Parks Committee Minutes 5/02/2018

Parks Committee Minutes 5/02/2018

1) Roundabout maintenance – see photos at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjZPfvP

The guiding principal for each roundabout/median strip is to increase visibility of the device while maintaining a clear sigh line for oncoming vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

A single trunk trees surrounded by some type of low bushes and flowers or ground cover works well for most of them. Whenever possible, use native plants to reduce the need for maintenance, i.e. watering.

 

Action Item:

Almost all roundabouts show signs of damage from vehicles that came too close or plain ran over them. Individual tickets for each one will be submitted to 311 with a request to repair the curb and paint it with reflective paint.

 

It also helps to add large boulders or have reflective signs installed. Plants and a small tree on the median strip on Bouldin/Retama got decimated by someone moving a house. Since that most likely will happen again, we decided not to plant anything large in there – just low bushes and flowers, with the possible addition of some boulders.  The metal flowers at Mary and 2nd seem to be well received by neighbors; we might try to get other art work installed in other places.

Ronnie Dittmar reported that a neighbor adjacent to the Dawson/Retama Chicane requested it be removed and he thinks the City will do so.

 

2) N Dawson Maintenance

Cheryl will call for a workday in May – weeding and mulching. We can request mulch from PARD and can also make it available for roundabouts.

3) Grant for Mary Dawson Park

In order to apply for a grant that redevelops Mary Dawson – a border to the apartment complex, a bike/hike path leading from the West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt (WBCGB) entrance to Dawson Road, maybe a pick nick table – we need design plans and quotes.  I did not hear back from the Austin Parks Foundation about a request for their new landscaping/design services until yesterday; they will make a decision by June 1st. If APF does not come through, we’ll need to find another source for those services. Both Thom Parker and Nancy Crow offered help with that.

 

4) Adopt-A-Creek, Adopt-A-Park

Nicholas Dawson and Mary Dawson also caused a discussion about Adopt-A-Park and Adopt-A-Creek programs. Adopt-A-Park is run by PARD, Adopt-A-Creek by Keep Ausitn Beautiful (KAB). KAB recently offered an outside group a chance to adopt East Bouldin Creek in Nicholas Dawson Park. I contested that, since we have been taking care of the park and the creek for decades. The reason this is important is because it makes BCNA a stakeholder when City or development issues come up. We currently have Adopt-A-Park agreements for N. Dawson, the WBCGB and Ricky Guerrero. We also now have adopt-A-Creek agreements for N. Dawson and the WBCGB.

 

Action Item:

We need to seek an Adopt-A-park agreement for Mary Dawson  and the landlocked, undeveloped park by the PSW development; Melanie McNearney will get together with immediate neighbors and apply for an Adopt-A-Creek agreement for the East Bouldin Creek portion across from PSW.

 

5) West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt Trail Maintenance

After discussion, we decided against any mulching of trails; instead, we will continue widening them twice a year by removing encroaching plants. Per Matt Coldwell’s suggestion, we might have a “stomp” party to help in that effort, with refreshments to be served afterwards.

 

6) West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt Signage

A neighborhood teenager had selected installing signage at the WBCG  as his Eagle Project. The effort started almost two years ago and has not progressed, in spite of Matt stepping in and actively helping. The teenager will graduate this month, ending his engagement. If we have not seen any results by then, Matt will take the project over. It consists of: trail maps at both entrances; some directional posts where trails intersect; display with information about greenbelt features: native plants/wildlife plus the ephemeral spring.

Action Item: work on signage this year, with or without Eagle input

 

7) Ricky Guerrero Improvement Updates

Eric Radjef has followed up with City staff, asking for a progress report.

Austin Energy Regional Science Festival 2018

Austin Science Festival Theme

Hello neighbors,
This past February I had the opportunity to volunteer for the first
time at the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival. I worked the
floor and in the process met a number  of students and was able to check out the displays. From the simple to the complex, a cool display of creativity, hard work and intelligence!
I remember two young ladies in particular, both Junior Level/middle school.
One had her project board of documentation of objectives, and results a nd a display of plants. Her project was to grow plants upside down withvarious nutrients and water. Fairly simple project but her goal was to use this as her first step to testing in zero gravity……desiring to become an astronaut!

The second was just a project board of documentation of objectives and results. Objective was to develop better algorithms for checksums.
Hmmmm, I understand the basics but definitely above my pay grade!

What a great bunch of kids and I definitely got out of the Festival as
much as they did.

You can view the 2018 video at http://www.sciencefest.org (click through the banners on the home page) and this fall, if interested, you can get information on general volunteering and judging by contacting Ingrid Weigand at ingrid.weigand@austinscience.org.
Stay posted for future information for the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival  February 20-23, 2019.

Cheers, Gary Hyatt

P.S. more information below
News coverage
http://www.kxan.com/news/education/girls-rule-at-austin-energy-science-fair/1049706102

Austin Energy Regional Science Festival
The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival is one of Texas’ largest
regional science fairs with almost 3,000 students from 3rd through 12th grade. It encourages and rewards innovative student research and provides scientists, engineers and other professionals a chance to volunteer in the community.
The 2018 video has been posted. You can view it at www.sciencefest.org
(click through the banners on the home page)

Austin Science Education Foundation
https://austinscience.org/
Purpose
The Austin Science Education Foundation (ASEF) was established in 2013 to support the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival (AERSF).
AERSF serves 3rd – 12th grade students from 11 Central Texas counties and 23 school districts, as well as private, home and charter schools.
Mission
ASEF will promote student’s knowledge of and involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math by enabling participation in the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival and supporting students selected to advance to the Texas Science and Engineering Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.



