Programming, Education and Engagement Strategies for Austin’s Urban Trails

Programming Great Trails

The City of Austin’s Urban Trails Program was established in 2014 with the Urban Trail Plan. The City currently has 35 miles of urban trails with over 400 miles of trails identified in the trail plan.  In 2016 the citizens of Austin passed a $720 million Mobility Bond to fund transportation projects all over the city. The Urban Trails Program has $26 million in funding from this bond and is currently working on over 30 miles of active trail projects, leveraging funding from other City of Austin departments and new developments. This session will provide background on the Urban Trails Program and the challenges with reaching a wider community about urban trails and how to access them.

This session will focus on how the City is working to encourage broader engagement and activity on urban trails through placemaking, wayfinding, and trail activation and programming. We’ll share a successful example of an event on the Upper Boggy Creek trail that highlighted the trail as a community asset and gathering space. The Austin Parks Foundation and Shoal Creek Conservancy, trail advocacy groups, from Austin will share examples of how they’re engaging trail users through these strategies.

 Austin Parks Foundation supports the EastLink trail, a 5.1 mile urban trail in Central East Austin. Austin Parks Foundation, with support from the Mueller Foundation and the City of Austin, recently led a team of consultants through an interpretive placemaking plan that collaborated closely with the communities along the trail through every step of the design and engagement process. Austin Parks Foundation partners with the community to enhance people’s lives by making public parks, trails and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy and financial support.  

Shoal Creek Conservancy champions the 11-mile Shoal Creek and its rapidly expanding Trail. SCC hosts year round programming and engages the community in long-term improvement projects around the future of the Shoal Creek corridor. In partnership with the City of Austin and a broad base of community stakeholders, SCC is working towards a fishable, swimmable creek and a world class urban trail & bikeway. Ultimately, SCC envisions the Shoal Creek Trail & Bikeway as a vital link in a citywide network of trails and greenways that make being active a convenient, comfortable, and daily choice. 

Ana Selvert

Ana Seivert is a transportation planner originally from Minneapolis, MN now living in Austin, TX, with a passion for planning and designing bicycle and pedestrian facilities for all ages and abilities.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the College of Saint Benedict and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Washington – Seattle. Her graduate thesis explored how public art addresses wayfinding, safety, and placemaking on bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  After graduate school she worked for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero Program working on their speed limit reduction program and corridor redesign projects. She now works for the City of Austin’s Urban Trails Program responsible for overseeing trail projects from design through construction. Ana is also a racial equity advocate and loves exploring ways to further engage community members who wouldn’t normally walk or bike on Austin’s urban trails through programming and activation. In her free time she’s the lead singer of a surf-pop/rock band in Austin. She also enjoys listening to true crime podcasts.

Katie Robillard bio picKatie Robillard is a licensed landscape architect who joined Austin Parks Foundation in April 2017 after 16 years of practicing in private design firms. Katie has been involved at all levels of design from concept to construction documentation, long term planning to implementation, and  project management. Key project experience includes work in healthcare and healing gardens, neighborhood planning and her favorite, parks of all sizes. As Park Design Director for Austin Parks Foundation, Katie manages APF park improvement projects and provides community design services for Austin parks.

Ivey Kaiser bio picIvey Kaiser grew up in Columbia, South Carolina where she attended the University of South Carolina and began her love of working with environmental advocacy and outdoor recreation. Since moving to Austin in 2011, she has worked with Keep Austin Beautiful and REI, managing community programs, events and corporate grant giving. Ivey has been involved with Shoal Creek Conservancy since its inception and has deep relationships with many other Central Texas environmental non-profits. In her spare time, Ivey enjoys spending time on local trails and rivers and hanging out with her husband, Josh, 7 pets and herd of cows.


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