Parks and Recreation and Animal Services announce changes to services.
Two City of Austin departments are adjusting operations to continue providing services to residents while ensuring public health and safety in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Animal Services Office (ASO) will begin offering adoption of dogs to the general public with appointment-only curbside meet and greets at the Austin Animal Center, beginning Friday, May 8.
And the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is introducing safety measures to manage attendance at three major City parks, also from May 8, as the Austin community continues to fight the spread of the disease.
In support of a phased-in approach to opening our economy, City operations remain on modified work schedules until May 29.
Animal Services Office
Animal Services will begin offering adoption of dogs to the general public via appointment beginning Friday, May 8. Adopters can view adoptable dogs on the Austin Animal Center website, choose up to two dogs to meet and then contact ASOAnimalAdoptions@austintexas.gov to schedule an appointment. Upon arrival at their appointment at the Animal Center, adopters will have time to meet and play with their chosen pups and decide if they'd like to move forward with the adoption. For more information, visit the Austin Animal Center website.
Austin Parks and Recreation Department
PARD continues to monitor parks for safe usage during the City of Austin's modified operations. Based upon recent observations and data collection related to park usage over the past two weeks, PARD will make the following operational adjustments:
- Beginning Friday, May 8, PARD will monitor park capacity at Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park, and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. Once capacity is reached at these parks, signage will indicate no additional vehicles will be admitted. Staff will be on-site to educate park patrons and inform them of closures.
- Starting Thursday, May 14, park patrons will be required to obtain day passes for Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park, and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park via an online registration system or make a reservation by phone from Thursday through Sunday. A limited number of passes will be available per day. No entry will be granted without a pass. Regular entry fees apply for Emma Long and Walter E. Long parks. Vehicle access to Commons Ford entry remains free; however, a day pass will be required. No registration is required Monday through Wednesday.
Throughout the week, PARD has removed parking lot barricades. Barricades unintentionally restricted emergency vehicle access due to park patrons parking illegally along park entrance roads.
In accordance with the recent State Reopening of Services Order, golf courses, tennis centers, skeet shooting, and boating concessions are permitted to operate provided each can comply with the Order’s operational criteria. Some concessions have elected to remain closed.
At this time, PARD facilities and park system amenities remain closed. Park system restrooms, water fountains, boat ramps, green spaces and trails remain open. PARD will continue to monitor park safety throughout these modified operations and adjust as needed. PARD will also continue to message social distancing and other safety precautions via flyer distribution and social media.
Park Rangers and Park Monitors continue to patrol and monitor the entire park system, focusing attention where there is traditionally high usage. Additional information regarding the modified operations, closures, and online registration will be made available on the PARD website, austintexas.gov/parks.