Austin’s preserve system began in 1935 with the creation of Zilker Nature Preserve.  Over the years, the City of Austin has acquired over 2200 acres of preserve land.  Preserve land is a unique type of park land that is set aside because it provides essential endangered species habitat, includes a unique natural feature such as a cave or stream, or provides a prime example of a specific type of ecosystem.  Preserve land is set aside by either purchasing property from private or commercial land owners, if an area is designated as endangered species habitat or if it is deeded to the city.

NOTICE:  Bikes and dogs (either on leash or off) are not allowed in preserves.

Zilker Nature Preserve

Several sub-types of the Edwards Plateau and Texas Blackland Prairies ecoregions are represented in the Austin area. The first of these is the Balcones Canyonlands section of the Edwards Plateau, which makes up the western portion of the City. The Northern Blackland Prairie section of the Texas Blackland Prairies then makes up most of the eastern portion, except for the areas in the eastern portion directly around the Colorado River basin, which represent the Floodplains and Low Terraces section of the Texas Blackland Prairie. At least one representative sample from each of these sections has been designated as a preserve.


Specific Preserve Partnership Sites:

Nature Based Programs

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of opportunities both indoors and out of doors that connect participants to nature and our natural spaces. Join the excitement, and open the door to adventure and exploration with the department's Nature Based Programs.

Nature Based Programs Division offers a variety of programs and services in the following units: