Austin Parks Foundation is continuously involved in community engagement to ensure that our projects and work align with community values and needs. What is your philosophy on community engagement, and how would you engage with the community to ensure that their needs around parks and open space are appropriately addressed?

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

Shoal Creek Conservancy is leading on community engagement. The
engagement focus is in the community impacted. There is a clear
understanding of the environmental considerations/challenges. Active
listening is used and communication with stakeholders is made to close the
All general community engagement should be coordinated with other
departments and government entities to maximize stakeholder time. As the
former Vice-President of Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods
(representing the 35 neighborhoods in SW Austin), I brought in CapMetro,
Parks Department, AISD and Public Works to a candidate forum in 2016 so
they could reach out to community members who they would not be in
contact with during normal outreach. This strategy was successful and
should be replicated.
I’d also like to see our online engagement change to focus on the questions
of the month, and where the community knows to go to a specific website
and chooses which questions it would like to answer. If overall engagement
is sought, then we can create a gamification approach where there are
incentives for participation.
Here is what Shoal Creek is doing:

Community Engagement