You’re about to see some big changes at parks around Central Texas, thanks to a more than $2.96 million grant from St. David’s Foundation.


The grants, as part of the foundation’s Parks with a Purpose effort, will offer updates to 19 different projects, and is part of St. David’s Foundation’s effort to help families be more active in Central Texas.


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"Parks with Purpose is a new initiative of the Foundation resulting from a study funded by the Foundation and conducted by the Trust for Public Land, that explored gaps and inequities in the availability of recreational facilities across Central Texas," said Earl Maxwell, CEO of St. David’s Foundation in a press release. "Families deserve close-to-home access to parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor spaces that offer a variety of ways to have fun together."


To figure out families and neighborhoods wanted, St. David’s foundation conducted an 18-month study. It then asked local nonprofit organizations to submit proposals.


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Grants include:


Art Spark Texas, $30,000, all parks across Travis, Bastrop and Caldwell counties


Develop a searchable database of state and local parks within Travis, Bastrop and Caldwell counties to enable individuals with disabilities to obtain information on park accessibility features.


Austin Independent School District, $130,320, Reilly Elementary School Park in Travis County


Activate a schoolyard park with community access via new access points, a social emotional learning garden, and a wildlife habitat and community programming.


Austin Parks and Recreation Department, $199,122, Walnut Creek Park in Travis County


Install the city’s first nature-based play structure, train city staff on maintenance, and activate structure via programming with Earth Native Wilderness School.


Bastrop County, $200,000, Cedar Creek Park


Installation of adult fitness equipment composed of a shaded "fitness cluster" and equipment along the running trail with permanent restrooms.


Ecology Action of Texas, $200,000, Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park in Travis County


Installation of a large trail network at Circle Acres in addition to planting and maintaining beginnings for Future Forest Project.


City of Elgin Parks and Recreation Department, $199,909, Elgin Memorial Park in Bastrop County


Installation of walking trail, fitness equipment, and a playscape along with newly planted trees.


Forklift Danceworks, $75,000, Downs-Mabson Fields in Travis County


Development of project including free community performance, a series of neighborhood gatherings and community-led activations, and partnership with two visual artists within Downs Fields.


Georgian Acres Neighborhood Association, $135,076, neighborhood park in Travis County


Partnership between the association and Austin Parks Foundation to develop a park accompanied by recreation opportunities, including a walking trail within the neighborhood.


Go! Austin / Vamos! Austin, $105,000, Dove Springs in Travis County


Activate, beautify, and improve parks; engage individuals and families in physical activity opportunities in Dove Springs and Rundberg/St. John’s areas.


KaBOOM! (Luling), $200,000, Blanche Square Park in Caldwell County.


Implementation of Community-Build model to build ADA compliant playground with recreational amenities and greenery.


City of Lockhart, $200,000, Town Branch Trail System, Lockhart Municipal Park in Caldwell County


Offer connectivity to existing neighborhoods and allow for pedestrian safe travel to the many fitness-based activities the park currently has to offer.


City of Luling, $400,000, E.B. David Northside Park in Caldwell County


Renovation of the basketball court, installation of the shade structure over existing playscape, expansion of existing walking/jogging trail, and improvements to infields of three fields, shade installations, bleachers, batting cages and warm-up stations.


The Nature Conservancy, $85,700, Williamson Creek Greenbelt in Travis County


Partnership between community and city organizations to develop the greenbelt into park space.


Pecan Springs-Springdale Neighborhood Association, $96,000, Walnut Creek Greenbelt in Travis County


Partnership between the association and Austin Parks Foundation with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department to develop the greenbelt into accessible park with a trailhead, playground and fitness zone


City of Smithville, $100,000, Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Bastrop County


Implementation of ADA-compliant restrooms, drinking fountains, shade, and playground and exercise equipment along with outdoor recreational programming.


The Thinkery, $175,533, Govalle Park in Travis County


Collaboration with the City of Austin to create a series of interactive STEAM-based installations within Govalle Neighborhood Park located at Bolm Road and Shady Lane.


The Trail Foundation, $200,000, Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Butler Hike and Bike Trail in Travis County


Redevelopment of Holly Shores into outdoor space that supports recreational activity, while preserving cultural heritage of community.


Travis Audubon Society, $60,000, Blair Woods Nature Preserve at Travis County


Restoration of historic barn at the preserve to be utilized as shade structure, educational space and place for fitness programming.


Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, $175,000, Pillow School Park in Travis County


Green schoolyard project at the park with community access, an initiative of the Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin.