The Ecosystem Design group is leading a multidisciplinary team developing a Recommended Management Strategies and Vulnerability Analysis for Austin Parks and Recreation natural areas that will guide their restoration and management.
The guiding document will be used to inform management goals and priorities, work plans, monitoring and adaptive management, community driven vision plans and use policies. Park system natural areas provide recreational value as well as a suite of other vital services such as climate mitigation, endangered species habitat protection and mitigation, stormwater conveyance and moderation of flooding, air cleansing, groundwater recharge, and provision of drinking water. The function of these natural systems, however, is threatened by such drivers as climate change, wildfire, loss of biodiversity, and intense recreational use. The City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department created a Land Management Program to ensure Austin’s preserve system and other large natural areas in parks may continue to serve the city and its residents into the coming decades.
Include a site analysis that collects and analyzes information about the relevant biotic and abiotic characteristics of each natural area. Identify plant communities that are expected to be the most resilient in the coming decades Describe land management and ecological restoration strategies that may be effective and appropriate for achieving management goals A climate vulnerability analysis to identify and map physical components of natural areas where natural resources and ecosystem services may be most vulnerable to climate-driven disturbances such as heat, drought and wildfire.