Adams Hemphill Neighborhood Park – Concept Planning

The City of Austin is creating a concept plan for potential future improvements to Adams Hemphill Neighborhood Park. That's because we are proposing to install two stormwater ponds at the park. This effort is part of a project to reduce the risk of flooding between 45th and 33rd Streets. The concept plan will help identify ways to maximize the enjoyment of the park for those who live and work nearby. 

Community Survey

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. The survey is now closed. View the survey results.

Open House

Thank you to everyone who attended the open house on Dec. 3. Below are links to the displays and the tree survey:

Proposed Changes to the Park

The concept plan will help ensure that proposed changes to the park are compatible with potential future improvements.

New Detention Ponds: We are proposing to build two stormwater ponds in the park as part of the Guadalupe St. Flood Risk Reduction project. This project would help protect more than 117 structures from flooding in the Hyde Park neighborhood on and near Avenue A during a 100-year storm (12.3 inches of rainfall in 24 hours). Flood risk during smaller storms would be reduced for even more homes. The Guadalupe St. Flood Risk Reduction project cannot proceed without the proposed stormwater ponds.

The ponds would be dry most of the time, but would fill with water during heavy rainfall to reduce flood risk. They would take up a large part of the current grassy area in Adams Hemphill Neighborhood Park. Depending on it is designed, the larger pond may be able to double up as open play fields or accommodate other amenities. The smaller pond would be fenced off for safety reasons. The map below shows the estimated size and location of the ponds based on currently available information.

Map showing rough location and size of proposed ponds.

We are currently looking at three designs for the ponds.

  • One option has a high wall, but would allow for a relatively level playing field within the pond area.
  • A second option has a terraced wall, which will provide a smaller grassy area.
  • A third option has shorter, gentler embankments, but the bottom would be sloping and not suitable for pick-up games.

Basketball Court, Playground and Backstop: The proposed ponds mean that we would need to move the basketball court, playground and backstop to different locations within the park. With the concept plan, we would like to find out if these are the best amenities for the park or if the community would prefer something else.

Closure of East and West Drives through the Park: East and West Drives currently cut through the park. We had considered closing these roads to increase parkland. However, after hearing about how important these roads are from the community, we have decided to leave them as is. 

Potential New Amenities

The concept plan will help us ensure that the proposed detention ponds are compatible with possible future improvements to the park. Typical neighborhood park amenities that are possible at Adams Hemphill Neighborhood Park may include:

  • Community garden
  • Educational exhibits
  • Handball court
  • Horseshoes
  • Multi-use playing field
  • Nature\Wildlife viewing (Butterfly Gardens, etc.)
  • Pickleball
  • Public art installations\sculpture garden
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Seating area
  • Walking Trail
  • Wildflower area

Please note that there is not sufficient room for all of these amenities, so the concept plan will have to identify a small number that best serve the community. The Guadalupe St. Flood Risk Reduction project would include park mitigation funds and some of the improvements identified in the concept plan may be included with construction of the ponds and the first phase of park improvements. Those details are yet to be worked out.

Other Locations for Detention Ponds

There is little to no undeveloped land near the project area for the Guadalupe Street Flood Risk Reduction project. We were not able to find another potential location for these ponds other than Adams Hemphill Neighborhood Park. The project also includes improvements to existing detention ponds, a new detention pond at the Baker Center and underground detention. Multiple detention ponds are necessary to avoid worsening flooding for those living along Waller Creek downstream of the project. We cannot help one person’s flooding by shifting the problem to someone else.

Next Steps

After we analyze the survey results and feedback from the open house, we will develop two draft concept plans to show the community. We will conduct a second survey and public meeting to find out what the community likes and doesn’t like in these drafts. We will then use that feedback to develop a final concept plan. Concept plans are approved by the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Community Advisory Group

We have formed a community advisory group to help us gather and interpret feedback. For more information about the group, please reach out to