Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

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

Category Archives: Volunteer

Zilker Neighborhood comes in as #2 for most new wildlife habitats in 2014!

Great news!

Your Zilker neighborhood has been designated as a “Winner for Wildlife” for the City of Austin Habitat Challenge by

completing the Wildlife Austin requirements and certifying the second most new habitats in 2014.

Thanks to you, the City has been re-certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat!

There will be a City Council Proclamation at 5:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 26th, 2015 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall
301 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701.

Friends and family welcome.

Seeds for Education $500 Grants

WildOnes has a grant competition offering $500 to support the following projects:

Teachers and students across the US are expanding learning opportunities by enhancing their schoolyards with nature trails, butterfly gardens, prairies, woodland wildflower preserves, and similar projects. These projects enrich the learning environment and provide aesthetic and environmental benefits.

By planning, establishing and maintaining such projects, students learn valuable life skills – including patience and teamwork. They can engage parents and the wider community in a project they can point to with pride for years to come.

We offer assistance for all aspects of such projects. Cash grants under $500 are available for plants and seeds, and in-kind donations from Nursery Partners can help stretch these dollars. We can help you locate experts and information specific to your area – anywhere in the US. In the past decade, we’ve supported over a thousand such projects, and we can use this experience to help you.

Applications for awards for next year are due October 15th.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

The link to the full information is: http://www.wildones.org/seeds-for-education/sfe/

Good luck!

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!

National Public Lands Day – Please volunteer 9/27/14

National Public Lands Day

Join me! Volunteer today! I’ll be cleaning up Shoal Creek – where will you be?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands including parks, trails, and green spaces. Austin’s annual NPLD event is hosted by Austin Parks Foundation and Texas Conservation Corps, and occurs this year on Saturday, September 27th. Since our first NPLD, the event has grown by leaps and bounds. Last year in Austin nearly 700 volunteers participated at 26 sites across the city, nearly doubling our efforts from 2012!

Austin Parks Foundation and Texas Conservation Corps invite you to join us to help make our 2014 event our best yet. There are many choices for NPLD projects, including mulching, habitat restoration, building and maintaining trails, park maintenance, clean-ups, and more. No matter how you choose to lend a hand for NPLD, you’ll be making a difference.

More information: http://www.austinparks.org/npld

Sign up to volunteer: http://www.austinparks.org/multi-project-list.html?eventid=820

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