Friday, September 25, 2009

City Watershed Project: Overview

Here's a summary and history of the City of Austin Watershed Protection and Development Review's (WPDR) plans (or what I know of them) for the Willowbrook Reach.
  • In 2007, FLWR received a grant from Keep Austin Beautiful for plants and a butterfly garden. As part of this process, we learned that WPDR had plans to work on the reach.
  • WPDR had decided to deal with the erosion, flood control and water movement issues in the Reach. Another goal of their work is to deal with the exposed water and sewer pipes crossing the Reach.
  • Over the subsequent two years, WPDR contracted engineers and landscape architects to draw up plans for the Reach Project. WPDR's Mike Kelly is the overall project lead and George Walker is the project manager.
  • In September 2009, WPDR presented preliminary plans for their project at a meeting with the greater Rosewood neighborhood association. (This is because they are also planning to do similar work on a downstream section of Boggy Creek at Rosewood Park.) Members of FLWR were present at the meeting. We also learned at that time from Christina Calvery at Public Works that they will be updating the water infrastructure underneath E. 40th and Willowbrook Reach streets as well.
  • Preliminary plans call for: small realignments of the creek bed from Cherrywood Road to 381/2 Street. The creek bed will be raised. All vegetation will be cleared from the creek and replanted with native shrubs and perennials. The banks of the creek will be widened. New trees will be planted on the outskirts of the Reach near the streets. New systems will be put in place for filtering runoff from the streets. At this time, there are no immediate plans for work upstream of Cherrywood Rd or downstream from 381/2 (until you get to Rosewood Park). No other projects are in the budget.