|10:30am (in Pioneer Village vegetable garden)
Backyard Composting Challenge
Come early to the vegetable garden in the Pioneer Settlement where Alan Watts will cover composting, a great way to recycle your kitchen scraps and yard trimmings, reduce your trash output and generate a rich soil conditioner; for free! By composting, you’re helping the City of Austin reach its Zero Waste goal by reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills, thereby reducing greenhouse gases and saving natural resources. The City of Austin's Home Composting Rebate Challenge is a program challenging Austinites to do three things:
1. Downsize to a 24-gallon or 32-gallon trash cart
2. Take a free home composting class
3. Purchase a home composting system
Austin Resource Recovery curbside customers who do these three things are eligible for a rebate on a home composting system. The rebates are for 75 percent of the total cost of the composting system (taxes excluded), up to $75 in value. More details at www.austintexas.gov/composting.
Elizabeth has a Master’s degree in landscape architecture, an undergraduate degree in biology, and is a certified permaculture designer. This training, along with her creative spirit and volunteer experiences, make her more than qualified to create multi-functional, sustainable landscapes that increase water infiltration and enhance and/or protect wildlife habitats.
Beyond her work as a landscape designer and restoration consultant in the Texas Hill Country for the past 16 years, Elizabeth also educates the public about native plants, Hill Country ecology and history. One of her favorite topics is the Mountain Cedar (aka Ashe juniper). She is finishing up a book on this much debated tree.
Urban Landscapes Convert To Organic
Owner of The Natural Gardener, Austin’s organic garden center which has been voted "Best of Austin" by Chronicle readers ten times, also featured in national gardening magazines, and winner of many awards including Garden Center Magazine’s “Innovative Garden Center of the Year” for 2008. John himself has been given state, local, and regional awards, including “Texas Legendary Promoter of Organics”. His Lady Bug Natural Brand and his focus on teaching organic gardening, demonstrate to new and old gardeners how easy, beneficial and beautiful it is to grow organic. He hosted “The New Garden”, the first national organic gardening series on PBS. John still hosts America’s longest continuously running (27 yrs) organic gardening radio talk show on KLBJ 590. “The Weekend Gardener” will be broadcasting live from Zilker Garden Festival, 8 to 11 Saturday and Sunday mornings. www.naturalgardeneraustin.com
Water: Key To Our Future
Dr. Lauren Ross
Earning 3 degrees in civil engineering, Dr. Ross is owner of Glenrose Engineering in Austin. During decades of environmental work and political activism, she helped to pass the Save Our Springs citizen’s referendum, close a hazardous waste facility in an East Texas African American community, and bio remediate soils in Post-Katrina New Orleans. She was a designer of the first privately-permitted composting toilet in Austin, the first Austin-permitted residential gray water system in 25 years, the first pervious pavement system to stack storm runoff treatment and flood detention beneath a parking lot, and Austin’s first bio filter for storm runoff treatment. She is currently working on a riparian restoration project along Shoal Creek in Pease Park, and a pilot gray-water permitting program for Austin with Council Member Chris Riley.
photo of stream
Nature Watch Austin
Lynne Weber & Jim Weber
Lynne and Jim are both certified Texas Master Naturalists, Lynn is past president of the Capital Area chapter. They are co-authors of Nature Watch Austin, a guide to the seasons in an urban wildland. The Webers are National Wildlife Federation habitat stewards who conduct bird surveys, monitor and map invasive species, write nature columns for neighborhood newsletters, and lead nature hikes. Members of the Native Plant Society of Texas, they are conserving resources by removing non native species and landscaping their property using native plants only. They are outdoor enthusiasts who share their love of nature and how best to preserve it for future generations. A book sale and signing will follow this presentation.
Rainwater Harvesting Basics
Dick Peterson’s interest in water conservation and Rainwater harvesting goes back over 20 years. As the City of Austin Xeriscape Coordinator, he developed its rebate program for rain barrels and cisterns. Later he was rainwater, irrigation and landscape expert at Austin Energy Green Building. Now retired to his manor in Manor, Dick organizes educational workshops and consults with clients on rainwater harvesting, landscaping, green construction, and green remodeling projects. Rainwater tanks can be worked into any urban property, as shown in the photo taken at Howson Branch Library.