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Austin Parks and Recreation Department Strategic Plan 2017-2021

Prior to commenting on the discussion topics please read the complete DRAFT Strategic Plan here: Strategic Plan

The complete Vision, Mission, and Values are detailed in the plan.  This discussion will focus on Action strategies and Tasks related to the Goals and Strategic Initiatives outlined in the plan.  Please read the full document for more information regarding each Goal and a guide to reading the Strategic Plan.

Background Information

Strategic planning produces fundamental decisions and actions by guiding an organization from where it is, to where it wants to be, and providing a roadmap on how to get there.  Over the last year, the Parks and Recreation Department has engaged in a strategic planning process focusing on honing and articulating our vision, mission, values and goals. 

Parks and Recreation Department Strategic Plan, 2017-2022 contains action strategies and tasks to ensure each PARD division works in specific and measureable ways to fulfill the agency mission. This Strategic Plan will:

• Ensure that PARD leadership, staff, and Austin residents know where the Department is headed and how they are going to get there;

• Make Informed short- and long-range decisions that support the organization’s mission; and

• Develop collaborative and innovative strategies to move the organization forward, focused on its purpose and goals.

With this Strategic Plan, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is taking definitive steps towards realizing a vision where it can continue to be an innovative leader in parks and recreation services.



A.      Develop a singular, organization-wide approach for public input and community engagement

B.      Develop effective tools for targeted public outreach

C.      Enhance and optimize internal communication

The Parks and Recreation Department currently connects with residents through multiple mediums including social media (Facebook, websites, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube), emails and listserves, partners (Austin Parks Foundation, neighborhood associations), news outlets, mailings, and printed materials (signs, flyers).

How do you receive information about our parks and recreation services?

If through one of these mediums, which one (s) Would you like to receive communication from the Department in a different way?

6 Responses

A.      Review and report parkland gaps and appropriate use on an annual basis to our stakeholders

B.      Prioritize land development proposals and related projects in order to best address identified parkland, park amenities, and program gaps

C.      Evaluate the distribution of programs across the city

D.      Adopt a comprehensive and cooperative approach to identifying community needs and service gaps

E.       Meet ADA requirements

How can PARD engage stakeholders to evaluate parkland, park amenities, and programs to meet residents’ needs and reduce service gaps?

Is PARD missing any services, facilities, amenities, and/or programs that could improve accessibility, diversity or inclusion?

10 Responses

A.      Design and maintain environmentally sustainable parks and facilities

B.      Establish and implement best practices to preserve assets and facilities

C.      Respond to Austin’s water and energy conservation needs through integrated regional strategies

The Parks and Recreation Department protects our parkland and facilities in many ways including, but not limited to, preserving & renovating historic structures, natural resource and land management, and implementing initiatives for water and energy conservation.

What is important to you regarding the preservation and management our parkland and facilities for future generations? 

In what way can we engage you, the community, to help and be involved in helping maintain and preserve parks and facilities?

2 Responses

A.      Provide safe parks and facilities

B.      Deliver excellent customer service

C.      Automate administrative and operational tasks to improve efficiency

D.      Attain national industry standards for parks and recreation programs and services

Safety is a top priority for PARD, what can PARD to do make our parks even safer? 

Another top priority for PARD is providing excellent customer service, how can PARD make your customer experience even better?

1 Responses

A.      Institute a department-wide cost recovery culture and plan

B.      Cultivate partnerships to enhance service delivery and operations

C.      Evaluate inter-jurisdictional shared land use and capital planning projects to ensure equitable cost distribution and resource allocation

D.      Leverage Austin’s creative economy to supplement cultural, historical, and environmental programming

What do you know about how the Parks and Recreation Department is currently funded? 

Do you support cost recovery – charging fees to cover expenses -- methods to provide sustainable programs and services? 

What partnerships or other methods should PARD pursue to increase funding and/or reduce expenses so that we can continue to enhance operations and services?

6 Responses