APF is home to thousands of amazing volunteers who care about our parks and trails and who work tirelessly to make Austin a greener and more beautiful place to live.
One such individual was our good friend, Dr. Jim Turney, who passed away last month at the age of 82.
Jim became involved with APF in 2004, organizing various volunteer projects in his neighborhood’s neglected, vacant lot which became Convict Hill Quarry Park, and in 2005, with Jim’s leadership, the “Friends of Convict Hill” group was formed and the park was formally adopted. They recommended to Austin Parks and Recreation, and lobbied to City Council, to grant park status to Convict Hill Quarry Park. Thanks to Jim’s vision and persistence, park status was granted in April 2007. That same year, the park won the Keep Austin Beautiful award for community involvement, and Jim was named Oak Hill Citizen of the Year.
During Jim’s tenure as an Adopt-a-Park leader for Convict Hill Quarry Park, he participated annually in It’s My Park Day and organized hundreds of volunteers. He applied for and received several APF grants for various revitalization efforts in the park. He worked with PARD staff and APF volunteers to install trails and park benches, remove invasive exotic plants, replant native tree species, plant native grasses and wildflowers, and coordinated the building of a Chimney Swift Tower and educational kiosk signs with the help of the Boy Scouts of America.
In Jim’s honor, the City of Austin began the process of formally renaming the park after him to thank him for his hard work and dedication the stretch of green that gives so much back to the community.
Jim was one of a kind, and he will be greatly missed by all of us at APF. While we were saddened to hear of his passing, we know his legacy will live on for decades to come, thanks to the love he poured into Convict Hill Quarry Park.
Above: Former Representative Valinda Bolton, Dr. Jim Turney and Congressman Lloyd Doggett