Bird in a park

PROGRAMS

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department offers after school programs for the community that foster youth development in a safe and caring environment. The four core components include a healthy snack, active play, enrichment and homework help. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 2:45-6:00pm, except on City of Austin or school holidays. 

After School Programs

Discover local art and artists.  Watch a play under the stars or in a vibrant community theater. Visit a serene and natural setting from the work of a 20th century American sculptor.

Actors giving speeches, and dancers dancing. Apply To The FY2023 Artist Access Program

The City of Austin is currently accepting applications for the 2023 Artist Access Program.

Applications Open- October 15, 2021
Deadline to apply extended – December 22, 2021

Athletics organizes adult recreational leagues for men, women and co-ed teams. Athletics reserves the Krieg and Havins softball complexes. Athletics partners with non-profit Youth Sport Organizations to provide recreational opportunities to Austin youth. Athletics collaborates with Recreation Centers to set standards for Youth Sports leagues.

The Austin Civilian Conservation Corps (ACCC) helps Austinites who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 earn income, serve their community, and gain skills that can lead to strong new careers.

Information               Details               Calendar

Events in public parks create an opportunity for Austinites and visitors to enthusiastically celebrate what makes the city special and unique.  Festivals are created around desserts, appetizers, live music, local art, tacos, barbeque, moontowers, furry friends, and fitness to name just a few.

The City of Austin Cemetery Operations is a division of the Parks and Recreation Department and operates five municipal cemeteries and maintains two family cemeteries: Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, Oakwood Annex Cemetery, and Plummers Cemetery. The family cemeteries include the cemetery at Longview Park and the Stanley-Nolen Cemetery at Garrison Park.

Cemetery Operations is located at Austin Memorial Park and the staff manages the grounds, administrative operations, burials, and historic resources.

The Department has a permit process, fees, and requirements for regularly scheduled activities that enhance the park experience at select sites.  Permits are required for all trainers/activities regardless if per fee classes are charged or not to a consumer.

Activities covered allowed under this process include:

  • health and fitness consultants,
  • dog trainers, yoga instructors,
  • bicycle tour groups (non-motorized), and
  • other outdoor professional service providers.

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.

The Community Garden Program helps groups start new gardens and provides support for existing community garden on city owned land. Nonprofit program partners also provide vital support through grants, volunteer coordination, and liability insurance.

Community gardens are long term stewardship projects where people come together to care for land. They include gardens with individual plots, food forests, community orchards, teaching gardens, and gardens that are communally tended.

Austin is a vibrant, unique, and passionate community. Our city is known for its 300 plus parks and the amazing community members, nonprofits, civic groups, and business partners who help to build and maintain them. The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is dedicated to creating diverse programs and experiences in sustainable natural spaces and public places, and we value your interest in helping us achieve those goals.

The Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of programs for youth and teens, adults and 50+ seniors at our Community Recreation Centers. Youth programs include camps, sports, art clubs, teen events, toddler sports, and youth sports hosted year round.  Adult and senior classes include anything from arts and crafts and aerobics to pickleball, citywide events, and field trips. Recreation Centers provide a comprehensive menu of activities and events for all ages and abilities to come together, connect with each other and create community through various experiences.

Information on the Austin Parks and Recreation Department concession services and program.

  1. Permanent Concessions (existing or new requests)
  2. Special Event Concessions
  3. Temporary (seasonal) Concessions
  4. Commercial Use of Dedicated Parkland (fitness/yoga groups, professional trainers, non-motorized tour group services, or similar)

The arts school provides a variety of classes and camps for adults and youth. Call 512-974-4040 or select one of the following links to view additional information:

Register Online

National Golf Foundation Study

Austin Parks & Recreation contracted the National Golf Foundation to conduct a study of the City of Austin’s Golf System. The NGF was charged with the following 1) review the City’s golf operations 2) submit recommendations to improve efficiency of operations, and 3) make a determination on the future market potential of its golf facilities. The NGF report has now been completed and the full report will be posted shortly, please check back.

 

Family Fitness

The Health Promotions Unit is committed to providing lifelong recreational, cultural and educational opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles and environments which create a sustainable and livable community. The Health Promotions Unit supports active, healthy living by offering free programs to the Austin community.

PARD’s Historic Preservation and Tourism Program (HPT) leads the restoration, stewardship, interpretation and promotion of the irreplaceable historic and cultural resources of Austin’s park system allowing visitors and residents to discover and experience an authentic connection to the city’s diverse history.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department provides opportunities wherein all individuals are accepted, included and welcomed to participate, play and recreate together. Individuals interested in additional services are encouraged to request modifications to participate in our programs.

Austin Parks and Recreation Department internships provide that critical link between the academic setting and the work environment.  They enable students to explore areas of interest and apply their knowledge to determine the appropriate work environments that best match their skills and abilities.

Bonuses $750-$1250 For Staff Who Meet the Criteria

Lifeguard and Aquatic Temp Jobs $16/hour

Signing Bonus of $500 to be paid mid-season to lifeguards and temporary aquatic staff who:

The Memorial Bench Program is being redeveloped. Visit this page again in late-Spring of 2022 for updated information. Please send any questions to ParknershipsInfo@AustinTexas.gov.

The Museums and Cultural Programs Division provides safe and inclusive spaces where people explore creativity and identity through the arts, histories and cultures of Austin and the world. We promote civic engagement through festivals, performances, exhibitions, social practice, camps, workshops and classes.

Austin PARD contracted the NGF to conduct a study of the City of Austin’s Golf System. The NGF was charged with the following 1) review the City’s golf operations 2) submit recommendations to improve efficiency of operations, and 3) make a determination on the future market potential of its golf facilities. The NGF report has been completed is now available, please click here for the report.