All the News that Fits-April 2018

Texas School for the Deaf
Performing Arts Program Presents:
“Noises Off” – A High School Production
April 12, 13, 14, 2018 [link]

Trail maintenance in the West Bouldin Creek          Greenbelt

Neighbors,                                                                                                                                       We will do trail maintenance in the West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt, 1200 S 6th Street,  next Saturday April 14 from 9 am to  noon. The ground is still soft from the recent rains and this is a great time to pull out the encroaching ragweed.

Keep Austin Beautiful and the Austin Parks Foundation are providing tools and gloves – all we need now is about 30 people to get this done.                                                                                                                                Please join us, even if only for an hour; kids and friends welcome. The greenbelt is gorgeous at this time of the year and the weather promises to be warmer.                                                                                                         Thanks, Ingrid Weigand                                                                                                   BCNA Parks Committee                                                                                                512-663-4632

Becker Elementary Yard Sale Saturday April 21, 2018

Calling for Donations: Do some spring cleaning & help Becker                    Elementary.                                                                                                                 Start your Spring cleaning and help us make the Becker Yard Sale (Benefiting the 5th grade) a huge success this year.

We need valuable items to reach our goal for this year’s field trip and we’re close, but we’re counting on this sale to make it.

Please see this poster

Becker_Yard_Sale-2018-04-21.pdf

and help us pass the word with your neighbors or friends who would like to donate items. And please invite them to come shop on Saturday, April 21 from 9am – 1pm. Stop by and have a taco or coffee with us, too. Bring the whole family for a great day. Fingers crossed the weather cooperates.

Donations will be accepted starting next week at the White House during drop off and pickup: 913 W. Milton St. 7:15-7:45 am and 2:45-3:15.

Events affecting the n’hood plus events of interest

Austin Reggae Festival – Friday April 20 – Sunday April 22nd

Expect heavy traffic in and around Auditorium Shores all three days

Barricades at Dawson, Bouldin, Gibson, Christopher Streets –                 Resident Access Only                                                                                                           (see PDF road closure document)

http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/CityStage/Transportation/AustinReggaeFest_SCD_10172017.pdf

Barricades and APD Officers will be present for residential street closure.

More local events of interest:

Bike Night is a leisurely event for cyclists of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals.                                                                                               http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/bike

Roberta Reed Crenshaw Overlook Dedication:       The Austin Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with Austin Parks Foundation, is holding an Overlook Dedication and Sign Unveiling for Roberta Reed Crenshaw on the North side of Lady Bird Lake on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm. The location is on the Southwest corner of Cesar Chavez and Congress Avenue.  [link]

Palmer Heavy Traffic For April:

2018-04-(Apr)-Palmer-Heavy-Traffic.pdf

State calls on appeals court to take up Austin short-term rental case.  Story here:

BCNA General Membership meeting April 10, 2018

The agenda is simple for the BCNA general membership meeting Tuesday April 10 starting at 6:45 at the High Road on Dawson.

We’ll begin with introductions and a few announcements.

7:00 we will commence a hopefully informative discussion regarding draft 3 of CodeNext and the BCNA’s position on that. I hope to have some information and a brief PowerPoint to start with. The steering committee has made a recommendation for BCNA’s position, which is below. However, this recommendation was not unanimous and all voices are welcome and will be heard before voting on the BCNA’s position. Thanks–Jesse

 

Here is the BCNA steering committee’s recommendation.  It is a moderate position that does not oppose CodeNext in its entirety and supports many aspects of the current draft.

1)  BCNA supports putting CodeNext on the ballot before being adopted.

2)  BCNA supports delaying the finalization of CodeNext until at least the end of summer, with extended public input and at least one interim rounds of  changes, and BCNA demands that the underlying data and analysis be immediately shared by the City with the community.

3)  BCNA supports the following aspects of the current draft of               CodeNext:
a) BCNA supports the overall reductions in land use restrictions resulting potential increases in housing  supply in the current draft, except for the specific  problems stated below.
b)  BCNA supports reducing unfair treatment of Bouldin and other older SF-3 neighborhoods by treating Bouldin and other such neighborhoods on a more equal  basis than current law.
c)   BCNA supports the increased freedom for home occupations, but some aspects of this increased freedom threaten to reduce affordability and are  inappropriate, as stated below.

4)  BCNA opposes the following aspects of the current draft of                CodeNext, and requests:
a)   The fee-in-lieu loopholes in affordability standards should be closed.
b)   One on-site parking space per housing unit should be required.
c)   BCNA requests some limits for visitor traffic for home occupations to be  maintained, and believes the new accessory uses and signage permitted for  residential areas go too far.
d)  The permit process changes that reduce public input and remove accountability by elected officials are not acceptable.
e)  The single-family attached loophole should be closed, and the treatment proposed for duplexes should be applied to single-family attached housing.
f)  The fee-in-lieu loopholes for sidewalk construction should be closed.