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?

The last community engagement event I attended at a park was a peculiar paradox. While the tabling organizations were friendly, accommodating, and helpful, I was perplexed by their lack of proactive engagement with the groups of people gathered in the parking lot, and other areas of the park. It seems like we have an immediate opportunity to be more directly engaging with people by approaching them and inviting them to share their lived experiences and most growth-inspiring truths.

The Volunteer Contributionism Leaders are our best hope in stimulating a cultural awakening in terms of our park relationships. This can happen very quickly once we become determined to benefit the people! It’s all about will and integrity.