Austin has more than 26,000 acres of land in the Barton Springs Recharge zone. Much of this land was over-grazed ranchland with poor vegetation and thus reduced aquifer recharge. Over the past 20 years this land has been and is being restored to its former native plant state. Restoration involves a combination of burning, replanting and invasive plant removal. Volunteers do not participate in burning but are very important to seed collection, seeding and invasive removal.
Participating in seed collection and reseeding is a great way to learn grasses and forbs. The Water Quality properties are also lovely places to visit and work in. There are a number of properties spread from west of Kyle to west of Austin. The way to join is to visit Austin Water’s website and click on the Water Quality Protection Lands and then Activity Calendar on the next page. You will need to register; once done log in and visit the calendar which lists the coming month’s activities. There usually are a number of different activities listed so you will need to search the list. You can then sign up---you will receive a confirmation in your email.
For more information contact Dick McBride, email@example.com and 512-618-8669
The Discovery Center offers a great opportunity for earning your Master Naturalist volunteer hours. The majority of the work is in maintaining the gardens and that is a never- ending job; one can easily get 3-4 hours on each visit there. The DC’s primary goal is to demonstrate native plants but there is a smattering on non natives too. The DC is a great place to learn about forbs, shrubs and trees. San Marcos’ Arborist is headquartered there and happy to help you learn more about trees. The Discovery Center was formerly called the Nature Center. The name change was initiated when The Edwards Aquifer Authority’s Habitat Conservation Plan was relocated there. There is a lot going on at the DC and you can also participate in tree planting and mulching and invasive plant removal as well.
You can volunteer there any weekday but we do have weekly Tuesday morning work sessions. For more information contact Dick McBride; firstname.lastname@example.org and 512-618-8669.