Great news! The Austin City Council recently approved a new city budget, a process that occurs each Summer. Thanks to advocacy by Austin Parks Foundation and a coalition of parks advocates and organizations, the new budget includes over 4 million dollars ($4,311,949) in NEW funding directed at our city's parks! We're thrilled for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) as their receiving much-needed funding for staffing, maintenance, programming and more. Here are the details:
1. $931,949 to Expand the Park Ranger Program
Includes 1 new team of 6 Park Rangers, startup equipment needs, and de-escalation and diversity, equity, and inclusion training for all new and existing Park Rangers.
2. $615,000 for 7.5 Facilities & Grounds Maintenance Staff
Additional staff are needed to implement the largest bond program to date, acquiring new land and building park/facility-based amenities throughout the City.
3. $1,200,000 for PARD's Out of School Time Programming
These programs will serve families across six recreation centers in Eastern Crescent communities, which our city has historically under invested in when it comes to after-school and summer childcare services.
4. $1,565,000 for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of PARD Facilities
This includes restrooms, ballfields, tennis courts and the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin.
Thank You, Austin City Council!
A huge thank you to Council Members Paige Ellis (District 8) and Leslie Pool (District 7) for sponsoring these budget amendments. We're grateful to the Council Members for their support as the amendments were given unanimous approval. We'd also like to give a shout out to the 19 organizations that signed on to our budget request letter to Council this year. Y'all are the best, thanks for the support!
We are very proud to have been a part of securing this additional money for PARD, which will result in parks improvements and programs throughout the City, especially in underserved areas. Want the latest park advocacy updates? Check out our Advocacy page to see our current efforts and learn how you can help!