Project Playback: Renovating Barton Hills Community Park

AustinParksFoundationParks, Community Grants, Project Playback, APF News, Central, Completed Projects (Our Impact), ACL Music Festival Grants, ACL Grants Landing Page, Park Development

Barton Hills Community Park opened along with the adjacent elementary school in 1964. Over the course of the next 50 years, only minor improvements were made until the Friends of Barton Hills Community Park stepped up to make a difference for their neighborhood's park.

In December of 2012, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department approved their Park Master Plan to add important park enhancements over the next several years. Here's part of their story and how APF was able to help:

Renovations Begin at Barton Hills Community Park

In 2012, the Friends of Barton Hills Park applied and were approved for an ACL Music Festival Community Grant from Austin Parks Foundation to help them begin the park improvements laid out in their Master Plan. The grant application orginally called for improvements to the sports field, but due to a growing financial need, the grant usage was revised.

After approval from the APF team, the grant was used to care for the parks trees, terracing of the grounds and a dry river bed to solve a longstanding drainage issue. Before these improvements, park guests only populated a few sections of the park, but are now able to spread throughout the park due to more functionable, usable green spaces! Check out this video of the park as of June 2015 featuring The Barton Hills Choir.


"Each park improvement project you take on accumulates quickly, and as they piece together you have to shift gears and make changes. Austin Parks Foundation's grant program helped us achieve progress even as the project evolved over time."

Melissa Hawthorne, Friends of Barton Hills Community Park

6 Years Later, APF Ready to Help Once More

Barton Hills Community Park was ready to carry out Phase 3 of their Master Plan in 2018. This phase included erosion control, entry improvements, and landscaping adjacent to outdoor stairway, and APF was ready to help. Friends of Barton Hills Community Park applied for a second Community Grant to help with the next steps of their renovation.

*This section is ready for your input, Melissa!

Austin Parks Foundation's Grants Program

Here at Austin Parks Foundation, we are proud to support park renovations like Barton Hills Community Park to help increase park access for everyone in Austin. Our Austin City Limits Music Festival Grants Program allows us to contribute to park improvements around our city.

Did you know that Austin's parks are extravagantly underfunded? It's true! This is why APF is dedicated to solving our city's park access problem. In 2019, The Trust for Public Land ranked Austin 43rd out of the 100 biggest cities in the U.S. for park access. Every Austinite deserves a park within a 10-minute walk of their home. Check out our analysis of our ParkScore below!

Here's How You Can Help Austin's Parks

Looking for more ways to get involved in Austin’s parks? We have open volunteer opportunities in the parks on the first Saturday of every month! Check out our kids' club Little Hummingbird Society which includes bilingual story times, activity kits and much more.

You're also able to make a donation if you’d like to support our mission of People + Parks. Thank you for helping us make Austin's parks, trails and green spaces the best they can be!