Each year, the Austin Parks Foundation team works on multiple park projects, ranging from an added park bench to total park renovations. We love sharing our park overhaul projects with you, but want to touch on the smaller updates that enhance the park experience as well – so this month, we’re happy to introduce the Fast Five!
Our intent is to share five completed projects that have positively impacted a park, trail, green space, or community partner.
Gullett School Court Resurfacing
In May 2022, Gullett PTA applied for an ACL Music Festival Community Impact Grant to resurface the blacktop, and repaint basketball and pickleball court lines at Gullett School Park. This renovation was needed due to the cracked and distressed blacktop surface.
With the update, the court has seen increased usage. During school, Physical Education classes utilize the court and after school community members can enjoy the renovated court as well.
Austin Parks Foundation is funding trail work along Barton Creek via Siglo Group. Since September 2022, Siglo Group has compiled data through surveys to identify five project types to help maintain Barton Creek Greenbelt. These projects include:
– Erosion Control
– Informal Trail Removal
– Trail Armoring
– Trail Width Adjustment
– Invasive Removal
These park projects will provide updates and restoration to the trail that have never been done before. According to their report, Siglo Group has identified 202 ecological issues on trail, completed 82 projects, and has partially addressed 19 of the remaining issues. Below you can find the latest status report:
George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center Scissor Lift
As you walk in the front doors of the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, your eyes naturally gravitate to the height of the ceilings. Track lighting is used to highlight the exhibits, while some exhibits stretch from the floor to the ceiling. All of this, at one point, made updating exhibits and building maintenance a nuisance. That’s when APF stepped in, to fund the purchase of a scissor lift for the museum.
In March 2023, the lift was delivered to the museum. Carre Adams, Museum Director and Curator, is excited to put it to work. The scissor lift will be used for:
– Repositioning track light system
– Exterior maintenance/façade updates
– Updating foyer rotunda lights and LED fixtures
– Hanging banners to promote upcoming events and exhibitions
– Exhibitions pieces that are hung from the ceiling
APF is continuing to meet with the Carver Museum to strengthen this partnership as the museum expands their community garden and performance art space.
Barton Springs Conservancy
We’ve all heard about the Barton Springs Salamander and efforts to protect this incredible species. Since 2019, APF has worked with Friends of Barton Springs, Watershed Protection, Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Barton Springs Conservancy to finance aquatic planting at Barton Springs.
These plantings are part of a larger habitat conservation plan for Barton Springs, which is home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander. This plan includes specific requirements for maintaining the habitat – aquatic plants contribute oxygen, prevent soil erosion, provide shelter for creatures that live in the Springs and clean the water within the pool.
This latest round, planted April 27th, included 40 Vallisneria Americana (Water Celery) plants.
Joint-Use School Parks
Austin has 21 “joint-use school parks” spanning every direction across the city. These AISD school parks allow students an outdoor space to learn, grow and enjoy during the school day, and these spaces open up to the surrounding community after school hours. These joint-use parks allow for green space in park-deficient areas.
APF has awarded the ACL Community Impact Grant to the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative the past two years. Through this grant, APF has been able to provide basic amenities such as trash/recycling cans, park benches, picnic tables and park signage to these joint-use sites. In addition to basic amenities, APF has provided funds for butterfly gardens, outdoor classrooms and Nature Play equipment at these school parks.