It is no secret that Austin highly values its natural spaces and inherent beauty. Austinites regularly take advantage of this lush Texas valley to swim in her greenbelts, play in her woods, and walk near her waters. That is why we love our hike-and-bike trail and are willing to make long-term plans for its preservation. To that end, The Trail Foundation is reaching out for your input with a public survey.
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The Trail Foundation is an Austin nonprofit which does restoration, development, and maintenance for Austin’s green spaces. The Foundation also provides employment opportunities for young people to work in green industries, as well as a variety of ways for locals to get involved or scratch the philanthropic itch.
On May 21st, the Urban Forest Grant Program was approved by the City Urban Forestry Board, giving $45,145 to TTF. As a result, the organization is now in a much better position to manage projects for the 199-acres of land surrounding Lady Bird Lake and Butler Trail.
According to the TTF website, the 10 miles of lakefront property known as the Ann & Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail are enjoyed by 1.5 million people a year. That’s over 30,000 bi-peds a day! Because of the high-foot-traffic, and the trail’s status as the gem of downtown Austin, Butler is far overdue for some much-needed love.
And love it we do!
From issues raised by its proximity to downtown to environmental factors affecting the area over time, there are several projected goals The Trail Foundation is working to address.
In the Guidelines for Urban Forestry and Ecological Restoration, the The Trail Foundation website explains both the process and rationale for approved changes:
We took into account not only the woodlands, riparian areas, and landscaped areas but also factored in high pedestrian and bicycle traffic, infrastructure crossings, erosion issues, flooding, invasive species, steep slopes, available resources, and public opinion.
If you use and love our hike-and-bike trail there are so many ways to show you care! From diving into in the Healthy Trees for the Trail restoration project by planting new trees, to sewing seeds with the Wildflower Diversification project, there is an avenue for each of us to do our part.
The Trail Foundation survey takes about two minutes to complete, so get on there and get involved!
Featured photo by Flickr user Wil C. Fry, Creative Commons licensed