A 2-acre recreational environment within Butler Park, the Alliance Children’s Garden represents the fulfillment of a multiyear master plan effort to provide Austin citizens with a multi-purpose cultural park. The garden design is intended to be tailored for children while providing a variety of play and recreational experiences -- including promotion of wellness and education for families and visitors of all ages and abilities. Construction is currently underway and is expected to be completed by April 2020.

The Skyline Garden with the Palmer Events Center beyond

Project Background

Austin’s natural environment is an integral part of the city’s vibrancy and allure, distinguishing it as truly unique for its abundance and diversity of outdoor settings. Many cherished recreational environments exist within this landscape and, situated along the southern shores of Lady Bird Lake near downtown, Butler Park has long been a focal point of recreation.

The development of Butler Park and Auditorium Shores within Town Lake Metropolitan Park has been an ongoing effort since the completion of the original park master plan in 1999. Previous phases of the project, completed between 1999 and 2007 were focused upon parkland south of Riverside Drive, generally referred to as Butler Park.

The addition of the Alliance Children’s Garden to this beloved parkland will further establish Butler Park as the crown jewel of Austin’s public spaces.

Alliance Children’s Garden Project Location

Project Description and Design Concept

The Hill Country Garden and Rock and Slide Valley, looking West

The Alliance Children's Garden will represent the unique culture of Austin through contextual forms, imaginative play, playful elements and strong aesthetics. The goal is the creation of a multigenerational play venue that is comfortable, inviting, imaginative, engaging and visually striking.

The Alliance Children's Garden Concept Plan


The children’s garden will be divided into four thematic rooms that reflect Austin’s unique culture and environment, including: the hill country garden, the skyline garden, the art and culture garden, and the rock and slide valley garden.  Though the garden rooms will feature traditional play pieces, the majority of play amenities will be integrated into the landscape and will be unlike other play opportunities offered in Austin.

Project Schedule

Image of new play equipment at Alliance Children's Garden with city skyline in the background

The site is currently closed to adhere to COVID-19 precautions.

  • Community Engagement                 December 2015 – March 2016
  • Design Development                       March 2016 – May 2016
  • CM@R Solicitation                         June 2016 - January 2018
  • Design Development (continues with CMR)  June 2018 – February 2019
  • Site Plan Revision Permitting          August 2018 –February 2019
  • Begin Construction                        February 2019

Funding Source

In November of 1998, Austin voters approved a motor vehicle rental tax to fund development of the Palmer Events Center Venue which includes the Alliance Children’s Garden. The project is not funded through a traditional city bond election.

Community Engagement

The community input phase of this project has closed. Previous community meetings are as follows:

Community Meeting #1
Dec. 5, 2015 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Location: Palmer Events Center
Presentation (PDF)

Community Meeting #2
Jan. 7, 2016 6:30PM
Location: Palmer Events Center
Presentation (PDF)

Open House to share the final concept

Date: March 9, 2016 6:00-7:30PM
Location: City Hall Atrium
Presentation (PDF)

Boards and Commissions Meetings

Design Commission Meeting - October 22, 2018
Planning Commission - January 22, 2019

Project Connects

Riley Triggs, Public Works Project Manager 512-974-7747
Patrick Beyer, Project Coordinator 512-974-9476