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Texas Mountain Laurel Bloom - Photo credit: Bob Shrader

In This Issue

Table of Contents

Ball Moss
~Just Hanging Out

Golden Cheeked Warbler

Austin's Urban Forest Inventory

~Austin's Wildfire Division

It's Your Austin



What is ball moss?

Ball moss is a small epiphyte commonly found clinging to limbs of live oaks and other trees in southwest Texas. Ball moss is not a moss, but a true plant with flowers and seeds. It is a member of the bromeliad family, which also contains Spanish moss and pineapple. Epiphytes are plants that attach themselves to limbs, tree trunks, power lines, fences, and many other structures with pseudo-roots. Unlike true roots, they do not absorb water and minerals; they merely attach the plant to an aerial structure. Since epiphytes do not take nutrients and water from these aerial structures, they are not parasites; therefore, ball moss is not a parasite.

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Return of the

Migration is an incredible evolutionary development that is performed by a multitude of different kinds of animals from salmon, crabs, locusts, ladybugs, and butterflies to bats, elk, whales, and birds. These migrations can span hundreds of miles, cover great elevation changes, or cross great bodies of water. Even monarch butterflies have been documented moving 80 miles in one day. Migration is an adaptation that allows animals access to prime food sources or breeding grounds. Around here, spring usually marks the start of the migration performed by migratory birds. Many species of birds that fly south for the winter for the warmer weather and better food supply make the trek back north this time of year to reach their breeding grounds. 

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Austin is known for its love of trees and tree protection policies, and those efforts were recently acknowledged in a report, Austin’s Urban Forest, released in February by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. The Report, which is the first of its kind, is the product of the Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (UFIA). UFIA is an urban forest monitoring program and produces estimates of the quantity, health, composition, and benefits of urban trees and forests. 

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Congratulations to Austin Fire Department's Wildfire Division for a Fire Leadership Award, and the Lake Travis Fire Rescue for the Wildfire Mitigation Innovation Award! Established in 2014, the awards are the highest commendation for the innovation and leadership displayed by individuals and organizations committed to wildfire preparedness and mitigation. 

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Beautify Austin - Quail Creek Park Creek Restoration Project

Saturday, Mar 12, 2016 | 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Quail Creek Park, 1101 Mearns Meadow Blvd, Austin, TX 78758

Join Keep Austin Beautiful for one of many beautification days at Quail Creek Park. The service day is part of our Beautify Austin campaign where we are dedicating three months (and more) to a designated geographic area to support  volunteer passion with resources. Projects in the Rundberg neighborhood include litter abatement, creek restoration, native landscape installation, and park beautification efforts. For this project we will focus on creek restoration work along Little Walnut Creek in the park. Volunteers should wear long pants and close-toed shoes.


Under the Springs

March 16, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm | Splash! Exhibit at 2201 Barton Springs Road

Animal Magik Photography

Come enjoy Spring Break by Barton Springs and make time to enjoy lots of free activities.  

  • Meet a mermaid
  • Texas Colorado River Rolling Exhibit
  • Eliza Spring Tour at noon
  • Kid Friendly Activities
  • FREE

Splash Event Information | Splash Facebook Event

Tree Mapping Walks

Be a citizen scientist, share stories about your favorite trees, and help quantify the value of Austin’s trees with TreeFolks Austin Tree Map, our new, free, collaborative community tree mapping project! Learn the hows and whys of mapping and get a chance to win a gift certificate from Whole Earth Provision Co.!

Saturday, March 12th | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Cepeda Branch Public Library
Monday, March 14th | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm | Village at Western Oaks Karst Preserve

All events are free, but space is limited. Registration required.


Tree ID Walks

Take your tree knowledge to the next level, connect with other tree fans, and explore Austin’s green spaces!List of upcoming events:

Wednesday, March 16th | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Southeast Metropolitan Park
Monday, March 21st | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm | Pease Park

Thursday, March 31st, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm | Camacho Activity Center

All events are free, but space is limited. Registration required.


The Study of Nature: Natural History and the Creation of Nature

Lunchtime Lecture
Wednesday March 16th | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
One Texas Center | 505 Barton Springs Road - Room 500 Austin, TX 78704

This is the 3rd installment of the The Unity of Nature: The Creation, Discovery, and End of Nature series.  

Brought to you by Austin Water Utility, Center for Environmental Research, The University of Texas, Texas A&M University. This event is sponsored by the City of Austin's Trees Division, and Imagine Austin's - Green Infrastructure Speaker Series

Event Information 

Keep Austin Beautiful Clean Sweep

Saturday, April 9th | 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Party | 11AM-1:30PM. 

Join Keep Austin Beautiful and your fellow Austinites for Clean Sweep – Austin’s annual city-wide service day on April 9th where over 4,000 volunteers join together on an ordinary Saturday morning to make an extraordinary difference. After the network of cleanups volunteers are invited to a FREE volunteer party featuring live music, free lunch, door prizes, and performance by Animal Facts Club showcasing the Biodiversity of Texas.

Urban Forest Grant 

The City of Austin's Urban Forest Grant Program, established to promote tree conservation and other projects that benefit Austin's urban forest, has funding available to help preserve and grow Austin's canopy of trees. Projects eligible for funding include tree planting and preservation, education, public service announcements, disease control, and management of invasive species.

Free Mulch

Gather your shovels and gloves and get ready to load up on free wood mulch, courtesy of Austin Resource Recovery. Available to community members and residents*, this wood mulch is made from the yard trimmings collect curbside and is ready for use.

Landscape Survival Tools Rebate

Now is the time to prepare for Austin’s long hot summer.  By using a combination of mulch, compost and core aeration, your lawn will be ready for the long periods without rain we get in Central Texas. These techniques will ensure that water stays on your yard, reducing the need for supplemental irrigation.

WaterWise Rainscape Rebate

Homeowners and schools may receive up to $500 ($0.30/sq. foot -- 100 sq. foot min.) for installing landscape features such as berms, terraces, swales, rain gardens, porous pavement, and infiltration trenches that direct and retain rainwater on the property. 

Austinites can earn a $75 rebate on a home composting system through the City of Austin Home Composting Rebate Program. To qualify, attend a free composting class in the community or watch a class online. Then apply!

Free Trees

Urban trees decrease energy bills for residents, reduce maintenance costs for streets and storm water infrastructure, increase property values by making neighborhoods more beautiful, walkable, and desirable places to live, and combat the urban heat island effect. NeighborWoods has distributed over 43,000 trees since 2002 and conserved an estimated 5 million kilowatts-hour of energy! 
**Trees are delivered October through March.

The City of Austin's Community Trees Division is a proud supporter
of Imagine Austin's Green Infrastructure Priority Program #4

(512) 974-2070
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