13 Bouldin residents met in the greenbelt this morning and collectively removed 6-8 large homeless camps: tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, clothing, styrofoam and plastic containers, toiletries, cans, card board – most of which had been there since our last creek cleaning at the beginning of March. It was dirty, sweaty work and we had to haul everything well over half a mile to get it to one of the two entrances. PARD has been notified and will pick up the piles, hopefully by tomorrow.
After 2 hours in the heat, we ran out of steam. There are still some card board camps along the railroad tracks and we will most likely schedule another morning in about two weeks to get the rest. If you missed this one, come join us!
We are also discussing strategies to prevent the situation from getting as bad as it was today. Part of the problem is that Park Rangers hand out eviction notices, but the camp occupants will come back a few days later or others will move in. The only true deterrent seems to be to remove the camps immediately, and PARD lacks the resources to do that. I have asked them for referrals to community groups that can help out and will also reach out to Keep Austin Beautiful and the Austin Parks Foundation.
We want the greenbelt to be a safe place for residents to enjoy and we know that the more people do, the less camps we’ll have.
For now, please thank Ben, Danny, Gary, Matt, Michael/ Stacy/Cash, Ronnie, Thom, Kate, and especially Scott & Liz who just bought a house in Bouldin and have not even finished moving in.
Ingrid Weigand, BCNA Parks Committee 512-663-4632