Convict Hill Quarry Park

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.