Austin’s preserve system began in 1935 with the creation of Zilker Nature Preserve.  Over the years, the City of Austin has acquired over 2513 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.

Looking for a job that's more than just a job? 

Our team creates diverse programs and experiences in sustainable natural spaces and public places and offers essential support and maintenance services.

The Chapel is a visitor center where we can, as an act of remembrance, learn about our cultural heritage through the people who were buried in the surrounding cemetery. Genealogy reveals our forebearers' influence on the past and future. We share and collect individual narratives to create a framework for the collective human story. 

Austin Parks and Recreation provides several off leash areas for you to enjoy with your dog. Generally, parks are open for public use each day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise posted. Access can be limited or affected by events or maintenance issues.

The City of Austin Park Ranger are ambassadors Austin parks who promote responsible recreation.

New Commercial Parkland Dedication Ordinance

PARD has many committed nonprofit partners who assist with coordinating volunteer opportunities on parkland. Check out our partner’s websites below to find an opportunity that best fits what you’re looking for!

The Office of Special Events coordinates picnic and facility reservations, large special events/festivals, temporary concessions and commercial filming/photography requests within the Austin Parks and Recreation system.

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.

What is Pickleball?

A paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. It's a game for everyone!

Global Grooves. Austin Moves.

Connect with culture & celebrate Austin's rich diversity of music and dance.

The Aquatic Division operates 45 public aquatic facilities, which includes 7 Regional pools, 3 Community pools, 22 Neighborhood pools, 1 Wading pool, Barton Springs Pool and 11 splash pads.  In addition to coordinating open water events and swim team competitions, we also offer instructional programs such as masters swimlifeguard and water safety training

The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) values sustainability and resiliency and works hard to maintain our park spaces clean and inviting for Austinites and our visitors.  We aim to minimize waste generation through source reduction, recycling or composting in order to both reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, as well as reduce costs for disposal of trash.  Our goal is to ensure that our parks and facilities are compliant with 

Roving Leaders teach life skills and incorporate social-emotional learning to explore difficult topics teens encounter daily, such as violence, addiction and peer pressure. Youth are given a safe space to practice problem solving and encouraged to use critical thinking skills. The philosophy of the program is to aid and enhance the quality of life for the teens of Austin by providing a variety of quality recreation, education and cultural activities.

Senior Transportation Program operated by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation (PARD), Centralized Programs Division, Senior Programs. PARD has operated the Senior Transportation Program for over 30 years through the City of Austin general fund and grant funding provided by the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG). Goal: To provide a special system of transportation to enhance the quality of life and promote independence for persons 60 years or older residing within Austin city limits

 

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of Varsity Generation programs and services for people 50 years of age and older. Activities include traveling, pursuing old hobbies and learning new ones, socializing with friends, meeting new people, increasing knowledge, becoming and staying physically fit, supplementing income, contributing to the community and much more!

Slacklining is the sport of walking a small, flat nylon rope between two anchor points.  The most common anchor points for slackline ropes are between two trees.  

We are excited to announce the launch of Summer Camp 2022. Austin Parks and Recreation provides accessible, diverse, and inclusive summer camps, and now offers early registration for community participants who qualify for financial aid, adaptive and inclusion support programs. There are camps for youth (ages 5 to 12) and for teens (ages 12 to 15) at select locations.  

Camp Counselor with Youth

The Summer Playgrounds Program seeks to foster healthy living, character building, and teamwork through collaborative and active play. With intentional programming developed specifically for youth ages 6 to 12, the Summer Playgrounds Program creates a space for youth to engage in activities that provides opportunities for youth to learn tools and develop skills that can help lead them to a higher quality of life.

The recreational Swim Team program is organized to develop the potential and serve the recreational needs of youth who are interested in learning about competitive swimming.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs for teens that encourage development through active play, outdoor exploration, the arts, critical thinking, and leadership activities. Teen Recreation programs offer participants a way to interact and create friendships with other teens around the city.

The purpose of the municipal tennis centers is to offer year-round tennis play and supervised tennis activities to the community through comprehensive programs for all ages.

Therapeutic Recreation Services Program Participants

Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is proud to offer Therapeutic Recreation Services to provide safe, accessible, fun and supportive recreation environments for all persons no matter their abilities. PARD’s Therapeutic Recreation Services include both adaptive and inclusive programs which are facilitated and supported by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS).

Totally Cool, Totally Art (TCTA) is a free after school art program that takes place in 12 recreation centers throughout Austin. While providing teens, grades 7th-12th, a chance to discover the wonders of self-expression through a multitude of mediums.

Austin’s urban forest provides millions of dollars annually in social, economic, and environmental benefits to the community and enhances the quality of life for Austin residents.  Our community's tree resource is an integral part of what makes Austin one of the most attractive cities in the country.  As the city continues to grow and develop the urban forest remains an integral part of the Austin landscape, quietly performing as one of our most invaluable community members and infrastructure components.

Wildlife Austin promotes the creation and conservation of wildlife habitats through community-wide collaboration and public education, and helps bridge existing city initiatives that encourage a well balanced and healthy urban environment for people and wildlife. Austin has a long track record of being dedicated to preserving and enhancing our environment. All of us have an important role to play! We all can make a profound contribution to keep Austin wild!

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is fortunate to have volunteers who execute youth sports programs on behalf of the City. View the Youth Sports Austin website for information on available youth sports in the Austin area.

The Zilker Holiday Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs - totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians. At its circumference, the tree measures 380 feet. The diameter is 120 feet.

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