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Help us create a master plan for the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, as it lands on the Southeast Shore of Lady Bird Lake from the Boardwalk, and continues eastward to Longhorn Dam. This area is rapidly changing, with thousands of new residents nearby on Riverside Drive and Lakeshore Boulevard, so The Trail Foundation and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department need your help in the renaissance of this previously underutilized part of the Trail.

In 2013, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department began an Aquatic Assessment with the help of a Consultant, Brandstetter Carroll Inc., and the community. For a breakdown of the public meetings held and presentations, please see the Aquatic Assessment Synopsis page.

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 the final draft assessment was presented to the Parks and Recreation Board. See the Board agenda for meeting details.

The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is working actively with C3 Presents (C3), the organizer of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and with the Austin Parks Foundation (APF) on a coordinated effort to develop a facilities and operational plan for PARD’s major outdoor events venues, with emphasis upon Auditorium Shores. With the assistance of outside consultants, the team of C3, APF and PARD shall collaborate on improvements to Auditorium Shores.

On August 25, 2011, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s grant proposal to renovate and further develop the Auditorium Shores Trailhead within Town Lake Metro Park with funding from the 2006 G.O. Bond and 2012 G.O. Bond programs as the City Match.

On January 15, 2009, City Council passed a Resolution adopting the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan: Concepts for Preservation and Improvement. Learn more about the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan.

Project Description

A renovation of the children’s play area at Battle Bend Neighborhood Park is being proposed in order to address the outdated playscape while exploring opportunities for other site enhancements for family play, picnicking, walking, nature contact and other beneficial park uses. The project will also address the need for improved ADA access and pedestrian connectivity within the park.

The fifth and final community meeting for the Austin Cemetery Master Plan process took place on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the Carver Branch of the Austin Public Library, 1161 Angelina St., Austin, TX 78702. Master Plan team members presented an overview of the draft Master Plan and gathered feedback from the public. 

The Parks and Recreation Department is seeking the public’s input in updating the existing rules and regulations of City-managed cemeteries, focusing on burial space ornamentation. Current cemetery guidelines do not allow for certain adornments, furniture and plants on burial spaces and the Austin City Council is asking for the revision of the policies to balance maintenance, public safety and personal and cultural expressions of grief.

The first phase of improvements at Dove Springs District Park is a playscape replacement. The park was originally built in the 1990s and the playscape component has aged, become obsolete by current standards, and identified for replacement. Included in this scope are nature pathways with nodes of discovery along the pathway. 

The Dove Springs Recreation Center (DSRC) opened its doors on March 28, 1998 to provide citizens of the Dove Springs community recreational and educational resources. The 18,000 square foot center contains a full court gymnasium, weight room, arts and crafts room/computer lab, class room, dance studio, conference room, lobby and television room.

The Parks and Recreation Department is working with the Shoal Creek Conservancy, the Austin Parks Foundation (APF), and various community and stakeholder groups to improve Duncan Neighborhood Park. The project will focus on environmental restoration alongside improved infrastructure to build upon a unique urban park and promote the future enjoyment for all patrons.

In 1998, a Bond Election was passed to develop Austin’s parks and Green belts. The Gus Garcia Recreation Center and park located the North/Northeast community were chosen to be part of the 1998 bond election package and became a reality with its Grand Opening on April 26, 2008.

In September 2009, City Council passed a resolution that reallocated funds from the Holly Good Neighbor Program to develop a Master Plan for Edward Rendon Sr Park at Festival Beach, Fiesta Gardens and the Holly Power Plant Site Park, which provides an additional 9 acres of parkland.

Upon City Council approval of the Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach Master Plan in August of 2014, the Parks and Recreation Board created a Working Group consisting of two Parks Board members to assist the Parks and Recreation Department’s Planning Division in developing a Phase 1A Implementation Plan.  For more information on this process, contact Charles Mabry at (512) 974-9481 or

In June, 2014 the City Council passed Resolution No. 20140612-060 to initiate the master planning process for Lamar Beach at Town Lake Metro Park.  For more information on this process, contact Charles Mabry at (512) 974-9481 or by email.

