Austin Tour – Mueller Park

Mueller Park

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

 

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Austin Trip – Community Gardens

Community Gardens – Aquaponics 101

The Community Gardens in Bastrop, Texas, really caught me off-guard because it was cooler than I expected, and that was even before I went through the free Aquaponics 101 class with Tyagaraja Welchthe (a.k.a Tyaga), resident permaculture and aquaponics practitioner, and owner of Sustainable Humane Earth in this business complex.

“At Community Gardens we have partnered with local business to provide quality local products and services to the community! We are an indoor/outdoor market place. We have a plant nursery, boutique, sustainable living systems such as aquaponics and a chicken coop. We also have a custom pool company, Landscape and custom home professionals to help with all your indoor and outdoor home needs! We want Community Gardens to be a unique and hands on experience for the entire family. We will be hosting many classes and events that will engage everyone from the smallest to the oldest and everyone in between. We look forward to serving you the next time you come by.” — Community Gardens Webpage

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Austin Trip – Roots Cooperative

Roots Cooperative

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.

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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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Eco-Road Trip – Valverde Commons

Valverde Commons Community – Summary:

  • Who: James Ludden
  • What: Visited the Valverde Commons Community
  • When: Monday, April 9
  • Where: Taos, NM

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

After the The Greater World Earthship Community, I traveled to the other side of Taos to visit Valverde Commons.

“Valverde Commons was conceived as an active adult CoHousing community in 2006 and developed from pastureland starting in 2011. Currently there are 22 energy efficient houses with 6 additional ones expected by 2023. Thirty four people live in the community as of 2018. The community is located in the heart of Taos, New Mexico and a short walk from the historic Taos Plaza.

The individual homes are clustered on 10 acres surrounding an almost 4 acre common green space, plus an adjacent 10 acre park with walking paths and gardens.

Our beautiful common house has a full kitchen, large meeting room, library, and laundry facilities. It is frequently used for group dining, parties, meetings, classes, and entertainment. The common house has rooftop solar energy to promote sustainability. We also have a barn building for communal garden tools, tractor, and garden carts. The barn also includes a complete professional wood working shop and other studio facilities.” – Valverde Commons FIC Profile

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Eco-Road Trip – Earthship Community

Earthship Community & Taos Mesa Brewery – Summary:

  • Who: N/A
  • What: Stopped at the Taos Mesa Brewery for directions; Visited the Rio Grande Gorge National Park; Toured and explored the Earthship Community
  • When: Monday, April 9
  • Where: Taos; NM

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

After driving through the forested high mountains of New Mexico coming from the Hummingbird Community, I traveled through the desert prairie plains to The Greater World Earthship Community.

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