Upcoming workday Saturday June 01 at Gus Fruh
National Trails Day is on Saturday June 01 this year, and we're planning to celebrate by finishing up the trail resurfacing project at the Gus Fruh access that we started back in March. We'll begin at 8:00 AM and work until we're done, hopefully by 10:30 or 11:00. There's water in the creek now and the crowds will be arriving, so the sooner we can finish up and get out of the way, the better. It's also likely to be hot. So we'll start early and only do the trail work this time instead of the variety of tasks that we usually take on.
We only need about 25 volunteers to complete the trail work but due to the rainy weather and concerns about getting the materials that we need, we're slow getting organized again. June 01 is coming up fast! Please let us know as soon as you can if you're able to work with us that day by emailing us here.
We're looking forward to getting this job finished and hope that you'll be able to join us. Breakfast tacos will be provided!
Spring 2019 News
The Greenbelt Guardians celebrated our 16th anniversary on Saturday March 02 by participating in the Austin Parks Foundation’s annual spring “It’s My Park Day” event. 62 volunteers worked at the Gus Fruh entrance from 9AM – 1PM and put in a total of almost 200 hours of labor!
We resurfaced 500 feet of the switchback entry trail, from the main trail along the creek up to the first, level switchback at the top. We used 12 tons (about 10 cubic yards) of decomposed granite mixed with StaLok stabilizer and a couple of yards of road base. The materials were moved down the trail one wheelbarrow at a time, spread and raked out by hand, and then compacted with plate packers and hand tampers. It was quite an undertaking, but we had a great group of volunteers, good weather, and we had the materials delivered ahead of time to avoid the problem we had back in November, when 45 volunteers were ready to spread granite that didn’t show up!
Things went smoothly this time, the trail work turned out well, and we were also able to do some work on the lower trail and steps along the creek. Please check out the photos here. We hope to schedule another smaller workday in late April to finish resurfacing the trail all the way out to the street.
In addition to our regular volunteer workdays, the Greenbelt Guardians also raise funds to contract for the removal of invasive plants on the greenbelt with organizations that are authorized to use tools (chainsaws and herbicide) that volunteers are no longer allowed to use on city park land. We spent $24,000 in February and kept a crew from the Texas Conservation Corps busy for 4 weeks removing large amounts of ligustrum, nandina, and other invasives along the creek between the Spyglass and Gus Fruh entries. As always, we’ve stopped our invasives work for the spring and summer due to federal restrictions on the removal of vegetation in protected areas where the endangered golden-cheeked warbler might be nesting. We’ll resume this work in the fall and are planning to spend another $25K then on more TxCC contract labor.
The creek is about dry, but everything is blooming and the greenbelt is really beautiful right now, so please get out and enjoy it soon if you can. See you on the trail!
Summer 2018 Update
In April, our leadership team finally got together when we weren't working to celebrate the 15th anniversary of our first workday back in 2003. We usually end up hot, tired, dirty, and hungry when we see each other, so it was nice to just hang out, relax, eat, drink, and enjoy each other's company for a change.
On June 02, National Trails Day, five of us spent a hot and humid morning working at the Gus Fruh access. We got an amazing amount done including building a new set of rock steps to connect the Gus Fruh access trail to the Violet Crown / main greenbelt trail on the far side of the creekbed, and closing off the dirt / mud hillside next to it that was previously being used. We moved a lot of flood debris, gravel, rock, and brush that day, and it really looks good and works well, Please get down there and check it out when you have a chance. Many thanks to Rosalie Russell, Mark Stachew, Nathan Wilkins, and Mark Salinas with Parks and Rec - you guys rock!
We plan to lay low again this summer during the worst of the heat, but hope to organize another mini-workday or two at Gus Fruh to build a few more steps on this side of the creek with some more of the donated stone that we have stockpiled.
Our next major workday will be on Saturday September 29, National Public Lands Day. Then on Saturday November 03, we'll do another big project for It's My Park Day - Fall. Stay tuned for upcoming information on locations, times, and sign up.
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