Better Together: A New Partnership to Cultivate the Future of Zilker Park

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Austin Parks Foundation and Barton Springs Conservancy received a grant from Austin Together to go through a facilitated process with 17 groups that operate and offer programming in Zilker Metropolitan Park to figure out how we can better work together. These groups collectively offer so many resources and experiences to Zilker Park's visitors!

Some of the partner organizations include the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Austin Sunshine Camps, Zilker Hillside Theater, Friends of the Austin Nature and Science Center, Umlauf Sculpture Garden and many more!

The group is focusing on two parallel paths. First, we are providing input to the Zilker Vision Plan process, utilizing these groups' unique experience in how visitors access and utilize their sites and programs. At the same time, professional facilitators are walking us through a process to determine a lasting structure that will help us work together to implement the vision plan once it has been adopted.

We're excited about where this partnership will lead in the future, and we're proud to be a part of this group in stewarding Austin’s beloved Zilker Park.

APF Restoring the Mini Train at Zilker Park

In case you haven't heard, Austin Parks Foundation is bringing a new mini train to Zilker Park in 2022! Because of our partnership with the Austin Parks & Recreation Department, and 30 years of proven results, we were contacted to help find an interim solution while the park undergoes the Zilker Vision Plan process. Because of our connections to the mini train and ACL Music Festival, our organization is invested in the future of Austin's most popular park now more than ever.

The new Zilker Eagle will put an emphasis of eco-friendliness, sustainability and accessibility. The fully-electric train features a new route to increase rider safety as well as a brand new tunnel mural that provides unique experiences on both the outbound and returning trips.

Even though the train arrived in Austin in January 2022, there are still a few things we need to do before it's ready for the community to enjoy. Safety is our first priority. We are working through permitting, safety testing, staffing, training and more. We’ll announce our official opening date and put tickets on sale, so be sure to sign up for our email updates here!