Park Facts

AUSTIN PARK FACTS – “SAD AND TRUE!”

Austin is in the bottom one-third of major U.S. cities in what it spends on park maintenance. Source: Trust for Public Land’s publication City Park Facts, 2012.

Consider Austin’s population in year 2000: 639,185.   Austin today: 830,278

  • In 2000-2001 PARD had 159 FTE’s in Maintenance & Forestry for 15,600 acres.    In 2012-2013 PARD had 149 ½ FTE’s in Maintenance & Forestry for 19,500 acres! Ten less workers for almost 4,000 more acres of park land!   The parks budget cuts from the tech bubble crash have never been fully restored.
  • Forestry had 28 FTE’s in 1992 for 6,900 acres of park & greenbelt land.   Forestry has 24 FTE’s in 2012 for 19,500 acres of park & greenbelt land.  Forestry sees each tree once in 91 years and is in a total “reactive” mode.   Forestry has been with little capacity to care for trees or plant new ones, despite the fact that Austin is estimated to have lost 10% of its tree canopy since 2011.
  • Mowing cycles of Austin parks has moved from 14 to 21 days to once every 30-45 days. This leaves many open fields unsuitable for team sports.
  • 150 Flowerbeds have been abandoned due to lack of ability to care for them.
  • 68 Park Restrooms do not receive either preventative maintenance or routine maintenance.
  • Over 65 Park Parking Lots are in need of repair for which there is no funding.
  • 37 Tennis Courts need resurfacing (for which there are no funds).
  • 190 of 271 Children’s Play Structures do not receive daily service.
  • 52% of all Children’s Playscapes in Austin parks have reached the end of their useful life and no funding is available for their replacement.
  • PARD has only one Trail Maintenance crew for over 100 miles of Hike & Bike Trails, leaving many trails in poor repair, and in some cases unsafe.  This is true despite the increasing use of trails as transportation corridors.
  • PARD not only lacks staff. They lack materials of every description: paint, pea gravel, decomposed granite and often, even mulch.  This leaves neighborhood park adopter groups on their own to buy the most basic needed materials for their local park or playground.

Check out this video and see the need for the increase parks funding in Austin.
If you agree, let the City Council.