The Preliminary Plan for Duncan Neighborhood Park was completed in May 2017 in partnership with Shoal Creek Conservancy. Park improvements are substantially complete and this project is open to the public. District 9



Duncan Neighborhood Park is located northwest of downtown along the Shoal Creek Greenbelt and is largely surrounded by residential and commercial spaces. For over 75 years, Duncan Park has served the local community. Defined by its riparian habitat, nature trail, and panoramic views of the skyline, the Duncan Park Improvement Project seeks to enhance these unique amenities with infrastructure and programmatic upgrades to meet the current and future needs of the community. The implementation effort underway is led by community voices, which have expressed what amenities should be enhanced, which ones should be added, and how the park can best serve its public.

In 2010, the Downtown Parks and Open Space Master Plan (PDF, 25 MB) was published which included program ideas for Duncan Park. In the summer of 2014, an engineering survey was performed at Duncan Park as an inventory of existing conditions. The Preliminary Plan builds on this base information to create a detailed, obtainable plan for future development.

Preliminary Plan (PDF)

Project Description

The Implementation Phase proposed a green retreat in the city by preserving the multi-use lawn as the highlight of the park. The grading and soil was adjusted to improve turf growth and drainage and the sidewalk loops around it, connecting the new park entry plazas at 9th and 10th Streets with the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail. An alternate entrance on 9th street utilizes the a boardwalk that extends over the wetland. The current wetland collects water from two ephemeral seeps as well as stormwater from the park and adjacent office buildings offsite. The wetland naturally holds and filters the water of pollutants before it travels through the soil to the creek. The wetland was regraded and planted to improve ecological function and wildlife habitat. A bat house was installed in the wetland to contribute to wildlife habitat, keep local insect populations in check, and provide educational experiences to park visitors.  

The entry on 9th Street was moved to align directly with the entry to the bike area across the street, providing safer pedestrian access. The entry on 10th Street includes a water fountain and both entries will feature bike racks, waste and recycling receptacles, and places to gather or rest, including picnic tables, seat walls, and benches. A set of limestone blocks will be set into the grassy slope in the northeast corner to provide views of the park and large seating for any future functions. Two wildflower meadows separate the lawn from the creek trail while also providing a pollinator habitat and seasonally changing visual interest.

A restroom is not proposed at this time, however, space for it to be built in the future is set aside on land that is out of the floodplain and out of the critical root zones of the heritage trees. The heritage trees on-site, including ancient live oaks, were preserved and highlighted with the design. Invasive plants were removed and replaced with plants that would historically have been part of the Blackland Prairie, particularly a riparian edge or ephemeral wetland. The sidewalks leading up to the entrance were widened and planted with street trees to provide shade to pedestrians. Other shade and ornamental trees were planted throughout the site to provide views, visual interest, and wildlife habitat, and contribute to the overall landscape of the park.

Duncan Neighborhood Park Implementation Plan. Image shows added trash receptacles, bike racks, ADA accessibility, picnic tables, access to wetland

Project Timeline

  • Fall 2016: Project Initiation
  • Spring 2017: Preliminary Plan
  • Summer 2022: Construction Documents
  • Fall 2022: Permitting and Bid Phase 
  • Spring 2023: Construction Started
  • Spring 2024: Construction Completed

Community Engagement

The community engagement process leading up to the final Preliminary Plan included online surveys, on-site canvassing, and two public workshops. PARD worked closely with Shoal Creek Conservancy and the community to ensure that the preliminary plan implements the goals and objectives envisioned by the community.

Concept Workshop
April 12, 2017, 12:00-1:30 PM
Duncan Neighborhood Park, 900 W 9th Street

Visioning Workshop
November 16, 2016, 5:30-7:00 PM,
Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek

It's My Park Day Survey, March 15, 2016
Survey Results (PDF)

View feedback on the implementation phase (closed August 16, 2020)

Funding and Resources

This project was funded by the 2012 Prop 14 Park Bond and the 2018 Prop C Park Bond.

Contact Information

For additional information, please contact Reynaldo Hernandez by email or phone at (512) 974-9464.