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?

Linda O’Neal

City Council, District 9

Austin’s parks, in the seventies and eighties, were a place where people
gathered. People don’t talk to their neighbors anymore. While canvassing,
I met a young man who moved here from San Francisco three years ago.
His next door neighbor is also a young man you moved here from San
Francisco three years ago. I asked if him if he knew his neighbor. He has
lived there for three years and he has not talked to anyone. The Hill, a
church on Woodland, hosted a Fourth of July Party on their lawn. Everyone
was invited. Neighbors talked to other neighbors. Dogs were running,
children were giggling. Sparklers and glow necklaces were lit. I felt
connected. We need to encourage our Meet-Ups, neighborhood
organizations, and other groups to utilize our beautiful parks to celebrate,
have meetings, the more we use our parks, the more people will see the
value of them.