One of the most popular parks in Austin, Texas is Zilker Park. It is notorious for popular festivals, such as ACL, Trails of Lights, Zilker Park's Kite Festival and Blues on the Green. Austin is one of the major cities with various parks that have a combination of natural and designed parkland that creates successful interaction with active citizens. In a 2016 study of national park facts, the City of Austin's very own Zilker Park was the 18th most visited out of 103 parks in cities across the country. With 3,500,000 annual visits, Zilker Park's popularity goes beyond just local Austin residents.Link For More Info
This pie chart has the various park amenities offered in the City of Austin per 10,000 to 100,000 residents in that area. Out of all the popular cities that were included in the parkland data, Austin came out in the top 20 parks with a swimming pool per 100,000 residents, and was in the top 30's for disc golf and dog parks per 100,000 residents. Even though on the graph it does not look like disc golf and dog parks compare favorably to playgrounds, basketball hoops and tennis courts in the Austin area, in a national comparison of parks Austin offers more disc golf and dog parks than other cities offer per resident. This graph shows the amenities offered throughout Austin parks and that are available to residents per 10,000 to 100,000.Link For More Info
Zilker Park is not only home to many events but also is known for annual music festivals and holiday celebrations. According to the Austin Business Journal, ACL and the Trail of Lights have been the top two events for attendance for the past four years. The Trail of Lights has kept a steady attendance since 2013, but ACL has seen attendance numbers grow since then. It will be interesting to see what attendance records show for the two events in the next few years. Zilker Park is a excellent site for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department to encourage more festivals and annual events.
Here are two charts that show all the major cities in Texas parkland data and spending. Included are Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso. Between the two charts are comparisons of each parkland agency data averages of acres, population and acres within city limits. The other charts show the total spending (both operating and capital expenses) of all park agencies in the cities, but excludes professional stadiums, zoos, museums, aquariums, and cemeteries.
This data shows by city how much parkland is natural parkland versus designed parkland. To see that Houston has the most natural parkland compared to all of the other cities is surprising because of the size and infrastructure around the city. However, this is interesting data because it brings into perspective how much these cities do to design and keep their parks natural. For example, El Paso has a lot of natural parkland versus designed because their parkland has different terrain and a different budget compared to Dallas parkland, which is the second highest designed parkland and second to lowest natural parkland. Austin parkland is in the middle of the pack when it comes to designed and natural parkland. Considering the size, number of people and park budgets for each city, the data brings up the question of how budget and size of a city matters in relation to the terrain of the parkland and also the number of parks each city offers.
Check out The Austin Recreation Social Media and map of the top parks in Austin. These parks not only offer water holes, hiking trails and festivals, but also are children friendly and in prime locations of the City of Austin. The parks that the map includes are: