AUSTIN (KXAN) — New buildings and developments are popping up all over Austin, but the Austin Parks and Recreation Department says a city ordinance helps continue to add green space.

The city currently has about 17,000 acres of parkland spread over about 300 parks.

Over the last three years, the city has been adding about 20 new parks a year.

“One of the most important ways we acquire parkland is through the parkland dedication ordinance, which is a code requirement of new residential development that requires those new developments to actually dedicate a portion of their land,” said Robynne Heymans with Austin Parks and Recreation.

Parkland dedication is a local government requirement imposed on subdivision and site plan applications mandating builders set aside land for a park or pay a fee to be used by the city to acquire land or develop park facilities.

“As the city grows the growth of the park system is inherently tied to the growth and development of new residential portions of Austin,” Heymans said.

Austin tries to maintain 24 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents, similar to Dallas and San Antonio.