Shoal Creek Conservancy Awarded REI Grant

May 28, 2014  | By Shoal Creek Conservancy

We are happy to announce that the Shoal Creek Conservancy has been granted funding from REI, a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Alongside the grant, REI is also committed to building a partnership with Shoal Creek Conservancy that will greatly increase awareness of our efforts to improve the creek and trail.

The Shoal Creek trail is an approximately four-mile city-owned linear park that runs from Lady Bird Lake in downtown through west Austin to approximately 38th Street. Shoal Creek is a true multi-use trail, serving as both a recreational destination and north-south transportation corridor.

The Conservancy works to improve conditions on Shoal Creek by providing a voice for the creek and our community and mobilizing volunteers to maintain the trail. The funds from REI, as well as their teamwork, will maximize our work being done on and for the creek.

Despite its importance to the community, the City currently dedicates little to no funds to the management of the trail. While the City does the best it can with strained and shared resources, the ongoing impact of limited resources has led to major maintenance issues along its length. Trash and debris, particularly following storm events, is a major concern. In addition, graffiti is an ongoing problem on the bridges, walls, signs and the trail surface, and cleanup response is often delayed. Vegetation along the trail is overgrown with invasive species, and maintenance of landscaping and trees is also needed.

This grant will support our workdays with volunteers to improve the trail, including our third Friday of every month workdays with all interested community volunteers, regular workdays with local businesses and schools, as well as special workdays that vary from flood debris removal to invasive species removal. These funds will also support our participation in major Saturday workdays corresponding with citywide events, such as It’s My Park Day this past March and the upcoming National Trails Day on June 7.

Shoal Creek Conservancy is very excited about this award and the future of working alongside REI for the betterment of the creek.