Great Austin Parks was founded to marshall support for increased funding to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s (PARD) maintenance budget in the upcoming City Budget for 2013-2014  We are now renewing this effort for 2015-2016 City Budget. This is the second time in Austin that a broad array of park advocates have formed a united front to lobby for better park funding.

Background: The Austin Parks Department has been a favorite target for budget cuts in economic downturns for decades. However, when the good times return, these cuts are never fully restored. The results, PARD does not have the staff or the funding it needs to properly care for Austin’s 29,225 acres of parkland.

Austin’s parks and pools have an infrastructure “time bomb” of approximately $1 Billion dollars of back logged repairs. Ordinary maintenance often gets postponed repeatedly until it becomes a major capital project. Several much beloved swimming pools like Metz were threatened with closure earlier this year due to serious leaks. We need a plan to catch up on all of these problems!

More Funding For Parks Needed In 2015-2016 City Budget

The Austin City Council begins deliberations in July & August to adopt the 2015-2016 municipal budget, including funding for the city’s parks and recreational facilities in the upcoming fiscal year. The advocacy group Great Austin Parks has identified the need for additional monies in the proposed budget for trails, swimming pools, forestry, basic maintenance, and recreation center programs for disadvantaged youth and seniors.

The City Managers proposed budget only gives the Parks Department (3) new full time employees to properly care for Austin’s almost 30,000 acres of park land. We must do better. We have a great parks system…Let’s take care of it !

Currently, the City of Austin spends only $65 per resident each year to operate its parks. while some Rust Belt cities spend much more. Clevelend and Boston $88, Plano $90, Fort Worth $75, and Corpus Christi $73 (according to statistics compiled by the Trust for Public Land – 2015 City Park Facts).

Great Austin Parks urges everyone to contact Mayor Adler and their City Council Member to request a greater level of funding for the Austin Parks Department and its programs in the budget currently under consideration.

Visit https://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members to send your email requesting the allocation of more monies for Austin’s parks and recreation areas today!

Let’s take care of what we have!

Support the Great Austin Parks’ agenda, contact Austin City Council, help close the park funding GAP!