Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

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

Tag Archives: volunteer

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 Wildlife Habitat Steward Training – still open for spring 2013

I have heard that there are still a few spots open for our Spring 2013 Habitat Stewards training. You can register on our website www.keepaustinwild.com. Registration closes on March 31st. You don’t need to know anything about gardening to begin with – that’s what the training is for!

$50 for 30 hours of training

A more direct link to the sign-up page is: http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Parks/Wildlife_Austin/habitatstewards.pdf (PDF – may download or appear in your browser, depending on your technology).

Fall Work Day in the Neighborhood

The  Annual Fall Work Day in Little Zilker Park is this Saturday morning, November 3rd, from 9am to noon.  Little Zilker Park is located next to Zilker Elementary School along Bluebonnet Lane (see below).
If you have questions – email: LittleZilker@gmail.com.

Remember to wear closed toe shoes.  Bring shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows, if you have them.  If not, we will have some available for use.

Coffee and pastries provided. 

More people means less work for all and a great improvement for the park.  Thank you and look forward to seeing you in the park.

– Friends of Little Zilker Park

It’s My Park Day 2012

It’s not too late to volunteer to give back to our community tomorrow, Saturday, March 3rd.

There are hundreds of projects – definitely one near you that are still in need of volunteers. Search by your zip code or address and find the spots to help out tomorrow, from 9am to 1 pm. Projects include planting trees or plants, mulching, pulling weeds and a whole lot more. In the recent past, I’ve pulled garbage out along Shoal Creek in downtown (you should have seen our HUGE pile).

Search for your project! NOW!


Green Gardening Days at LCRA Redbud Center

There’s no lack of volunteer opportunities to help out with Austin, TX natural gardens and landscapes. Here’s another opportunity that I received information about! You get a bonus tour as well.

Green Gardening Days

Saturdays this spring: 3/12, 3/26, 4/16, 4/30, 5/7 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: LCRA Redbud Center building and grounds

3601 Lake Austin Blvd. Austin, TX 78703

Presented by the Colorado River Foundation

Dust off your old blue jeans, put on a baseball cap and join us for a Saturday morning in the garden! We’re holding gardening days this spring to spruce up exhibit gardens used for youth education programs. Help us pull out the old, plant the new, mulch and weed. You’ll learn about central Texas native plants and their importance to our Texas waters AND get a tour of the riverside Wilkerson Center for Colorado River Education. Perfect for kiddos, corporate groups or anyone who doesn’t mind gettin’ dirty! Breakfast, garden gear, and good conversation provided. Green thumb not required! Contact Sarah@coloradoriver.org to RSVP. Check out http://www.coloradoriver.org for more info.

Cost: FREE

Contact Info: Sarah Richards 512-498-1587 sarah@coloradoriver.org

Learn & Volunteer with Green Corn Project

Want to get your hands dirty but don’t have a garden? Want to help others start a vegetable garden? Like volunteering and helping our broader community? You can get do all that with the Green Corn Project here in Austin, TX. Who are they?

Green Corn Project (GCP) is a grassroots, volunteer-run organization dedicated to helping Central Texans in need grow their own organic vegetables. Our Mission: To educate and assist Central Texans in growing organic food gardens.

They use a bio-intensive method to help make growing a vegetable garden more successful and more natural. I volunteered for one of their dig-ins about a year or so ago. We helped dig a garden at a AISD school. I learned how to “double-dig” which is a special way to aerate the soil so the plants can grow deeply. I thought it was really cool and wasn’t that difficult with the many volunteers we had. I also learned it so that I could use the method in my own garden.

Guess what? Their March dig-ins are now ready for volunteering – they are occurring on 3 weekends in March on both Saturday and Sunday. Please consider volunteering! They have built a lot of gardens in Austin:

Map of Green corn Project Gardens

Green Corn Project Gardens

If you really get into this, you can also volunteer to be trained as a Dig-In Leader. There are two spring dates – this Saturday, Feb 26th or March 5th. There is no experience necessary – they will train you. Once you are a leader, you are the key to supporting at least a few more gardens to be built in the city.

Here’s hoping that some of our Zilker residents volunteer for GCP!

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