Creating A Ripple Effect on Watershed Issues

This spring the city of Austin Watershed Protection in a joint effort with Keep Austin Beautiful and Austin Parks and Recreation adopted a passive approach to managing our creeks and streams.  By passive I don't mean uninvolved, but rather taking the "natural" approach to conservation management.  This project requires citizen involvement and all stakeholders from government departments to non-profits.  The program is called Adopt A Creek and encourages Neighborhood Associations to do real citizen science work.  In addition to litter clean-up and creek clean-up, there's opportunities for data collection, educational seminars and community building focused on our creeks and watersheds.

To start, 16 creeks around the city have signs declaring "No Mow Zones."  These "recovery zones" create a buffer between the mowed grass and the creek embankment.  These " riparian buffers" are necessary to allow for revegetation to protect the banks from further erosion and degradation, increased habitat and biodiversity, decreased water temperatures (if there is any water) and improved water chemistry.  If you notice mowing occurring within these marked zones please call 311 and report it.  Last week at least 4 native trees were cut down in the creekbed of Battle Bend Park putting the revegetation back at least 5 years.

The picture above is of Waller Creek.  Degraded or pristine?  What are some ways to improve our creek systems and ultimately our water quality?  For more information on how your Neighborhood Association can become an Adopt A Creek participant contact Alex Duncan at and visit the Riparian Restoration website of Watershed Recovery at



It’s happening all over Austin!!

The Watershed Protection Department and Parks and Recreation Department are working together to improve riparian areas in some City parks.

Click on the park name below to see a fact sheet describing the specific efforts at that park .

Bartholomew District Park

Blunn Creek Greenbelt, Big Stacy Park

Boggy Creek Greenbelt

Bull Creek District Park

Buttermilk Branch Greenbelt

Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park


Dottie Jordan Park

Gillis Park

Givens Park

Lady Bird Lake

North Star Greenbelt

Reed Park

Robert E Lee Park

Tarrytown Park

Willowbrook Reach on Boggy Creek

Oak Springs Detention Pond

Boggy Creek below Airport Blvd


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