The Greenbelt Guardians celebrated our 14th anniversary last month by participating in the Austin Parks Foundation’s 15th annual It’s My Park Day event with a soggy workday at the Homedale access.  It was raining on the original March 04 date, so we postponed for a week and ended up working in very similar conditions on Saturday March 11.  22 volunteers braved the elements and put in a total of 75 hours of labor.  We removed a lot of invasives, picked up trash, repaired handrails, weeded and cleaned up the entry trail and packed the granite, did some drainage work just past the kiosk, and continued our rock work in the culvert under the bridge near the flats.  Photos from the workday (and most of our past ones) can be found on our website here: http://greenbeltguardians.org.  We put off a few projects until we have drier conditions and more help, but all in all it was a very successful workday in spite of the weather.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Our next scheduled workday is on National Trails Day, Saturday June 03.  Watch the listserv or the BHNA and GG websites for more details.  You can also sign up for the GG mailing list on our website and get notices from us directly.  We welcome volunteers of all ages and abilities.  From picking up trash and helping with registration to digging out invasives and moving large rocks, there is always something for everyone to do on our workdays!

In other news, the invasives removal work that was funded by grant money that Glee put together from TECQ and other sources has been completed.  Crews from the Texas Conservation Corps worked between the Zilker and Spyglass accesses during January and February to remove large amounts of ligustrum.  When we first started working on the greenbelt 14 years ago, we were allowed to use chainsaws and herbicide, and we did this kind of work ourselves.  Unfortunately, current regulations prohibit that, so we must raise money now and contract that work out.

We continue to participate in the Violet Crown Trail stewardship council and attended a meeting at the beginning of March.  Construction is moving forward on the next sections of the trail from Sunset Valley down to the LBJ Wildflower Center, and a substantial portion is expected to be completed by the end of this year.  Plans are also moving forward quickly to completely redesign and redo the greenbelt trailheads at both Zilker Park and Spyglass.  For those who may not know, the Violet Crown Trail follows the Barton Creek Greenbelt from Zilker almost to MoPac, where it then splits off and heads south to it’s current terminus at Brodie and Hwy 290.  When completed, it will be over 30 miles long and stretch all the way down into Hays County.

That’s all for now, see you on the trail!