Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

Impact from volunteering on Saturday

I volunteered for National Public Lands Day. I joined about 100 other people at 6th and Shoal Creek. I chose to pick up trash as I’ve done my tours with mulch, and it is way too heavy for me!

People gathered in a parking lot

Volunteers getting ready to start work

Besides mulching, some crews cleaned up the trail (a recent storm had deposited a lot of gravel and debris along the trail) and cutting back foliage along the trail. The trash group cleaned from Pease Park (15th) down through 2nd St. area. It was a pleasant walk back and it only took a bit over 2 hours to clean as much trash as we could reach without swimming.

People walking along path

Heading to work along Shoal Creek

I picked up a lot of clothes from the riverbed, a laptop computer top, a Seagate harddrive, a ballerina tutu and leotard, a backpack, a can opener, lots of plastic bottles and tons of little plastic wrappers (like from small candies). The biggest piece of trash was a large LAMAR sign (Lamar is a nearby street) which stretched about 6 ft X 1 ft. There definitely was more trash left in the riverbed that we couldn’t reach – mostly embedded up high in trees when the water was high during the last storm.

trash bag and big Lamar sign

Some of the trash I picked up

Here’s what the even organizers had to say:

This year’s event in partnership with Texas Conservation Corps included 38 projects and nearly 1000 volunteers working together to improve parks across the city of Austin and Travis County, tripling our efforts in the last two years.

Saturday’s projects included wildflower seed sowing, trail improvements and repairs, tree mulching, invasive species removal, litter cleanups, a butterfly garden, and more.

Want to continue caring for our parks? Be sure to mark your calendar for It’s My Park Day! on March 7. 2015!

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