FT 14 - Urban Bioblitz: Ecologists Contributing to and Learning from a Progressive Austin Community Restoration Effort

Sunday, August 7, 2011: 8:00 AM-4:30 PM
Trinity Street Lobby Field Trip Pick Up, Austin Convention Center
Organizers: Harold Balbach , Gillian Bowser , Courtney T. Lee and Melissa Armstrong
Join us for an opportunity to contribute to an exciting Austin community restoration project. This field trip will be an urban bioblitz by ESA members and SEEDS students at an inner city site in an underserved, largely minority, neighborhood. The Oak Springs site features a permanently flowing natural spring on a 6 acre wooded parcel. It was important in Austin's historic development, but was neglected until its fairly recent acquisition by the Austin Watershed Protection Department and its preservation as a heritage location. Recent positive activities at the site have involved trail building, removal of invasive species, and some planting of natives sponsored by the City, American YouthWorks, a local Charter school, and PODER, an East Austin neighborhood group. Our contribution during this field trip will be to characterize the flora and fauna of the site, identify significant native and introduced species, and prepare a report with recommendations for use by the neighborhood organizers. They expect to use it to prepare further plans for use and improvement of the site. In addition to a field experience, this field trip will provide an opportunity for mentoring/learning exchange among the diverse participants including: ESA members, SEEDS students, neighborhood volunteers, and high school students of American YouthWorks.

Registration Fee: $27

Equipment and Attire: Participants should dress for a field trip, anticipating walking on undeveloped terrain, including slopes, brush, and weeds. They will need to bring sun protection and any collecting materials related to their area of expertise. Identification manuals, magnifiers, field glasses, camera, and other materials are appropriate. We will not injure or remove any vertebrates found.

Itinerary: Anticipated departure from Convention Center ca 0800-0815 Sunday, Aug 7th. Arrival at site < 4 miles distant about 15 minutes later. Departure from site ca 1600-1615, and arrival back at convention center approximately 1630.

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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.