2023 Golden Shovel Winners Honored for Advocacy, Volunteerism and Community Building in Austin’s Parks

Susan Selesky
People + Parks
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Each year, APF presents our Golden Shovel Awards to people and organizations that have made a big impact on Austin’s parks. We recognize our winners at Party for the Parks, our biggest fundraising event of the year! What makes a Golden Shovel Winner? A Golden Shovel Winner can be an individual, group, or organization that put Austin’s parks at the …

People + Parks: A Legacy of Park Stewardship

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Pastor Edward Clarence Craig, Jr. was born to Edward Moses Craig and Frankie Black Craig in Austin, Texas on February 24, 1948 – the fourth of five children. He was educated through Austin public schools, and attended Nixon-Clay College and Huston-Tillotson College. Pastor Edward & Brenda Craig in their neighborhood park He received his spiritual upbringing at Mt. Olive Baptist …

People + Parks: Healthy Parks and Happy Employees

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By Elizabeth McGuire When Cirrus Logic moved their headquarters from the outskirts of Austin to their downtown location in 2012, company leaders wanted to become more active in their new neighborhood—to benefit both their community and their employees. The company began working with its neighborhood association, Austin Parks Foundation and other organizations to develop a core philanthropy and volunteer program …

People + Parks: Local Support and Global Wisdom

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By Elizabeth McGuire If you were planning an expansive, open-ended trip to the other side of the globe, how would you spend your last days at home? Tying up loose ends? Buying supplies? Saying goodbye to friends? Triple-checking your passport and flight details? If you were Eric Nichols you would be raising money for a treasured hometown organization. This past …

People + Parks: On the Right Path

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By Elizabeth McGuire Chuck Foster grew up doing community service alongside his family and was encouraged at an early age to take on leadership positions whenever possible. No matter what. “My mom taught us that regardless of what state you’re in—money or no money—you give back to the community,” he said. That message stuck with him, and as it turns …

People + Parks: Miles and Miles of Generosity

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By Elizabeth McGuire When the Statesman Capitol 10,000 weaves through Austin for its 41st annual race on April 8th, race director Jeff Simecek will have “every job and no job.” He will be at the start and the finish, and of course communicating with his team throughout, but by the time the gun goes off, much of his work has …

People + Parks: An Ace Adoption

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By Elizabeth McGuire Big changes are happening to a small park in southeast Austin, thanks to a handful of persistent community members. Houston School Park, which is adjacent to Josephine Houston Elementary, was recently awarded a $100,000 APF Impact Grant to build a multi-purpose pavilion that will serve both the school and its surrounding neighborhood. Spearheaded by park adopter and …

People + Parks: Planting Seeds

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By Elizabeth McGuire Meet Katie Falgoust Like many people, Katie Falgoust spends 40 hours a week working in front of a computer. Unlike many people, when Katie’s not working she is often thinking about vegetables. Or compost. Or mulch. Or water. Katie is an avid gardener and member of the Festival Beach Community Garden. She serves as the Volunteer and …

People + Parks: The Difference Maker

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By Elizabeth McGuire Who is David Rockwood? The Eagle Scout If you meet David Rockwood on the Barton Creek Greenbelt on a sunny fall day, be prepared to hear some philosophizing, some ranting and more than a few references to Boy Scouts. “So you were an Eagle Scout?” you may ask him. “Am. I AM an Eagle Scout,” he will …

People + Parks: Advocacy in Action

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By Elizabeth McGuire In one of the oldest neighborhoods in Austin, a team of stewards is working to preserve their park and to inspire others to follow suit in their own neighborhoods. Three leaders of Friends of Shipe Park—Jill Nokes, Alison Young and Mark Fishman—have worked with Austin Parks Foundation and countless volunteers to keep Shipe a vibrant, healthy, resilient …