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Keep Austin Beautiful
55 North IH-35, Ste 215
Austin, Texas, 78702
Sat, 04/13/2013 - 10:13 — KAB
"Everyone showed up for various reasons but with one common goal, to make Austin a more beautiful place."
Thu, 02/21/2013 - 15:58 — KAB
The Bastrop fires in the fall of 2011 devastated the local habitat, burning 80-year-old pine trees and hundreds-of-years-old oak trees. With a tree growing approximately a foot per year, it is estimated it will take 50 to 60 years for newly planted trees to reach the height of the ones burned. Devastation turns to hope when you consider the 20,000 trees planted in only a one-month span. The reforestation efforts are spearheaded by The Nobelity Project, a national organization making a local commitment to replant Bastrop State Park. Timing is critical in the plantings. To ensure the best survival rate, trees in Central Texas should be planted between December and February, which is why the timing of the Green Teens service project was ideal.
On February 2nd, forty-one students from all six participating Green Teens schools – Ann Richards School for Young Women, Akins, Travis, and LBJ High Schools, and Martin and Fulmore Middle Schools – and youth from Akins ROTC led by Texas Conservation Corps members and Park service staff set out to reforest Bastrop State Park.
Working in pairs, students dug holes eight inches deep and ten feet apart and gently tucked drought resistant Loblolly Pine saplings into the ground. The physical demands of digging into hard, rocky soil could have been discouraging but not for these dedicated volunteers. Initially a student from LBJ remarked, “What is the point, we can’t make a difference here…” but later she changed her mind commenting enthusiastically, “My partner and I planted 22 trees, just the two of us!”
The stark contrast of the new saplings to the existing charred stumps and dead branches along with the presence of pink flags marking newly planted saplings served as a reminder of the significance of the day’s work. The bright pink flags will allow the Parks employees to identify and study the progress of the trees’ growth over time. From having smelled the fires the year before to having family affected by the fires, the experience of restoring the forest was particularly moving for many students. A documentary filmed onsite during the planting will serve as a reminder of the impact that can be made through volunteer service.
Nothing says being a teenager like an appetite- especially after planting 764 Loblolly Pine saplings. Thankfully KAB Board President, Deb Jones, and KAB Executive Direct, Rodney Ahart, had been busy preparing burgers and s ’mores. Trying s ‘mores for the first time was a treat but not as big of a surprise as the number of teens who sampled veggie burgers and liked them!
Ready to walk off lunch, Katie, the park ranger led everyone on a nature hike stopping to observe birds, the unusual red color of the water in the stream - due to naturally occurring iron oxide, and the presence of more woodpeckers as a result of the presence of dead wood after the fires.
Tired from a day of planting, the bus ride back to Austin was silent with students sleeping and reflecting on their accomplishments.
Wed, 12/19/2012 - 14:00 — KAB
Austin’s natural beauty and healthy environment are two of our city’s greatest assets. Watch a video and be inspired by the creative efforts of volunteers to landscape, plant trees, restore creeks, and transform public spaces to make our city look even better and be more environmentally sound.
Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:46 — KAB
A look at our cleanup programs in 2012 tells a story of volunteers, impact and NUMBERS.
Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:06 — KAB
Meet Keith, KAB Green Teens participant for four years. What started for Keith and many others as a way to hang out with friends grew into exploring the outdoors, completing service projects, taking a leadership role, and so much more.
Thu, 11/15/2012 - 18:14 — KAB
Blunn Creek is a no mow zone AND a please sow zone!
Fri, 10/26/2012 - 10:10 — KAB
“Makes you want to go to school” is how a Green Teen participant described her inspiration from the Texas Conference for Women.
Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:27 — KAB
This May students from Green Teens’ afterschool environmental clubs at Travis, LBJ, and Akins High School met up for two nights and three days of camping. As we suspected the trip was filled with exploring, learning, service, and adventure. What we hadn’t planned for was the sheer excitement of being a part of so many first time experiences from the first time a student travelled outside of Austin to the first time a high school student visited the beach or camped in a tent to the first time kayaking or making a friend outside of their own school. The experience for educators and youth alike was phenomenal. Join us on our adventure.
Mon, 12/19/2011 - 15:29 — KAB
Mon, 08/08/2011 - 11:31 — KAB