Our upcoming Greenbelt Guardian workday on October 16 will focus on sprucing up our wonderful urban Greenbelt trail for its showcase tour by participants of the National Trails Conference being held in Austin the following week.

The Homedale Trail entry to the Barton Creek Greenbelt was selected as an exemplary trail that provides urban dwellers with the balm and relief of the natural world in the midst of a bustling city. At the base of the trail a whole new world emerges in this largely undisturbed area, and we have the privilege of tending to it.

We need volunteers to help us: weed, remove invasive species, repair trail edging and eroded areas, complete the construction of lower steps onto the rock flats, complete repairs of the retaining walls by the new bridge, collect trash and debris, and gather native seeds for our revegetation process. We will also be sprucing up the entry kiosks (clean, paint, and stain), and will have a small area dedicated to Greenbelt Guardian updates and announcements.

If you would like to help, please join us for all or part of our next work day. Stan Ostrum, a veteran Greenbelt Guardian volunteer, will be leading the work day, along with our Parks partner John Cook. Robin McKeever, who hasn’t missed a single Greenbelt Guardian work day, will take care of all of the sign-in and assignment logistics, plus make sure that our volunteers are provided a nourishing lunch. Our new participating partners from the Travis County Juvenile Probation Program will also be there lending a hand. Glee Ingram, Greenbelt Guardian Coordinator, will be out of town, connecting through cyber-space and visualizing a wonderfully productive work day! Please RSVP to gleeful@earthlink.net, so that we can plan appropriately for the work day.

Thanks to all for your enthusiasm for and participation in this program. There was a lovely letter in the Chronicle this week entiitled “Life Enhanced”, in which the writer recalls the magic line in Hammerstein’s lyrics for “Oklahoma”: “We know we belong to the land, and the land we belong to is grand.” He reflects that there is something in us that gives us balance when we are in receptive communication with our setting. These work days provide us with that healing opportunity for balance.

Glee Ingram


This is getting to be a good habit. We had another great workday on the greenbelt trail, high temperatures not withstanding. What looked daunting at the beginning of the day was achieved, plus some, by the end of the day. We had 20 hardy neighborhood volunteers working side by side with 16 strapping teenagers from the Travis County Juvenile Probation program and their three supervisors, logging in a total of 179 work hours! That kind of team working that many hours can achieve miracles.

Our accomplishments:

  • The entry trail, which had been diminished to a four foot wide path due to creeping bermudagrass, was weeded and cleared to its original eight foot wide expanse, and the rock edges were re-established;
  • The erosion rivulets in the middle of the path were repaired with a new layer of decomposed granite, which was crowned in the center and packed, to protect it from future “gully-washers”;
  • The newly planted trees were all fitted with trunk collars at the base to protect them from weed eater injuries;
  • The three-foot tall overgrowth along the sides of the trail was “mowed” with the weedeater, civilizing its appearance;
  • The revegetation area that we worked on six months ago had become completely overgrown with resprouting of Chinaberry and Ligustrum trees, plus poison oak, johnson grass and ragweed – brave souls ventured forth and cleared the area, to give breathing room to our newly planted trees;
  • The upper trail was further reinforced with cedar side bars, to keep the trail intact along the steep embankments;
  • The retaining walls that help support the banks of our new bridge were repaired and extended, as the high waters had washed some of the stones down the channel;
  • New boulder steps were added to make the transition of earthen trail to the rock flats safer during muddy periods;
  • Bags of trash were collected, reducing the aftermath of exuberant youthful celebrations of the return of flowing water.

Many thanks to all of the volunteers for their hardy and enthusiastic participation. The next workday is scheduled for Saturday, October 16, in preparation for the National Trails Day tour, which will take place on Saturday, October 23.

Glee Ingram


Homedale Trail Entry, 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Greenbelt Lovers,

Here’s our chance to learn of the dynamic relationships between water, steep grades, and the human hand. As John Cook and I walked the Homedale trail this week, between deluges, the mark of strong weather was everywhere on the trail: newly carved water ruts in the granite entry path, massively vigorous resprouting of the Chinaberry and Ligustrum trees that we removed six months ago (we’re not giving up!), numerous fallen trees blocking the woodland trail (enterprising humans have of course forged new temporary alternatives), signs of silt erosion onto the trails and down into the creek, collapsed stone retaining walls under our new footbridge, submerged boulder steps from the trail onto the rock flats, and massive amounts of human trash taking a free ride on the swollen creek waters, headed presumably for Town Lake and our not so fortunate neighbors downstream.

We’ve got quite a work day planned! We will be repairing the front entry path with new granite, assuring that it has a proper crown to avoid future erosion, hacking at the Chinaberry and Ligustrum root systems and re-drilling them to apply a root-weakening substance, yanking out johnson grass, ragweed and other prolific weeds by the roots, hacking back the bermudagrass intrusion onto the trail, adding a second tier of cedar log retainers along the woodland trail to reduce silt erosion, repairing the stone retaining walls, removing the fallen trees, and continuing the installation of boulder steps onto the stone creek ledge. We’ll also issue plenty of trash bags, because when the creek flow subsides, it will deposit a generous amount of human-generated trash.

I hope we will have many avid volunteers to enjoy the camaraderie of tending to our adopted trails. There is much to enjoy, learn, and repair. Both this work day and the next one in September will focus on the Homedale Trail in preparation for its being “featured” at the National Trails Conference being held in Austin this fall.

Please RSVP to this email address so we can properly plan for supplies and materials for the work day. Also, pass the information on to others who might we interested in participating. Thanks so much for the enthusiastic support for this wonderful resource in our midst. If you have any questions, please feel free to call.

Glee Ingram

Greenbelt Guardian Coordinator



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