Austin Trip – Seaholm District & City Hall

The Seaholm EcoDistrict and Austin City Hall

After the Talk Green to Me presentation by Edwin Marty, Austin’s first Food Policy Manager, at the Austin Central Library, I walked around the Seaholm EcoDistrict and toward Austin City Hall to see some of the new sustainable developments and initiatives in the area.

“The iconic Seaholm Power Plant lends its name to the entire Seaholm EcoDistrict and symbolizes the revitalization of this prominent area in the heart of downtown Austin.

After the power plant was decommissioned in 1989, the property was designated as a brownfield site and was considered too contaminated for use. Between 1997 and 2003, significant investment was devoted to cleaning up the historic site, and in 2005 a public-private partnership was formed to redevelop the building using green design and construction practices.

Restoration of the power plant created a ripple effect of sustainable development surrounding the site and today the Seaholm EcoDistrict is a vibrant hub of residential, office, and community gathering spaces that reflects Austin’s spirit of originality and soul.” – City of Austin Webpage

Map of the Seaholm EcoDistrict area with key.

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Austin Trip – Austin Central Library Talk

Austin Central Library – Sustainable Food Systems Talk

While I was house-sitting for my grandparents in Bastrop, Texas, I planned excursions into Austin to see some sights and attend some public talks. My first public talk was at the new Austin Central Library as part the “Talk Green to Me: Sustainable Living Series,” a collaboration between the library, the Austin Office of Sustainability, and several other organizations speaking in the series.

This was first talk I attended in the series, which was presented by Edwin Marty, Austin’s Food Policy Manager, discussing about the State of Austin’s Food System.

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Austin Trip – Monolithic Dome Institute

Monolithic Dome Institute

My two week adventure to Austin started with a stop at the Monolithic Dome Institute’s Dome Research Park in Italy, Texas.

As a kid, I would always travel by Bruco, the giant dome caterpillar, on our family trips to visit my grandparents before they lost their home to one of the Texas fires several years ago. So this was the first time I actually pulled off the highway and took a look at the actual domes and houses that made up this unique dome community!

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School of Permaculture

The School of Permaculture

School of Permaculture LogoMy experience with the School of Permaculture (SOP) started before I left for Lost Valley Education and Event Center in Oregon, where I earned my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and Ecovillage Design Education Certificate (EDE) as part of LV’s Holistic Sustainability Semester (HSS) program. (See past blog posts)

I officially met Nicholas Burtner and his wife, Kristi Burtner, at their suburban home demonstration site in Plano, Texas, for one of their free ‘Intro to Permaculture’ classes — which was the Friday before the start of their in-person PDC class weekend from Saturday to Sunday at the Plano Environmental Education Center.

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EarthX Expo 2018

EarthX Expo 2018 – Day 1 & 2 Summary

After my eco-inspired road trip, I had a hard time getting involved with sustainability initiatives in the Dallas Metroplex area compared to my time in Oregon. However, during Earth Day weekend, April 20-22 (with Earth Day on April 22), Dallas hosted its annual EarthX Expo, and I was excited to attend for my second year in a row!

“The festival, formerly called Earth Day Texas, is the world’s largest environmental festival, having drawn as many as 130,000 people. The main festival costs $5 and runs from Friday through Sunday at Fair Park.

But there are also two weeks’ worth of events, including a film festival and professional conferences that aren’t open to the public.

The three-day expo draws the general public with a tiny house village, a petting zoo, goat yoga, a scuba diving pool and about 1,000 exhibitors. At the same time, the festival is hosting conferences to discuss sustainability initiatives in the oil and gas industry and the E-Capital Summit to link investors with clean technology startups.” – Dallas Morning News Article

Last year in 2017, I went to EarthX for networking purposes and to drum up new business for the marketing agency I was working at. And the experience was more than inspiring getting to talk with hundreds of vendors/exhibitors, touring the tiny house community, watching some award-winning documentaries, and seeing cutting-edge sustainability initiatives and technologies!

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Eco-Road Trip – Texas Tech & Dallas Bound

Texas Tech Reminiscing & Dallas Bound – Summary:

  • Who: Kelly Kingston; Sidne Smith
  • What: Stated at my friends’ bachelorette pad; Toured Texas Tech before returning to Dallas
  • When: Wednesday, April 11
  • Where: Lubbock, TX; Dallas, TX

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

I spent the majority of Tuesday driving from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Lubbock, Texas, where I went to college at Texas Tech University – and stayed with college friends, Kelly Kingston and Sidne Smith, in their downtown bachelorette loft!

This is a view of downtown Lubbock, and yes, there are high-rise buildings in West Texas!

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