawings are included in the final report.

Future Plans

Throughout the community engagement process, excitement was generated for many aspects of the park’s plan. An important theme was the preservation of cultural heritage and the history of the neighborhood. These themes are expressed by the community proposals such as the new mural, painted over a section of the floodwall. Interpretive signage has also been proposed throughout the park, with information on things like how to shell candy pecans, an activity that several community members remembered from their childhoods. To make the park more welcoming from the street, a new entryway has been proposed for the site. New trails are also proposed, with amenities such as play areas and benches lining the paths. These amenities will help the park become a gathering and learning center for the Dove Springs neighborhood. The project is currently under review for feasibility, and funds are being sought from the Neighborhood Partnering program.  

  • July - November 2020: Community based research and outreach 
  • January - May 2021: Synthesis of findings and generation of report 
  • Project is currently under review for feasibility 

a children's drawing of an entryway for Williamson Creek Park, a rendering of an entryway for Williamson Creek Park


Community Resources 

Neighborhood Partnering Program

  • Through the Public Works Department, community groups and members can propose changes to the public spaces where people live, work, and play.  

Community Activated Park Projects (CAPP)

  • CAPP provides an opportunity for neighbors, non-profits, and community groups to raise funds and in-kind contributions to implement park improvement projects that align to Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) goals and meet community priorities.  


  • The Adopt-A-Park Program helps citizens like you become park stewards through a partnership between the Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD) and Austin Parks Foundation (APF).  



For additional information or assistance, please get in touch with the following contacts 

The Department of Parks and Recreation: Christine Chute Canul,, (512) 974-9515 

Go Austin Vamos Austin!: Frances Acuña,