Convict Hill Quarry Park

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oak Hill Combined Neighborhood Plan--from the City of Austin
 to see the full plan

The Convict Hill Quarry Park section is above.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

2007 Keep Austin Beautiful Award Winners!!!!!!!!!!

After reviewing over 50 applications and hours of judging, Friends of Convict Hill Quarry Park have been chosen as the Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB) Award WINNER for Community Involvement! We will be recognized at an awards ceremony on 6 February 2008.

We will use our grant money: 1) to build a Chimney Swift tower, 2) to build a rock wall along the east side of the property and, 3) to a waterfall along the western trail to address drainage from a retention pond up the hill.

Look for big changes in the park in 2008!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dr. Jim Turney wins Oak Hill Citizen of the Year!

Thanks for all you have done to create awareness about our project in the community, Jim.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How to donate money & What's on the schedule for January?

Reviewing this blog will give you a small view into the effort our neighborhood has put forth in the restoration of the park. We have received grant money two years in a row from the Austin Parks Foundation but we need more to help with our 2008 goals, including the building of a waterfall and chimney swift. You will also find a detailed review of future plans in the blog. To donate: Write a check out to "Austin Parks Foundation" and write "Convict Hill Quarry Park" on the memo line. Mail your check to: Austin Parks Foundation; 701 Brazos, Suite 170; Austin, TX 78701.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

8 December 2007 work day--preparing for waterfall construction

These are the stacks of rocks we collected and will be using for the waterfall construction.

8 December 2007 work day--preparing for waterfall construction

Perspective of the whole area where we'll be working

8 December 2007 work day--preparing for waterfall construction

A close-up of the existing waterfall area

8 December 2007 work day--preparing for waterfall construction

At the western edge of the property we have to contend with drainage from 2 huge retention ponds. To prevent further erosion and standing water on the trail we are going to construct a waterfall with large flat rocks from within the park stacked upon one another, following the slope uphill. The new waterfall will divert the water to one of 2 retention ponds, then slowly downhill. This photo is of the western trail approaching the waterfall area.

8 December 2007 work day--group photo

8 December 2007 work day--"American Gothic" Convict Hill Quarry Park style!

What do a bunch of weary volunteers do with 2 pitchforks? Recreate Grant Wood's "American Gothic", of course.

8 December 2007 work day--the dreaded stump is gone!!!!!!!

We tried spray painting it, tying a safety orange ribbon on it and warning each other about it. Gary and I have tripped over this stump at least 4000 times during the last 3 years. It finally rotted enough for Gary to attack it with a pick axe! Gary, thanks for killing this nasty stump.

8 December 2007 work day--recovering the trail with mulch

After all the rocks were neatly arranged like a perfect puzzle we recovered the trail with mulch.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

8 December 2007 work day--arranging rocks

The trail along the eastern side of the park close to the back of the property retained water after heavy rains. We solved the problem by raising the trail about 5 inches. We started by raking back the mulch. Volunteers collected flat rocks and we pieced them together flagstone-style. While we really liked the beautiful rock pattern, it was not fun to walk on (think sprained ankle city!). So, we covered the flat rocks with dirt and raked back the original mulch. Voila! No more water retention!

8 December 2007 work day--a recap

We had some seriously warm and humid weather for our work day today, with a record high in the mid 80s! Over 20 volunteers graciously gave their time and effort, including 3 neighborhood families with their children. It's so refreshing to see children appreciate nature and work incredibly hard while spending time with their parents! We raised an 80 foot section of low-lying trail near the back of the property, pulled out a nuisance stump we have all tripped over at least 12,000 times and began collecting very large and heavy flat rocks for our waterfall construction. We had the honor of having a Master Naturalist volunteer her time today; she worked with Joan removing nuisance invasives. Thanks so much ladies! Oh, and then there was the "Convict Hill Quarry Park" rendition of Grant Wood's American Gothic.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Our park wins 2006-2007 Adopt a Park Partners award!

The winners of this award were determined by City of Austin Parks and Recreation nominations. We received the Outstanding Neighborhood Association of the Year award! Joan Singh, our wonderful guide and partner, received an Outstanding Staff Leverage Award. Our award is a piece of the historic Treaty cool!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What will we be doing in November?

Check out our new November flyer

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

13 October 2007 work day

The second group gathered dirt sending it through a "filter" to remove large rocks. We used the dirt to fill in between the flat rock foundation, effectively raising the trail several inches.

13 October 2007 work day

We worked in two groups with the common goal of raising the trail in several low-lying areas. This group collected flat rocks from the property and arranged them as the "foundation".

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oak Hill Gazette--Dedication Day

We had countless volunteers and neighbors attend our park dedication. Thank you to Oak Hill Gazette journalist Mike Jordan for his continual support by keeping our project "in the news."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How can you help? See our October update flyer

You'll find our plans for the park improvements in this flyer. We need financial help! Please write a check to "Austin Parks Foundation" with "Convict Hill Quarry Park"on the memo line. Mail the check to: Austin Parks Foundation; 701 Brazos, Suite 170; Austin, TX 78701

We received our second Austin Parks Foundation Grant!

Convict Hill Quarry Park was one of only seven parks to receive a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation!!!!!!!!!! We plan to use the money to erect a chimney swift tower, build a waterfall to control seepage, and extend a rock wall along the front of the park. Here is the public announcement of our award:

Many, many thanks to Gary Anderson and Dr. Jim Turney for their hard work in writing our grant request.

Work dates for the rest of 2007-January 2008

**Work hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm on all work days**
September 15-We removed huge stands of Johnson grass and weeds at the front of the park, relined trails with rocks, removed unwanted growth throughout the trail system, and raked mulch.
October 13-We worked on low-lying areas of the trail prone to flooding by raking back mulch, laying a base of flat rock, filling with dirt and re-covering with mulch. We raised each area several inches to make the trails walkable and help with drainage issues after rain.
November 10-We worked on more low-lying areas of trail prone to flooding
December 8-We had a *huge* turnout--21 volunteers!!! We worked on a long section of low-lying trail, pulled invasives and collected large flat rocks for our waterfall. It was a most productive work day!
January 12

15 September 2007 work day--our first fall 2007 work day

We started with two *huge* stands of Johnson grass and countless weeds in front of the park as well as unwanted growth all over the trails.

15 September 2007 work day--our first fall 2007 work day

We had lots of tools thanks to Gary Anderson, Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Keep Austin Beautiful.

15 September 2007 work day--our first fall 2007 work day

Refreshments were provided by Giss's cafe. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 September 2007 work day--our first fall 2007 work day

Wonderful volunteers cleared trails, removed weeds, replaced rocks lining trails and raked mulch. Thank you very much for all of your help!

15 September 2007 work day--our first fall 2007 work day

Johnson grass and weeds disappeared!

15 September 2007 work day--our first fall 2007 work day

The completion of the facelift! We filled many bags and created piles of nuisance Johnson grass and weeds.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Convict Hill Quarry Park Dedication 21 April 2007

The Honorable Valinda Bolton, Dr. Jim Turney, The Honorable Lloyd Doggett

Convict Hill Quarry Park Dedication 21 April 2007

The ribbon cutting

Convict Hill Quarry Park Dedication 21 April 2007

American Youthworks group shots after the ceremony. We could not have done this without you guys! Thank you very much.