The original land on which Mendez Recreation Center is located was acquired by a bond purchase in 1933. The present center opened in 1972 and was renamed after Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez, a pillar of East Austin and former program specialist. The existing facility was built in 1972 through matching funds from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and Model Cities funds. The facility includes a main building, playground, outdoor stage, tennis court, covered outdoor basketball court, picnic tables, and is located just off the Hike & Bike Trail. Satellite facilities adjacent to Festival Beach include tennis courts and lighted ball fields.
The Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez Recreation Center offers a wide variety of programs for youth, adults, seniors as well as fun community events throughout the year. Youth programs include After School Program, Girl Scouts (Troop 2407), youth sport clinics and leagues, Toddler sport programs, out-of-school-time camps, summer camp and more! Adult programs include a FREE Seniors program for 50+ adults, Coed and women’s kickball, sport leagues and tournaments, ceramics classes and a FREE core exercise class. Mendez Recreation Center also offers Teen Camp for teens ages 12-15 during the summer. Community events include Movie under the Stars during the summer, Community Easter Egg Hunt, Cinco De Mayo Fiesta, 4th of July Celebration, Community Halloween Carnival, Dog Extravaganza, Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Night Before Christmas with Santa and Youth Valentines Dance. One event every month to bring the community together for a good time at the park!