The New Montopolis Recreation and Community Center is a project that the voters of Austin approved in the Nov. 2012 Bond election. This proposed facility is aligned with Imagine Austin priorities as well as policy recommendations from the Bond Election Advisory Task Force (BEATF) provided to City Council. The Montopolis Recreation and Community Center is a joint‐use facility with Parks and Recreation and Health and Human Services Department. The joint‐use facility went through a public vetting process in order to develop the 2012 Bond Program and election ballots. 

On July 21, 2014 the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) in partnership with the Balcones Canyon Land Preserve (BCP) provided information to local stakeholders in regards to potential improvements to Mt. Bonnell at Covert Park. The majority of improvements are being proposed by the West Point Society of Central Texas with the support of PARD and BCP.

The Onion Creek Metropolitan Park is a 555-acre regional park located in southeast Travis County, just south of Onion Creek. The land – flat, woody and pond-filled – is undeveloped and used by area residents. The Onion Creek Greenbelt is north of the creek. Onion Creek travels approximately 79 miles.

On November 7, 2006, Austin voters approved an $84.7 million bond program in tax-supported General Obligation bonds and notes for constructing, renovating, improving and equipping public parks, recreation centers, natural areas and other related facilities, including, without limitation, playgrounds, hike and bike trails, sport courts and swimming pools; and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.

The Austin City Council adopted the Pease Park Master Plan at its October 16, 2014 regular meeting. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) appreciates the contributions of the Pease Park Conservancy (PPC) and all the community members who participated in the development of the master plan. With a focus on enhancing and preserving the naturalistic feel of the park, opportunities were identified for improving gateways, sensitively adapting the historic Tudor Cottage restroom building and enhancing the playscape area.

Located at the convergence of Guadalupe St, West 5th St, San Antonio St and West 4th St, adjacent to the new Federal Courthouse, Republic Square is one of three remaining Downtown Historical Squares. The City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD), the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Austin Parks Foundation and a team of consultants led by Design Workshop are planning for the future of this important public space. 

The project phases include the following:

The Seaholm Intake facility is an iconic Art Deco design and once was the pump house for the Seaholm Power Plant. The Seaholm Power Plant, a City-owned retired power generation facility, was designed by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. and built of cast concrete in two phases in 1950 and 1955 by Odom Construction. Seaholm Intake is part of that overall structure. The Seaholm Power Plant represents a strong civic presence in the cityscape of downtown Austin and showcases a unique period of American Art Deco municipal architecture and Public Works engineering.

Construction drawings have been completed for the Sparky Park Building Rehabilitation and the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is now working with a general contractor to finalize the proposal and schedule for the rehabilitation and adaptive use of the 1930 North Austin Electric Substation Building at Sparky Pocket Park in the North University Neighborhood. The project began with a schematic design phase in 2013 to determine appropriate uses and will generate ideas about how the historic landmark building can better relate to the surrounding pocket park.

Walsh Boat Landing is a concrete boat ramp on Lake Austin, operated by the Parks and Recreation Department. Capacity issues at the dock have created the need to look at how access at the dock can be safely and efficiently managed for all dock users.The Department is currently holding a series of community engagement meetings to look at the issues and possible solutions.

The City of Austin and Travis County are conducting a Market and Feasibility Study for Walter E Long Metro Park  and the Travis County Expo Center. The study will determine potential future uses of the park and facility to meet community needs and regional demand. Proposals from consultants were requested, received and evaluated between July - Nov, 2014. The next step is for Austin City Council to award a contract. The study is expected to begin in Feb-March, 2015 and be completed by Summer, 2015      

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of developing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a highly qualified vendor to operate the Zilker Café (located adjacent to the entrance to Barton Springs Pool). To aid in this process, the Department is seeking input from the public to better understand the community’s desire for menu options, services, and other considerations for the future operations of Zilker Café.