Ready to speak up for parks? Use the facts below, especially the bolded information, as inspiration for your calls and emails to your city council members. You can find their contact information on our advocacy page. Let's make sure parks receive the funding they need in the City's FY 2021 budget!
Help APF Make Austin’s Park System #1
The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the national organization responsible for assessing and ranking parks in America’s 100 largest cities, released its annual ParkScore rankings. Austin landed at number 37, jumping up six spots from 2019. ParkScore rankings are based equally on four factors: walkable access to parks, acreage per capita, park amenities, and investment.
“People across Texas are turning to parks as an essential part of our coping and recovery from this crisis, and Austin is no exception,” said Robert Kent, Texas State Director at The Trust for Public Land. “Our challenge is to ensure that everyone has access to a great close-to-home park, and Austin has a lot to be proud of in the progress it has made toward building an equitable park system."
Austin Receives Failing Scores for Parks
While Austin’s jump in the ranking and improvement in the investment category is something to celebrate, our city received a failing grade in every other category with a total overall score of 57.1, mirroring last year’s numbers. Currently, only 60% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
For our full analysis check out our piece in the Austin Business Journal.
We’re happy to see this jump in the investment category, and we are very proud of our efforts in 2018 to advocate for the passage of the parks bond that infused critical funding into Austin's parks system. However, there is a lot of work to be done to address all the needs of our community, and sadly, for many Austinites, safe, high-quality parks are still out of reach.
We understand how important our green spaces are to the heart of our city, and the COVID-19 crisis has proved they are more vital than ever. We need to continue to push for more funding for parks so every Austinite has access to high-quality parks and open spaces that meet their needs.
Austin's Underfunded Park System
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is vastly underfunded. Austin Parks Foundation is determined to fill the gap and is focused on bringing Austinites amenities and programming that would otherwise be impossible with the current funding mechanisms.
APF encourages Austinites to step in and help get Austin a parks system that is ranked no. 1. Whether through volunteerism, advocacy, or donations, the community can provide support to help improve our parks and green spaces.