Zilker Neighborhood Association
Austin, Texas 78704

South Zilker Park

South Zilker Park is the portion of Zilker Park bounded by Barton Creek to the north, Azie Morton Road to the south, Barton Hills Drive to the west, and and Barton Springs Road to the east. This area includes the south gate to Barton Springs Pool, sports fields, the Sunken Gardens, a hike-and-bike trail, as well as natural areas with native trees, flowers and grasses that are enhanced by two small waterways. Little Zilker Creek is a small channel that parallels the sidewalk on the north side of Azie Morton Road. This creek receives runoff from the Zilker and Barton Hills neighborhoods, flows over the Barton Springs recharge zone just after it crosses under Azie Morton Road, and then flows into Barton Creek a few hundred feet downstream of Barton Springs Pool. Little Zilker Creek diverts water from the Old Little Zilker channel which in years past carried stormwater directly into the Barton Springs Pool near the diving board. While technically within the Barton Hills Neighborhood boundaries, residents of both neighborhoods (Zilker and Barton Hills) benefit from this park.

Friends of South Zilker Park

In 2014, at the request of the City’s Watershed Protection Department, a volunteer neighborhood group was formed to enhance the beauty and ecological functions of Little Zilker and Old Little Zilker Creeks, building on the “no-mow” zone established in 2012. Prior to that, the tributary was a mowed, trash-filled channel that moved stormwater from our neighborhoods into Barton Creek but provided no real ecological or aesthetic benefits. Working under watershed restoration plans approved by Watershed Protection, residents of Zilker and Barton Hills neighborhoods work to control invasive species; plant and protect native trees, grasses, and flowers; and clean up trash in the area. Additional guidance and support are provided by the Parks and Recreation Department, Keep Austin Beautiful, Austin Parks Foundation, TreeFolks, and the Texas Conservation Corps. The restored streams filter pollutants from our neighborhoods’ storm water runoff, lessen erosion, mitigate flash flooding, and enhance wildlife habitat. "Before" and "after" photos attest to how quickly streams can be restored. In the fall of 2017, the Austin Parks Foundation awarded the Friends of South Zilker Park a Community Grant of $7,500 through the Austin City Limits Music Festival Park Grants Program. Funding was used to improve the Little Zilker Creek and Old Little Zilker Creek waterways that flow to Barton Creek. For a map and description of the improvements made to South Zilker Park, see this PDF.

Workdays

Volunteers have contributed over a thousand hours to the enhancement of South Zilker Park. Opportunities to participate in periodic workdays, typically held on Saturdays and some weekday mornings, are announced on the ZNA Calendar Page and Zilker listserv and in ZNA newsletters. Tools and gloves are provided. Children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Knowing in advance who is coming helps in planning for supplies and tools, as well as to notify volunteers if there are any last minute changes (e.g., weather-related). If you plan to volunteer, please RSVP to Gail Rothe (grothe@austin.rr.com), the ZNA Vice President of Parks and Environment.

Proposed Projects

Points of Interest

Map of South Zilker Park

Map of South Zilker Park