The Park Land Management Program was initiated in 2015 and is responsible for the management of flood buy-out properties, greenways, and natural resource support on all park properties. The program is supervised by the Park Land Manager.
The Park Forestry Program was initiated in 2014 and is responsible for the management of the trees and forests in Travis County Parks. Davey Resource Group completed a Forest Management Plan for high-use areas in 18 parks in May of 2014. Implementation of the plan with an emphasis on visitor safety has been the priority of contracted tree work throughout the park system. The long-term goal is to manage the health of existing trees in the developed portions of the parks through routine assessments and maintenance, selective removal and tree planting. The program is supervised by the Park Forester.
Flood Buy-out Properties
Travis County’s flood buy-out program is in place to minimize flood damage and costs. While the Park Land Management Program is not involved in the selection or funding of buy-out properties, it does assist with the removal of man-made infrastructure after purchase and is responsible for the day-to-day management. These are typically smaller properties located in flood plains throughout the county. The properties are managed as open space but, due to their location in urban or suburban areas, are typically maintained as residential lots. Ultimately, these properties may be converted into parks.
Travis County Parks is acquiring land along multiple creeks in Eastern Travis County in order to build Greenways and Trails. The Park Land Management Program is responsible for the day-to-day management of these properties until the planning, design, and construction is completed and the Greenways are open to the public. These properties are generally larger than the flood buy-out properties and are maintained as open space. Some of the properties are managed as woodlands or grasslands while others are leased to local agricultural producers.
Natural Resource Support
Travis County Parks' primary mission is to provide recreational opportunities to the local community. However most of the parks contain important natural communities and the Park Land Management Program assists with the management of parks, specifically those areas that are managed as open-space with limited recreational facilities. This is accomplished with multiple tools; most importantly prescribed burning, which can contribute to ensuring a healthy, resilient and aesthetic combination of woodlands, grasslands, and forests that are representative of Travis County.
Prescribed Burning is an important part of the Land Management Program and is the focus for much of the current management strategies. Prescribed burning is in many ways the most effective way to treat large areas due to its relatively low-cost and the fact that its impacts cannot be replicated with any other land management tool.
Wildland fires are a normal and natural part of the environment. For millennia, periodic fires shaped the ecosystems of what is now Travis County. Today, land managers use fire as a tool to restore these ecosystems and ensure they can withstand future environmental challenges such as extended droughts. Our prescribed burn program is intended to replicate this natural cycle and ensure our parks provide a diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems that are sustainable over time.
Travis County Parks staff plan and implement prescribed burns with assistance from other natural resource agencies and fire departments. These agencies all share the same training and experience requirements and work year-round to ensure all local prescribed burn programs are implemented with the highest standards.
Prescribed Burn Summary
Updated October 1, 2018
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