The Colony Park Sustainable Community Initiative (CPSCI) is a community planning process to design a Master Plan for 300 acres of publicly-owned land in Northeast Austin.The initiative is led by the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office, in partnership with the Colony Park Neighborhood Association, FARR Associates, Urban Design Group, and the University of Texas at Austin.
The UT Public Engagement Team (PET), a program within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, assists with outreach efforts for the CPSCI planning process and offers capacity building support for the neighborhoods surrounding the project site.
Capacity Building for Colony Park Area
To build the capacity of the surrounding neighborhoods to meet their needs now and in the future, the PET:
- Builds alliances with several social services and educational agencies to connect families with important resources;
- Regularly attends Austin and Manor Independent School District functions to sustain relationships with area schools including key staff such as: Principals, Parent Support Specialists, Support Staff, and parents;
- Supports Colony Park Area neighborhood associations to strengthen their organizations and services to their members;
- Actively engages with the community to learn about the services they would like to see offered in their neighborhood.
Examples of Success:
- Surveyed over 100 community members about the type of summer courses they would like to see offered in their neighborhood, through such initiative we launched the Summer Family Series.
- Served over 200 families through the Summer Family Series offering free professional development and wellness classes. Topics ranged from basic computer skills and Spanish, to Zumba and soccer for kids.
- Organized the Family Fun Fest event, an event that brought together more than 250 community members, as well as 20 organizations and vendors, in a celebration and presentation of the final Master Plan.
- Attended four area Back-to-School events at: Barbara Jordan Elementary, the Delco Center, LBJ High School and Overton Elementary. Engaged with over 3,000 parents and students and shared updated information on the Colony Park Master Plan. We also invited community members to upcoming events and gave away over 400 bags of free school supplies, UT paraphernalia and children’s books generously donated by Half Price Books.
Public Outreach for Master Planning
To support outreach efforts for the CPSCI planning process, the PET:
- Participates in frequent events and meetings such as:
- Austin-area parent or youth meetings
- Coffee with the Principal Meetings and Meet the Parent meetings
- Cultural celebrations or meetings at the Turner-Roberts Center
- AISD Vertical Team Parent Support Specialists meetings
- Local neighborhood association meetings
- City of Austin public meetings or forums
Examples of Success:
- Produced and administered a community needs survey to incorporate community input into the planning process
- Coordinated community-wide mail-outs and community block walks in the Colony Park Project Area to advertise the CPSCI Community Planning Workshops
- Hosted small Community Forums that provide an informal space for area residents to learn more about the planning process
- Continually designed bilingual and relevant fact sheets, fliers, and newsletters to explain the planning process and to inform area residents about the importance of their participation