On October 12, our 2022 Golden Shovel Awardees were honored for their work with Austin Parks Foundation at Party for the Parks.
This group of volunteers, park adopters and corporate partners stepped up and put Austin’s parks at the forefront of their volunteerism and giving. We cannot thank them enough for all they do to give back to their communities, parks and APF…but we do want to highlight all they’ve done!
Volunteer of the Year: Deana Dossey
Deana Dossey has been involved with parkland support since the early 90s. During this time Dossey has taken on many roles such as identifying potential land for Copperfield Neighborhood park, volunteering with Friends of Copperfield Nature Trails and sitting as the Chair of Copperfield Nature Trails.
Dossey has been instrumental in the progress at Copperfield Park – updating trail entrances and adding benches along trails. She enjoys seeing the physical updates come to fruition, and has enjoyed watching volunteerism grow.
She plans to cross-train and recruit others to continue improving the Copperfield Neighborhood Park and Trail for years to come. We are thankful for volunteers such as Deana Dossey – her impact on Copperfield Neighborhood Park has already been felt by so many.
Volunteers of the Year: Al and Nancy Morgan
Al and Nancy Morgan’s efforts to give back exceed the city limits of Austin reaching as far West as Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Over the last 10 years, however, they began serving the Austin area parks. In that time, they’ve led It’s My Park Day workdays, Clean Sweep workdays, created an Adopt-a-Creek plan among other ventures all in the name of Heritage Hills-Woodbridge Neighborhood Association.
The Morgan’s most impactful service has been to help remove invasive trees, plants and trash, while refreshing areas by planting native trees, wildflower and grass seeds. The Morgan’s give back to parks thanks to their love for the outdoors.
Above and Beyond: Ulises Jimenez
Ulises Jimenez played an integral part in the completion of Kendra Page Nature Playscape. Jimenez works with Unity Contractor Services and APF learned about him through his work managing invasives at Kendra Page. When asked if he might be able to assist with some outdoor classrooms at school parks, a project that had been stalled due to the difficulty of procuring quality stumps and logs, Jimenez quickly rose to the challenge and made it a priority to salvage and prep the stumps when he came across good material.
Jimenez worked tirelessly to make outdoor learning and nature play happen at 6 school parks, helped create a unique nature playground at Kendra Page park, and installed an outdoor community learning and meeting space at Parque Zaragoza.
Even with his busy schedule of tree care, and other projects all over Austin, Jimenez is responsive, creative, and invested in making these projects successful, even with their complexity.
Park Adopter of the Year: Raul Alvarez
Raul Alvarez is with the East Austin Conservancy, an organization that advocates for people and places in East Austin. Alvarez also works as an adopter with Amigos de Parque Zaragoza.
In May of 2022, he orchestrated a 90th anniversary celebration for Parque Zaragoza, a celebration that honored the unique history and culture of the park and the neighborhood. Later, he applied for a neighborhood grant to install an outdoor classroom and meeting space to foster more community gatherings at the park.
Alvarez hosts cleanups and activation events at the park year round to encourage stewardship and investment in the park. He has continued to be a voice for Parque Zaragoza – carrying on the work of those that came before him.
Partner of the Year: Moreland Properties
Moreland Properties joined forces with APF in 2019. In that time they have increased their support for Party for the Parks each year. They are a founding donor of the Zilker Eagle and support APF’s mission and community-centered programming and activations year-round.
Aside from giving, Moreland Properties is involved with the progression of Austin Parks Foundation’s future and strategic planning.
Park Champion of the Year: Zilker Brewing Company
Zilker Brewing Company created a limited-edition 30th anniversary Parks & Rec can…just the start of their 30th anniversary campaign push and an addition to their continued partnership.
Our partnership with Zilker Brewing began in 2017 when they created the Parks & Rec Pale Ale. It was originally intended as a limited release, however, the popularity of the crisp, citrusy beer earned a spot in their year-round rotation! Since then, Zilker Brewing has donated over $25,000 to APF through a portion of each Parks & Rec sale! For our 30th Anniversary Zilker Brewing ran the limited edition cans, held numerous pop-up events around the city and continued to share the story of their Parks & Rec Ale.
Again, we want to thank our 2022 Golden Shovel Awardees for all their hard work and dedication to our parks. Without the help of volunteers, innovative programming, advocacy and financial support, we could not continue to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails and green spaces better.