Austin Parks Foundation Awards $50,000 to Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park with 2019 Fall Community Grant

Austin Parks Foundation

Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park is thrilled to be a recipient of a 2019 Fall Community Grant of $50,000 provided by Austin Parks Foundation through their Austin City Limits Music Festival Park Grants Program. Grant funding will be used for the installation of shade structures around the pool deck and over parts of the historic pool.  

“We are truly grateful for Austin Parks Foundation’s Adopt-A-Park program. It provides community stakeholders a direct channel to the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department to advocate, volunteer and fundraise for needed park improvements,” said Jen Massing Harris, President at Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Association.  “This grant will help protect the community, summer camp kids and City Aquatic and PARD staff against potential health risks caused from exposure to the sun’s UV radiation. It will also make our pool more desirable by providing cooler areas outdoors and help increase community usability.”

Over the past few years, several of Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park’s improvements and new assets have been facilitated through the Austin Parks Foundation, including:

2016/17 – $230,000 for a playground replacement (includes a $30K St. David’s Foundation grant) 

2017 – $50,000 for safety netting and batting cage installation at the park’s historic baseball field

“Parks are essential to the fabric of our city. The commitment of dedicated Adopt-A-Park leaders and community members like Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Association to improve and maintain their own backyards not only impacts individual neighborhoods, but the city as a whole,” said Ladye Anne Wofford, Chief Mission Officer at Austin Parks Foundation. “We are proud to financially support these amazing community-initiated projects that will surely continue to make our city a unique and wonderful place to live.” 

As the anchor of the ACL Music Festival Park Grants Program, Community Grants are intended for large, community-initiated park improvement projects that fall between $5,000 and $50,000. These grants are offered twice a year, with a grant period of 12 months, and are awarded through a competitive process. Since inception, APF has donated over $3 million to Austin’s park system through the Grants Program.  To learn more about Austin Parks Foundation’s ACL Music Festival Grants Program and to apply, please visit austinparks.org/grants 

ABOUT PARQUE ZARAGOZA NEIGHBORHOOD PARK:

Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park is now celebrating its 90th year of giving local residents a greenspace to enjoy.For multigenerational East Austin families, Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park is remembered for its three and four day long Diez y Siez and Cinco De Mayo celebrations, Potluck Thanksgivings, Adult Amateur Baseball and Softball tournaments, synchronized swimming and annual neighborhood reunions.

Though Parque Zaragoza was officially founded in 1931 when the City of Austin purchased 9.3 acres of land, it was in 1929 when the local hispanic community petitioned the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department for a park of their own named Zaragosa Park.  Named for General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, notable for his role in defeating French troops at Puebla de los Angeles, Mexico, in 1862.  Parque Zaragoza was originally intended as a segregated community resource for Mexican immigrants has since grown into a cultural resource for the all in East Austin.

Parque Zaragoza’s historic pool is one of the City of Austin’s earliest man-made pools built in 1933 during the Great Depression and beginning of the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. At the time of the pool’s construction, the accompanying bathhouse/caretakers cottage was built, and was then expanded by the National Youth Association and community volunteers in 1941 to become a two-room recreation center, used until 1996. In 1996 a 17,000-square-foot recreation center was constructed, with murals painted by Austin artist Fidencio Durán.  In 2017, Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park was designated a Lone Star Legacy Park by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS) signifying its prominence in the local community and the State of Texas. Additional acreage was added over the years making the park over 15,000 acres.

Today, Parque Zaragoza benefits from several activities organized by the Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Association – www.zaragozaparkneighborhoodassn.org

ABOUT AUSTIN PARKS FOUNDATION:

Founded in 1992, Austin Parks Foundation (APF) is dedicated to partnering with our community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails, and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy, and financial support. APF is focused on creating equitable access to great parks for all Austinites and helps fill the City’s funding and resource gap in order to develop and maintain Austin’s nearly 300 parks. APF fosters unique public/private partnerships and, since 2006, has given over $3 million in community-initiated grants in service to the greater Austin community. APF is known for its annual flagship volunteer event, It’s My Park Day, and is a presenting partner and beneficiary of the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Metropolitan Park. For more information, please visit www.austinparks.org.  

  • : Austin Parks Foundation