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 detention basins at the park. This effort is part of a project to reduce the risk of flooding between 45th and 33rd Streets. The concept plan is meant to help guide us in the design of the basins to maximize the enjoyment of the park for those who live and work nearby. 

2023 Survey Results

In November 2023, we conducted a survey to gather community feedback on two draft concept plans for Adams- Hemphill Neighborhood Park. The survey results are now available. 

More than 60 people participated in the survey with clear majorities preferring more amenities, the proposed pedestrian bridge, seating areas along the trails, nature play areas and art in the park. 

Thank you to everyone who participated! 

Draft Concept Plans

Click on the images to view each plan.

Concept Plan 1 Concept Plan 2 Plan Profile
Small image of Concept Plan 1 Small image of Concept Plan 2 Small image of plan profile
Concept Plan 1 proposes more amenities. Concept Plan 2 is intentionally simpler. The view from within the upper basin.


Why the Detention Basins are Needed

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 Basins: We are proposing to build two detention basins in the park as part of the Guadalupe St. Flood Risk Reduction project. This project addresses localized flooding generally between 47th St. and 33rd St. in parts of Hyde Park and North University. This area is at high risk for flooding. In addition to the risk to homes, emergency access could be cut off during storms due to flooded roads.

The basins 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. The larger basin will double up as open play fields. The smaller basin would be fenced off for safety reasons. The map below shows the estimated size and location of the basins based on currently available information.

Map showing rough location and size of proposed ponds.


Amenities: We would need to move the basketball court, playground and backstop to different locations within the park. The draft concept plans include an additional play area, picnic tables, benches, a climbing wall and trails. One of the plans also includes a small pavilion, fitness areas and a pedestrian bridge over the proposed upper detention basin. The other plan is intentionally simpler with fewer amenities.

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. 

Other Locations for Detention Basins

Our consulting engineers tried numerous variations of detention basins, channel modifications and culvert improvements, without finding any feasible alternatives. The proposed detention basins need a large space, in a low spot where they can collect sufficient stormwater. The park is the only location that meets these criteria. This part of town is almost fully developed with very little open space. Open areas tend to be too small, privately owned and in an unsuitable location for collecting stormwater. We also considered buying and demolishing homes to make space for a detention basin, but ruled it out.

Next Steps

We’ll review feedback on the draft plans to develop a final concept plan. This plan will take into account the most popular elements of both plans and available funding. Concept plans are approved by the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. To use parkland for detention basins, we must seek a recommendation from the Parks Board. We will then seek approval from the Austin City Council.

Public Meeting

Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey or attended the public meeting. We will post the survey results on this website when they become available.

NUNA General Meeting

We gave a presentation at the North University Neighborhood Association meeting on June 5, 2023, about the need for the proposed detention basins in Adams-Hemphill Neighborhood Park. 

2022 Community Survey

We conducted a community survey in November and December 2022.

Open House

We conducted an open house on Dec. 3 to provide an opportunity to provide feedback on park usage. Below are links to the displays and the tree survey:

Community Advisory Group

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


To receive email updates about this project, please email Stephanie Lott or call 512-974-2799.