Join us for the next park study tour, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore and examine a parks and recreation system in one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country.
Through a carefully-curated itinerary in partnership with Austin Parks & Recreation and the City of Austin, participants will investigate how Austin leverages resources and partnerships to meet its growing demand for access, equity, programming, and connectivity. Attendees will learn how Austin, with its 300+ parks, 225+ miles of trails, and 67 community gardens, provides high-quality parks and programs to all of its residents despite such explosive growth.
Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department has a rich and growing network of nonprofit partners assisting in the design, development, and programming of its parks. Tour participants will learn about Austin’s innovative approaches to tackle complex equity issues and histories of under-told stories. The tour maximizes networking opportunities with fellow park professionals while hearing from a diverse mix of local voices.
Sponsorship Support Provided By:
Host City Partners:
The park study tour itinerary is subject to change as planning continues.
Thursday, April 2nd
The tour kicks off at an evening reception on beautiful Lady Bird Lake with exceptional views of downtown. The city of Austin and its nonprofit partners welcome tour participants by showcasing its rich and growing network of nonprofit partners who have helped create and activate Austin’s nationally-recognized network of parks, trails, and green spaces.
Friday, April 3rd
Over the next two days, participants will experience some of the gems of Austin’s park and trail system, gaining insight into the partnerships that have been critical to its success while learning about the ongoing challenges they’re working to overcome.
Austin’s Park & Recreation Department leads the way in connecting its communities to natural spaces. From the Barton Springs Pool to the Mexican Free-tailed bats, Austin is known for celebrating, enjoying, and protecting its natural features.
Participants will visit sites important to the history of Austin’s naturally and culturally diverse community by bus, bike, and on foot. Highlights will include:
- Zilker Metropolitan Park
- Butler Hike and Bike Trail
- Camacho Recreation Center
- Oakwood Chapel and Cemetery
- Rosewood Park
- Waterloo Greenway
- Republic Square
Republic Square was recently redesigned and developed as an active, historic park. Attendees will hear from local partners about how the newly renovated square provides daily programming, modern amenities, and a full-service café.
Austin’s robust cadre of park and trail partners are creating unique and sustainable approaches to cross-sector partnerships. Learn about effective partnership advancements, such as the PARKnership Program, whereby community members and business partners can adopt their park, participate in volunteer days, propose enhancements at their local parks, and donate resources.
Natural Spaces and Greenbelts
Learn how Austin is protecting its natural features and connecting its communities via trails and gardens as part of its new long-range plan. See first-hand how Austin ensures that every child across the entire city has opportunities to engage with nature.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Gain knowledge about the city’s creative, data-driven approach to provide access to parks for everyone and the associated challenges of serving diverse residents with differing interests and income levels in order to achieve the city’s ambitious equity goals.
Historic Preservation and Re-Interpretation
Discover Austin’s diverse programming through a lens that explores the city’s history of segregation by way of its parks and public spaces. As the city grapples with its difficult history and its rapid growth, it aims to provide access and programming for all by learning from its past while being proactive about addressing gentrification, equity gaps, and homelessness in the future.