Thanks to the grant obtained by the Friends of Balcones through the City’s NPP Program, the City-hired Contractor has completed* repairs to the “Creekside Trail” in Balcones Park. This is a great win for the neighborhood and park supporters. We started out with the goal to repair the dangerous chuckhole by the waterfall and were able to get a much larger section repaired. The trail is now open again. The completion is very timely as this section will allow for continued access from the Park to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail (NCWT) during construction of the NCWT extension to Amherst. This extension will start construction next month and be substantially complete in October. When complete, the two trails will provide a nice walking, running/biking loop and offer two different points of access to the NCWT which extends all the way to Walnut Creek Metro Park (with future extensions planned to I-35 and beyond).
In return for the grant, the neighborhoods have agreed to do volunteer projects to improve the Park and Greenbelt. We have a good start on the required volunteer hours with a great turnout for It’s My Park Day events in 2017 and 2018. We also cleared rocks and gravel from about 100 yards of the trail by the spring over the last year however there are some projects we need to do soon:
Pool Landscaping: we need about 6 volunteers to finish the pool entry landscaping – this project will completely transform the pool entrance!
There is some restoration work needed along the newly repaired trail. The contractor hired by the city doesn’t have the expertise to properly restore the side slope of the trail and since we still need to contribute volunteer hours, we have agreed to finish this task. We need about 12 volunteers to roll rocks, rake soil, place seed, and mulch this area.
Wildflower restoration: the City’s contractor disturbed the eastern portion of a wildflower area because they had to use that area for equipment access. Unfortunately they seeded the area with bermuda grass which will compete with wildflowers. We need 3-4 volunteers to rake the seed/mulch mixture to expose the seed to drying. Then we will plant new native grass and wildflower seed.