Austin Trip – Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and The Veloway Park

While in Austin, my grandma recommended we go see the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. My dad had taken my little brother and I years ago, but I can’t remember that visit – so I felt like it was the first time going to the center, especially with all the funding, improvements and expansions within the past several years.

“The University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the official state botanic garden and arboretum of Texas. The Center promotes its mission to inspire the conservation of native plants through its internationally recognized sustainable gardens, education and outreach programs, research projects, and consulting work.” — LBJWC Webpage

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Austin Trip – Pease Park Willows

Willow Structures at Pease Park

After Zilker Botanical Garden, my grandma wanted to take me over to Pease Park to check out the willow structures called Yippee Ki Yaystickwork by Patrick Dougherty, an artistic weaver and sculpture using woody materials like willow and tree limbs.

Patrick Dougherty, a North Carolina-based artist, is known for creating whirling architectural sculptures from locally-harvested saplings. Dougherty and a team of over 200 Pease Park Conservancy volunteers constructed this site-specific installation using Baccharis neglecta (Roosevelt Weed) and Ligustrum, an invasive species, gathered in and around Austin. Yippee Ki Yay was privately funded by donations made to Pease Park Conservancy and was formally approved through the City of Austin’s Art In Public Places program.

Dougherty says of his inspiration for the sculpture, “We didn’t build a cathedral, instead we borrowed its corners,” referring to the Spanish-Colonial style architecture he encountered during his time in Austin. The sculpture consists of five repeated corner shapes that can be explored through the maze-like passageways they create and the multiple viewpoints from their many entrances and windows. With the title, he also gives a nod to Texas cowboy culture that is much beloved across our state. The installation will remain on view for several years before being dismantled to be used as mulch in the park.” — Pease Park Webpage

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Austin Trip – Austin Central Library Talk & Tour

Austin Central Library – Library Design Talk and Full Tour

I returned to the Austin Central Library for another “Talk Green to Me” seminar about the sustainable design and features of the library, only this time I brought my grandma who wanted to see the new library and and city hall.

The seminar we attended was called, “A Deep Green Building Within a Green Neighborhood: presented by Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Austin; Jonathan Smith, Associate Partner at Lake|Flato Architects; and Kathy Zarsky, the LEED Consultant for the new Austin Central Library.” — Austin Public Library Webpage

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Austin Trip – Several Sustainable Stops

Sustainable Stops: (1) Agave Community, (2) Chestnut Plaza, and (3) Chestnut Commons Community

After my scheduled stops, I drove around east Austin and came across a couple of other note-worthy sites. The first was a modern housing community development called, Agave, which consisted of eclectic, pastel colored houses of various shapes and sizes in this planned community!

Below is the Agave housing development sign at the bottom of the hill as you drive up into the community!

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Austin Tour – CMPBS

Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems Site

I was really looking forward to visiting the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (CMPBS) after I met Pliny Fisk III a couple of years ago at the CMPBS booth during EarthX Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas!

“The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, established in 1975, is a non-profit education, research, and demonstration organization specializing in life cycle planning and design. We undertake projects based on their potential contribution to site, regional and global sustainability and human health, and actively pursue collaborations with associate organizations, businesses and professional firms.

Projects emphasize regional contexts as bases for responsible resource use relative to materials, energy, water, waste, food, and meaningful employment. Our expertise is accessible through green planning and design services, conference presentations, public lectures, and published papers.” — CMPBS Webpage

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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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