The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is currently receiving feedback on the renaming of Payton Gin Pocket Park to Heron Hollow Pocket Park. The park is located at 801 Payton Gin Road. Since its creation in the early 2000s, this site has been referred to as both “Payton Gin Pocket Park” and “Heron Hollow Pocket Park.” The Parks and Recreation Board (PARB) recognizes the previously held process to name the park Heron Hollow and gave direction at its May 25, 2021 meeting (Item B5) to initiate additional community engagement, as outlined in current municipal code,  to supplement the process that took place in the early 2000s.

Background

On June 29, 2000, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance adopting the North Austin Civic Association (NACA) Neighborhood Plan. Amongst other actions, this Neighborhood Plan called for the creation of a pocket park at the Old Fiskville site located at Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road. The Plan also called for assistance to recognize the site as a local historical site.

In the early 2000s, NACA conducted a contest and community engagement process to name the park. “Heron Hollow Park” was the name that was selected; however, the renaming was never memorialized by PARD and there is no archive of this process. As a result, the Department refers to this site as the Payton Gin Pocket Park because of its geographical location.

Following the reaffirmation of NACA’s commitment to the name, NACA requested that PARD officially rename the park to “Heron Hollow Pocket Park.” In addition to the history of public engagement, testimony, and recorded meetings that are considered to be evidence supporting the name Heron Hollow, PARD is now initiating an expedited engagement process to ensure that we are receiving current feedback from the community.

Renaming a Park Facility

Austin City Code Section 14-1-39 identifies the process by which a park facility can be named or renamed. In this case, NACA submitted a nomination for renaming Payton Gin Pocket Park to Heron Hollow based upon past community work to change the name. As a result of this nomination the following process is taking place:

  1. In order to promote community engagement and input from community members, immediately on receipt of notice from the director, the PARD shall take reasonable steps to inform persons who are likely to have an interest in the naming of the facility.
  2. This notice begins the 90-day period where PARD will receive comments regarding the nomination. PARD considers the 90-day period for this process to have begun in late 2020, when members of the community began engaging the Mayor and Council. Department staff further engaged with members of the NACA Board on April 28, 2021 to discuss the renaming process.
  3. As soon as practicable after the deadline for receiving nominations and endorsements, the director shall submit completed nominations and endorsements to the chair of the Parks and Recreation Board (PARB).
  4. On receipt of the nominations and endorsements, PARB shall schedule and conduct a public hearing on renaming the facility.
  5. The Parks and Recreation Board shall make a written recommendation to the Council not later than the 45th day after the date the chair receives the nominations and endorsements, and shall provide a copy of the recommendation to the city manager.
  6. The city manager shall provide each council member a copy of PARB's recommendation and the nominations and endorsements received by the director. The city manager shall place an item on the council's agenda as soon as practicable after PARB makes its recommendation.

Community Engagement

During the renaming process, community members can provide their feedback and comments.

Renaming the Park Survey (closed June 16, 2021)

Pop-ups at the Park
PARD set up at the park on two Saturdays to share about the renaming process with visitors to the park.

  • Saturday, June 5, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m. to noon

Contact Information

For additional information or questions, please contact Sammi Curless.