Public Notice: Rewilding Zilker Park: How to Polish a Crown Jewel? – New


We have already written, here and elsewhere, on the Zilker park vision plan process that is led by the city Parks and Recreation Department. Well, Community Meeting # 3 will take place on Tuesday, where the audience will get a much-anticipated first look at some of the proposed “design concepts” that have been prepared by the city’s consultants and project team, incorporating feedback. the first two meetings and other outreach activities. . They are “eager to explore various ideas and possibilities with members of the community. The meeting is designed to be interactive and will include live polls, questions and answers and discussions ”.

Expect a busy time, because while everyone loves this crown jewel of the parks system, there are many different ideas on how this gem should be polished.

One side of this discussion will be firmly anchored in a document released today by the Save Our Springs Alliance and Zilker neighborhood associationation. Zilker rewilding park is a vision plan to return more of the park to a natural state – mainly reforestation, but also other vegetation and erosion controls, reduced parking and mowing, as well as a process known as phytoremediation for the former Butler dump near MoPac, to transform it from a caliche parking lot to a forest by the river.

The 61-page document includes a lot of background information, not all of which is available in the proper 92 page vision plan. It is an ambitious proposal. Noting that “82% of respondents to the Zilker Park survey supported the expansion of natural areas in the park,” the plan concludes that “at least 75 acres of Zilker Park’s 350 acres should be rescued … Resaved areas will include a mix of forests with grasslands, open forests and savannah wetlands to accommodate the different soils, slopes and daily needs of the park. ”Much of this is found in areas currently under- used – some of which have already been resuscitated by volunteer efforts – but the most visible change would be a ring of “wild” forests and unmown forests surrounding the Great Lawn. This would allow the current mix of picnics, sports pickup and smaller events, but between that and the proposal to revegetate the landfill / parking lot, it is clear that the ACL Party, for its part, “should adapt a bit,” as SOS’s Bill Bunch put it in an email to the Chronicle.

But this is an adjustment that ACL can cope with to some extent in any case. Without wishing to distinguish them, but it is clear that the question of the commercialization of green spaces has become a central question in the planning of the parks: how do you reconcile the value of a world-class music festival, with the value of ” nature, characteristics “? Robin Rather of Zilker NA presented the dilemma succinctly in another email:” ACL is so culturally and economically important and has strived to economically support PARD from its benefits. We are grateful for that. The cost to Zilker himself is deeply disturbing from an ecological point of view. “

PARD Community Meeting # 3 is Tuesday October 19 at 6 p.m. on Zoom and Facebook Live; you can register and get information on Interpretation in ASL and Spanish will be provided, and a recording will then be available on the project website.

[Ed. Note: This story originally referred to “the capped Butler Landfill” near the MoPac bridge underpass. The former landfill is not in fact capped; my apologies for the error.]


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