Over 200 dedicated park lovers came out on Saturday, October 6, to volunteer for our annual National Public Lands Day volunteer event, co-hosted by the Hill Country Conservancy. We are so proud to be a part of this wonderful national day of volunteering. Groups all over the country are helping to restore natural ecosystems, remove invasive species, and general give back to the public lands that we enjoy all year long. Think of it as Mother’s Day for parks.
Volunteers worked on 11 projects around Austin on Saturday. One of those projects was at the North Star Greenbelt at Metric Blvd. and Braker Lane. Volunteers there worked on clearing out invasive Johnson grass from the creek. Johnson grass is a harmful invasive plant because it spreads rapidly, chokes out native plants, and clogs waterways. Here’s how they did it!
This is what it looked like at the beginning of the day. Notice that you can’t even see the creek. This is some serious Johnson grass infestation:
They cut and cut and cut and cut and piled it all onto wheelbarrows and moved to mulch on top of other areas of Johnson grass. This helps kill the grass underneath and reduces the amount of cutting volunteers have to do in the future.
And when they were done…it looked like this! It may not look like a big deal, but trust us…it is.
After a hard day of work, our volunteers deserved a party. A huge thank you to Freebirds World Burrito for providing volunteers with tasty lunch and to Hill Country Conservancy for organizing and getting those hungry volunteers fed.
And Mayor Lee Leffingwell came! What’s a party without the Mayor?
As with most of our volunteer events, we couldn’t do it without the support of many groups. Shout outs to: Hill Country Conservancy, The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, American Youthworks Environmental Corps, REI, Inc., the Greenbelt Guardians, the Austin Ridge Riders, the Central Texas Trail Tamers, and the Central Texas Mountaineers. Thank you all for making this day a success!
If you missed it this year, mark you calendars for Saturday, September 28, 2013. Show your parks some love.