Zilker Park Natural Resource Inventory

Recipient of Texas ASLA 2022 Honor Award in Planning & Analysis

Lying along the eastern boundary of the Edwards Plateau ecoregion, Zilker Park plays an indispensable role as a refuge for Austin residents and wildlife. Siglo Group was commissioned by Barton Springs Conservancy to assess the existing conditions, ecological health, appropriate land management activities, and future opportunities of Zilker Park.  The report supports the City of Austin’s 2023 Zilker Park Vision Plan and has catalyzed ecological health as a key component of future planning efforts.The park contains four major springs, three waterbodies, and supports over 600 species of native flora and fauna including two endangered salamander species. It is also a hub of human activity, as many have dubbed it “Austin’s  Central Park”.

Siglo Group inventoried conditions into a single report, the Zilker Park Natural Resource Inventory & Management Guidelines, which contains over 80 maps and figures, photos, and an in-depth inventory of ecological conditions.  The team included ecologists, botanists, ornithologists, ecological designers, and park planners in collaboration with over 20 City staff members and partner organization members who gave feedback on the content of the inventory.

The report recommends land management and ecological restoration practices that result in increased ecological health of the park’s plant communities, improved wildlife habitat, and a better visitor experience. Recommended best practices in the document would result in the enhancement of 185 acres of area currently managed as woodland, savanna, or meadow, as well as the restoration of 43 acres currently underutilized to native plant communities. In addition, the Inventory calls out 66 acres appropriate for canopy enhancement to mitigate and allow for adaptation to climate change, as well as over 14 acres suitable for green storm water infrastructure that can slow down water, allow for its infiltration and support better water quality and creek health.