I stumbled on Mueller Park looking for a coffee shop with free WiFi while I killed some time before my next stop of the day. I initially pulled over at the food truck park, which I stopped at years ago if I remember correctly, but wanted somewhere that I could actually sit down, so I drove into the heart of Mueller Park!
“Located just three miles from downtown Austin and the Texas State Capitol and two miles from The University of Texas at Austin, Mueller is perfectly positioned to become an energetic new hub for central Austin.
The ambitious effort to redevelop Robert Mueller Municipal Airport into a mixed-use urban village in the heart of the city has helped Austin chart new directions. Mueller is envisioned as a sustainable community that is meeting extensive goals in housing and economic development. The award-winning Mueller Master Plan and the ambitious Master Development Agreement with Catellus Development Group and the City of Austin are the culmination of decades of community planning efforts from visionary neighbors and active citizens.” — Mueller Austin Webpage
Agua Dulce Tour
I started my day at Agua Dulce Farm in Austin, Texas, to check out what a fully-functional aquaponics farm looks like and functions within a semi-urban setting.
“Agua Dulce Farm is a certified-Organic urban farm located in the heart of Austin, Texas, just 5 miles from downtown. We specialize in intensive Organic vegetable farming, using the most most sustainable and productive methods available. Part of what makes us so unique is our use of aquaponics.” — Agua Dulce Farms Webpage
Agua Dulce Farm serves a number of fine restaurants and vendors in Austin and beyond!
Farmshare Austin Tour
My second stop of the day was at Farmshare Austin, an educational farm teaching new farmers and food supplier for local farmers’ markets and under-served communities.
“At Farmshare Austin, our mission is to grow a healthy local food community by increasing food access, teaching new farmers and preserving farmland. We envision a future of resilient local food economies that provide farmers with livable incomes, value the resources needed to farm and ensure organic food access. Farmshare Austin builds bridges between the produce grown on our 10-acre certified organic farm in Eastern Travis County and food access programs reaching food insecure communities in Central Texas.” — Farmshare Austin Webpage
My final stop of the day was at the Roots Cooperative in Austin, Texas, for their open house and ‘meet and greet’ for those interested in upcoming available rooms.
“We are one of the 8 community cooperative here in Austin Texas. Our focus is on environmental sustainability and community building. We are governed through consensus process and highly value communication. Roots was founded by 10 activists out of the Occupy movement and takes a strong political and social stance for equality by gaining awareness of societal generated oppression and creating a new standard for non-hierarchical relationships.” – Fellowship of Intentional Communities Webpage
This is a view of the rental house turned underground cohousing community, which includes a couple of trailers for additional housing space. It’s tucked into an older neighborhood that is slowly being updated and gentrified with newer homes — a consistent trend in Austin.
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.
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