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Project Playback: Shade Structure at Gullett School Park

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Austin Parks Foundation helped fund the new shade structure at Gullett School Park, in partnership with the Adopt-A-Park group, the Gullett PTA.  Premiering with a ribbon cutting ceremony last week, the shade structure over the playground at Gullett Elementary now allows kids to play year-round. The Gullett PTA, which is also the Adopt-A-Park group for the park, saw how the …

People + Parks: Volunteer of the Year

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By Elizabeth McGuire Daniela Nunez was raised in a few different parts of central Austin, but no matter the neighborhood, she always had easy access to parks and loved growing up in these green spaces. So when she bought a home in a north Austin neighborhood that lacked nearby parkland, she was determined to help bring one to the area. …

People + Parks: Turning Grief into Goodness

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By Elizabeth McGuire When faced with a mountain of grief, one couple found a way to move through it with the help of their friends and their parks. Alexandra Rodriguez and Christopher McBryde are the kind of dog owners who every pup deserves. In 2012 they rescued a 3-month-old Australian cattle dog, and from then on Bailey rarely left their …

People + Parks: Veteran Volunteer, at Age 12

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by Elizabeth McGuire Like many kids, 12-year-old Kei Yarbrough grew up in parks—climbing on playscapes and running around with friends—but she also spent her early years at those same parks picking up trash and mulching trees. She is quick to say that all of it was fun. Since she was four years old, Kei has been volunteering for parks-related events …

Julie Sondecker

People + Parks: Keeping Austin Clean, One Day at a Time

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By Elizabeth McGuire For the last 337 days, Austin’s green spaces have been cleaner than ever before. That’s because Julie Sondecker, creator of Instagram’s @365DaysofHiking, has been picking up trash in parks and on trails every single day since May 30, 2017. During her daily outings, she fills her signature blue mesh bag, artfully arranges the trash in a beautiful …

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 …

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Highlights of 2017: Austin Parks Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of People + Parks

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This year Austin Parks Foundation (APF) turned 25, and it was our best year yet! From the year’s first completed grant to our end of year plans, 2017 was one for the books. But we’re not looking to stop now. Our history has shown continued hard work and persistence so that our parks get the attention they deserve. Since 1992, Austin …