Marcus Gary, Ph.D., P.G.
Field Operations Supervisor - Aquifer Science
I wanted to share our upcoming plans to study the Blanco and springs with you and others. As part of the class I teach at The University of Texas at Austin, we will be conducting a series of data collection efforts throughout the entire length of the Blanco, with a particular focus on the springs in the Park and downstream. One of the more exciting aspects of this research is a dye tracer test that we plan to run the first week of March. This entails placing a non-toxic, fluorescent dye in the swallet (place where the river feeds the aquifer) behind your river house, about ½ mile upstream of the Park springs. This type of test has been completed in many parts of central Texas, including Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, and other locations. A recent test of this type was recently performed on Onion Creek, near Dripping Springs. We hope to trace the groundwater flowpath from the dye injection point to the springs, including Pleasant Valley Spring, near Fischer Store Road. At this time, the injection is planned for Sunday, March 4, and we will be monitoring sites for approximately a month from that time. As part of this effort, we will be collecting background water samples this Sunday morning (February 18), and performing flow measurements along the river off and on for the next six weeks.
Volunteers came out to switch out the gate and replace it. the new red gate is Maintenance only. Please use the other gate to enter the park. Thank you!
Our recent cleanup day was a major success thanks to all the help from volunteers. Cleaning up the pecan tree. Changing the gate, and weed eating the park. More opportunities to come. Please check here and our private Facebook group.
We appreciate all our regular park users for helping keep the park clean and locking the gate when coming and going, and to all the hard working volunteers tending the land. At our annual summer meeting each year, we elect a new board of trustees to oversee the care of the land for the coming year. They are usually a mix of new and old faces, but all of them love the park and are eager to serve. We're so grateful!
Our beautiful river park is worth preserving - and that takes the vital efforts of caring volunteers who live in and use the park. The board of trustees meet 5 times a year, and help maintain security, cleanliness, and park projects - but we need and appreciate willing members for mowing, weed-whacking, tree trimming, and larger landscaping and land-protection projects.
As many of you know, the security of the park is one of the biggest challenges the board of trustees faces every year. It's a beautiful park in a beautiful neighborhood and most of our members and residents are fantastically supportive and protective of the park. But its beauty is a draw for the rowdy few too - and sadly, they break our lock and chain and gate several times each summer.
You can help by locking the gate each time you drive by and see it open, and every time you use the park yourself. You can help by calling the sheriff's office any time you see vandals or trespassers.
Volunteers planted 162 seedlings of Emory Sedge, White Top Sedge, and Spike Rush along the cut bank to prevent further erosion. While doing this, we found many of these plants already growing in abundance in several areas; so we are confident nature is helping with our restoration efforts! The riparian grass seed planted in the winter has also come up farther up the bank, which will help to protect the raw cliff face from future flood waters. We were especially encouraged to find that 13 of the cypress tree saplings we planted over the winter are alive and doing well. Please use only designated river access points and take care to keep children and pets off of the sensitive river bank where these newly planted trees and sedges are growing.
Please remember that our park is an environmentally sensitive riparian area. Do not take it upon yourself to cut grass or fallen trees, or to plant trees or other vegetation in the park area without board approval. We have an ongoing, deliberate restoration plan underway—unapproved efforts may cause unintentional harm. Contact the board with your ideas, or if you’re interested in volunteering, in order to coordinate with our planning and efforts. We would love your help!
Barbeque season is here, please consider making us your source for firewood—the park board is accepting donations in exchange for firewood harvested from the trees we lost in the flood. We have plenty of oak and a lot of pecan, great for campfires and smoking your briskets! You can take it by the wheelbarrow or truckload and help fund the park restoration at the same time.
Contact Dan Cheshire (512 - 968 - 1093) to pick yours up soon!