Our goal is to promote beautification within the Highland Park West Balcones Area neighborhood and to increase community involvement within the area by:
• Improving the appearance of selected public green spaces and problem areas
• Organizing neighborhood clean-up days and tree planting projects
• Sponsoring Adopt a Median/Street/Bus Stop programs
• Exploring other opportunities to enhance community involvement and beauty in the neighborhood
To volunteer or donate to our Beautification efforts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC GREENSPACE AND BEAUTIFICATION PROJECTS:
Here are a few of the beautification projects in our neighborhood. Some of these were done by the Beautification Committee and some by neighbors who live close to the public green spaces.
Balcones Drive/Parkcrest Drive Median
Landscaping the median at this intersection was the first beautification project for the HPWBANA back in 2003. The project involved working with the Parks and Recreation Department and Keep Austin Beautiful to replace the rough grass with native Texas landscaping that blooms beautifully. The Balcones Exxon Automotive station allows volunteers to use their water spigot to hand water the median when needed. Volunteers tend it as needed.
SE Corner of Hancock Bridge
The corner of Hancock and W Frances Place was landscaped by the beautification committee in the fall of 2004. It includes a native Texas landscape on the corner along with planting a burr oak and elm along the sidewalk.
A neighbor allows volunteers to use their water tap to water when needed. Hancock Bridge plant list: trailing lantana (purple), rock rose, purple coneflower, pink skullcap, zexmenia, Mexican feathergrass, twistleaf yucca, basket grass (nolina), cedar elm tree, burr oak tree.
Ridge Oak Triangle
The very large median at the intersection of Ridge Oak Drive and Lake View (4621 Lake View) is an ongoing project. Residents in that area were surveyed in early 2003 to see what improvements were of interest. The HPWBANA Beautification Committee received a grant from Austin Parks Foundation in 2003 to help with providing a water source in the center of the median and then seven trees were planted as an Eagle Scout project. The center of the green space remains open at the request of neighbors. Neighbors and committee members help water the trees. Four native Texas landscape beds were designed by our committee to add beauty to the area. Large rocks were positioned along the edge as a barrier to keep people from driving on the median. The beautification committee received a donation from Cheer Up Productions to help restore the area as they used the median as a camp for filming one weekend.
In the winter of 2005 vandalism of the median was a focus for neighbors. Neighbors and HPWBANA pitched in for a large load of boulders to be positioned along the entire median. The boulders have been successful in keeping vehicles off the median.
The sticker grass problem continues to be the top irritation for the green area. In the fall of 2005 sticker bur plants were weeded out in huge quantities and in the spring of 2006 corn gluten was spread over the area to prevent seed growth. In 2011 new neighbors began discussing more improvements at this median.
Foothill Terrace Median
A little history. This median has been maintained many years by neighbors in that area. In early 2003 the HPWBANA Beautification Committee began assisting the neighborhood in the median maintenance and created a native Texas landscape design to complement and complete the existing design, and to minimize some of the yearly maintenance. A Life Scout took on this median as a project to give it a good cleanup and new plantings.
In the summer of 2004 a resident in the area became the steward of this green space and introduced some significant improvements. The first was to move a very large oak tree to the center of the median. It was quite the sight to see this huge tree move through the air. The median was also professional landscaped, irrigation added and is regularly maintained. The median is quite beautiful and many thanks go out to this local steward.
Ridge Oak Reservoir
This area at 4400 Ridge Oak Dr is also home to the Highland Park West Pump and Reservoir. It is used as a little local park by the neighborhood where people gather to exercise pets, view the sunset, perform yoga, etc. In 2005, The Friends of Bright Leaf teamed up with the Beautification Committee to help with the invasive plant problem along the fence that borders Bright Leaf. These invasive non-native plants are a problem for Bright Leaf because they reseed the preserve. Five different groups gathered to help with this project; Bright Leaf State Natural Area, Friends of Bright Leaf, City of Austin Water Utility Department, Keep Austin Beautiful and HPWBANA.
Highland Terrace/Perry Lane Median
This median was once a slab of concrete. Neighbors in the area have worked hard to change this concrete median into a green landscape. With a Keep Austin Beautiful Neighborhood Grant and donations from neighbors and the HPWBANA, the project was well supported. It took over two years for neighbors to get the necessary city approvals. About 20 families in the neighborhood take turns caring for this green space.
Highland Terrace West Median
The long thin median on Highland Terrace West is the location of a neighborhood community native garden completely created and cared for by interested residents in that area. One neighbor in particular got things started back in 2008 during the drought recognizing the need to garden differently. The median was slowly transformed from a strip of stressed Bermuda grass to wonderful native garden filled with lots of color and interest. It is a work in progress as more plants are added. This space has become a great place for local neighbors to meet and chat.
Beverly Skyline Median
The large round median at the top of Beverly Skyline Dr is a low maintenance native green space cared for mainly by neighbors who live right there. Several live oak and pecan trees along the edge were planted as saplings over 50 years ago along with possumhaw holly and yaupon holly in the center. Those trees are now beautiful and mature. Decades ago neighbors also had an irrigation system installed that is used during drought periods. The city mows the median. It is a lovely space for the neighborhood.
Mount Bonnell Clean Up
The trash that accumulates at Mount Bonnell is significant. It may seem like a small thing but beautification committee members have been going to Mount Bonnell since the spring of 2006 to pick up trash along the street and in the park.
The West Point Society of Central Texas adopted the park in 2010 and have been working with PARD, APF, KAB, and local neighborhood associations to make many improvements. There first project was to open up the views again at the summit. Years of growth had blocked the incredible views of the Austin skyline and Colorado River Valley.
Check out the recently added park kiosk for more information about the park and events and the West Point Society website.