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Environment

Austin's creeks have many colors – and types of bacteria

This winter, scientists across Austin are observing two types of bacteria in local bodies of water; one looks like orange slime, and another has a rainbow sheen. Despite their interesting appearance, the slime is no cause for alarm, according to…

PARD details the search for a new home for a newish boathouse

It’s not every day that 300 people show up for a local webinar, but when a future rail system threatens to collide with a popular rowing center and cafe, community members tend to take note. The occasion in this case…

Makeover planned for Violet Crown trailhead at Zilker Park

Significant improvements are coming soon to the beginning of the Violet Crown Trail at Zilker Park, including an overlook and an entrance worthy of what may someday be Austin’s longest urban trail.  The new overlook, shaded by a heritage pecan…

City partners up to monitor particulate matter in the air

Austin has begun working to better monitor the quality of its air. The Clean Air Force of Central Texas is working in partnership with the city of Austin’s Office of Sustainability and the Austin Independent School District to install PurpleAir…

Austin bird initiative takes flight

Bella Ramos is a birder. While she acknowledges that there may be more experienced and knowledgeable birders, she says she is “obsessed with birds.” Ramos and her bird-loving friends had even been turning off their lights to protect migrating birds years…

Resolution promises further development at Onion Creek park

Southeast Austinites can look forward to renovations at District 2’s Onion Creek Metropolitan Park, thanks to a resolution passed by City Council this past Thursday. The resolution, sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, calls upon city management to explicitly outline…

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Parks board takes long view toward managing watercraft on Lady Bird Lake

Concession operations at Town Lake Metropolitan Park, which includes recreational spots along Lady Bird Lake and Zilker Park, provided about $750,000 in revenue to the city’s General Fund in 2021. That’s due in large part to Austin’s population surge as…

Parks board supports Pease Park Conservancy's programming plan

Eeyore’s annual birthday party and park closures for private events were among the top concerns from some Parks and Recreation Board members Tuesday when the Pease Park Conservancy presented its 2022 programming plan for Kingsbury Commons at the park. The…

Texas Railroad Commission takes a step toward safeguarding some energy infrastructure

On Tuesday, one day before a state-mandated deadline, regulators at the Railroad Commission of Texas approved a rule outlining which Texas natural gas suppliers need to be ready to operate during energy emergencies. The vote begins to address a weak…

New expansion plan helps food forest put down roots

Just across Interstate 35, tucked away from the busy streets and towering skyscrapers of downtown Austin, is a small green oasis called the Festival Beach Food Forest. Visitors can walk the trails just off Lady Bird Lake, picking – and eating…

New water-saving requirements take effect Dec. 1

Starting Dec. 1, eligible new developments in Austin will need to include water-conservation measures. The new requirements are in response to City Council actions and subsequent code amendments adopted in recent months. Once the new terms take effect, developments submitting…

Austin Energy's REACH program falls behind its carbon emissions goals

Austin Energy announced last week that it is significantly behind its goals for reducing carbon emissions this year, citing operational and market factors. While the utility hopes to make up some of the gap between now and the end of the…

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