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URS: Grow Zones Program

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ana gonzalez

on 18 October 2017

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Transcript of URS: Grow Zones Program

2010 tree planting, irrigation
erosion work
2 1/2years later in 2013
4 1/2 years later in 2015
1997 channel frequently mowed
2010 unmowed inside channel
2010 mowed creekside
How did it start?
Willowbrook reach restoration as a proof of concept
Success!!!! but, is it scalable?
lessons learned?
Grow Zones
Restoring our urban creekside forests
empower, support, guide
First version
No Mow Zones
2012: 12 pilot parks
MOU with Parks and Recreation
seedlings instead of container trees
no irrigation
passive restoration approach
Individual zones assigned to staff
stakeholder meetings
create volunteer base
manage site as restoration area
organize volunteer events
Success!!!! but, is it scalable?
lessons learned?
Second version
Grow Zones
2013: 21+ Grow Zones

Updated MOU
One staff managing program
one overarching restoration plan
one restoration events calendar
partner organizations lead events
Keep Austin Beautiful
Austin Parks Foundation
Ready, Set, Plant!
Forestry program
Tree Folks
Success!!!! but, is it scalable?
lessons learned?
Grow Zones 2.0
Adoption and restoration
47 sites and counting

Keep Austin Beautiful
Adopt-a-Creek Program
emphasis on restoration
$ for coordination staff
$ for seeds, plants, mulch
riparian restoration training
restoration plan template
site assessment
Austin Parks Foundation
Tree Folks
take home lessons?
Irrigation systems
Installation is time consuming and expensive
Maintenance is extremely time consuming
Not best use of potable water in drought-prone areas

Containerized trees
Require irrigation
Installation requires some strength/fitness
Poor quality stock (girdling roots, poor nursery practices)
Few species available in nursery trade

In summary...
Very few projects can be done
High investment and high risk
Skill and expertise required
Restoration is not landscaping
Time and resource intensive
NOT scalable
Bigger than us
Staff stretched thin
High demand for growth
Partner organizations energized
No Mow is a negative message
NOT scalable
There is only so much
excel can do to help
Limit in number of sites
High demand for growth
Partner organizations wanted more creeks and more events
NOT scalable
Another bottleneck?
The challenge
What resources can you leverage?
What is the size of your challenge
How can you be most effective?

Full transcript