One of the most popular holiday traditions in Austin is decorating the juniper (mountain cedar) trees that line the shoulders of Loop 360. This festive activity brings much cheer to the roadside, but many decorations stay up long after the holidays are over. To restore the trees to their natural beauty, Keep Austin Beautiful is organizing its sixth annual Highway 360 Cleanup on Saturday, January 6, 2018, from 9 to 11 am.
While we love the holiday spirit, removing leftover decorations is a priority for Keep Austin Beautiful due to environmental concerns. Festive accessories pose a threat to local watersheds when they come loose and wash into nearby creeks, and wildlife may mistake ornaments for food. Decorations can also damage trees if they are not taken off after the holidays. If your family decorates a juniper tree this year, Keep Austin Beautiful is asking you to do your part to keep the city clean by removing adornments in a timely manner.
“It’s not about what is on the tree—it is what has fallen off or what remains,” stated Rodney Ahart, Executive Director of Keep Austin Beautiful. “We as Austinites have an obligation to restore the environment to its natural state, avoiding any harmful effects to wildlife or the nearby Bull Creek.”
Volunteers will meet at 9 am at 7700 North Capital of Texas Highway across from the Canyon Springs Apartments at Bull Creek to pick up supplies. Volunteers will drive to sites along Highway 360 to clean up decorations, and are asked to exercise caution along the roadway. Following the cleanup, volunteers will drop off supplies and collected decorations at the assembly point and enjoy treats at an appreciation party.
Volunteers will meet at the location indicated in the map above.