FAQs: What We’re Asked the Most About Austin Parks Foundation

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1. What's the difference between Austin Parks Foundation and Austin Parks & Recreation?

This may be our most frequently asked question! Austin Parks Foundation (APF) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that works in collaboration with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD). APF is not a city-owned entity and receives financial support through donors, corporate sponsors, third-party fundraisers, Austin City Limits Music Festival and more. Here's more on the difference between Austin Parks Foundation and PARD:

Austin Parks Foundation (APF)

Austin Parks Foundation provides funding to parks in need through our grants program, hosts volunteer opportunities to maintain and beautify Austin's parks, advocates for park funding and much more. Austin's parks system is vastly underfunded. Check out this video to learn more about the work we're doing to bridge the financial gap in Austin's parks:

Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD)

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department own and operate Austin's park land. They are responsible for stewarding Austin's public lands, protecting and maintaining park land and urban forest, preserving trails, recreation centers, educational programs, aquatic activities and more.

Visit Austin Parks & Recreation Department's Website

2. How does the partnership between Austin Parks Foundation and ACL Music Festival work?

Austin Parks Foundation is the presenting charity of Austin City Limits Music Festival. This means that a portion of every ticket sold goes toward improving Austin's parks, trails and green spaces. Our Austin City Limits Music Festival Grants Program helps parks around the city.

ACL Music Festival's financial contributions to Austin Parks Foundation are not limited to just Zilker Park, the home of the festival. In fact, their support helps us complete projects in parks all over Austin including the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Parque Zaragoza, St. John Neighborhood Park, Mayfield Park and many more. Check out this interactive map of projects made possible by Austin Parks Foundation's ACL Music Festival Grants Program!

As Austin's population grows, the gap between our park system's needs and funding grows along with it. In order to bridge the gap, Austin Parks Foundation needs and relies on private contributions. Our donors and sponsors are essential to help funding improvement projects in Austin's parks, trails and green spaces.

Learn More About Our Partnership With ACL Music Festival

3. How does Austin Parks Foundation decide which parks receive funding?

Austin Parks Foundation accepts community-initiated applications for our ACL Music Festival Grants Program. Most of these applications are submitted by Adopt-A-Park park adopters looking to make a difference in their park and community!

We also partner with other organizations and local businesses who want to make a difference in their community. Curious about the work we've done?

Check out our work across the city of austin

4. Where do I find information on a park's location, hours, parking, amenities, etc.?

We do our best to keep our park database up to date with the latest information on the nearly 300 parks, trails and green spaces in Austin. If you notice anything that needs to be updated, please let us know! Send us an email at web@austinparks.org and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. 

We appreciate your help! If you don't find what you're looking for, please visit Austin Parks and Recreation Department's website or give them a call at (512) 974-6700 with your questions.

5. What's the difference between APF and other outdoor-related organizations?

Austin is fortunate to have many wonderful organizations that are focused on the wellbeing of our outdoor spaces. Austin Parks Foundation is a separate entity from, but partners with, the following organizations in the Travis County area:

  • The Trail Foundation
  • Waterloo Greenway
  • Pease Park Conservancy
  • Barton Springs Conservancy
  • Downtown Austin Alliance
  • Norwood Park Foundation
  • Hill Country Conservancy
  • Keep Austin Beautiful
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Save Barton Creek Association
  • Shoal Creek Conservancy
  • Treefolks
  • Austin Youth River Watch
  • Umlauf Scultpure Garden
  • Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy
  • Austin Sunshine Camps

6. Why does Zilker Park close down during Austin City Limits Music Festival?

We understand that Austinites are passionate about their parks, trails and green spaces, including Zilker Metropolitan Park. ACL Music Festival takes place on Zilker's Great Lawn, which closes for approximately two weeks at the beginning of October.

ACL Music Festival is Austin Parks Foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year. A portion of every ticket sold goes directly to helping improve parks all over Austin. In 2018, $5.1 million dollars were invested back in Austin's parks. That funding helps us continue our work all over the city.

Did you know that much of Zilker Park stays open? Barton Springs Pool, Barton Creek Greenbelt, the Polo Field, and the playscape remains open during ACL Music Fest. We encourage those saddened by the closing of the great lawn to explore the many wonderful parks, trails and green spaces in Austin. Here are some helpful resources:

Off-leash Dog Areas
Hike and Bike Trails
Volleyball Courts
Picnic Spots

Have more questions?

Feel free to reach out to us at apf@austinparks.org or give us a call at (512) 477-1566. We'd be glad to help you understand our mission and what we do as an organization.

Get Involved with Austin Parks Foundation

We strive to provide a high-quality park within a 10-minute walk of every Austinite, no matter what part of town they call home. If you'd like to support our mission, consider making a donation or volunteering in the parks! For the latest news, subscribe to our e-newsletter. Thank you for your interest in Austin Parks Foundation!