Zilker Revisited

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 20, 2022

Dear Editor,
    In Lina Fisher’s article “Community Advocates Worry Commercial Interests Dominate Zilker Park Vision Plan” (Dec. 16), opposing group Rewilding Zilker speculates that the Zilker Collective Impact Working Group, which supports the Vision Plan, “is a cover for ‘the needs of ACL, C3, Live Nation/Ticketmaster [that are] not overt.’”  
     This statement is untrue.  
     The 16 organizations of the Collective provide programming, amenities, traditions, and events for visitors. They include ABC Kite Festival, Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Sunshine Camps, Barton Springs Conservancy, Friends of the Austin Nature and Science Center, Friends of Barton Springs Pool, Girl Scouts Zilker Cabin, Hill Country Conservancy, Rowing Dock, The Trail Conservancy, Trail of Lights Foundation, UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum, Waterloo Disc Golf Club, Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy, Zilker Park Boat Rentals, and Zilker Theatre Productions.  
    Many have their own vision plans and fundraise for the park. For example, Austin Parks Foundation, Barton Springs Conservancy, and Hill Country Conservancy have EACH raised millions of dollars for renovations and improvements to Zilker Park. Zilker Theatre Productions produces the beloved Zilker Hillside summer musical, which is free to the public. Through the Vision Plan public process, the Collective has developed consensus around park needs and shared priorities with the design team. 
     The Zilker Collective advocates for ecological restoration, improved pedestrian and bicyclist mobility, park safety, environmental education and wayfinding, and parking solutions. Garages are a viable part of this solution by reducing surface parking while allowing families to visit the park no matter where they live. Zilker is a Metropolitan park for the whole city, not a neighborhood park for those who can walk there. 
     We hope readers will look beyond the hyperbole of Rewilding Zilker and read the Vision Plan for themselves. The Vision is for a greener, more sustainable, inclusive Zilker Park for current and future generations.
Zilker Collective Impact Working Group
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