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!