In a phone call home this week, Alec from Iowa told his parents how our crew, the purple crew, is building a trail that will be famous in Austin when it is finished and when people talk about Austin they will talk about this trail that we are building. Of course, the purple crew won’t complete the entire trail. Roughly 30 miles long and 8 feet wide of crushed granite, the Violet Crown Trail will pick up the end of the Greenbelt and carry it through South Austin’s Dick Nichols Park, the Veloway, and the Wildflower Center on its way out towards Buda. Once completed, it will not only host hikers, dogs, cyclists, and the adjacent neighborhoods, but also people commuting from those neighborhoods to work and the nearby businesses. And after years of meetings between our staff and the City of Austin and the Hill Country Conservancy, work has finally started by cutting a 12’ x 12’ corridor through cedars and greenbriar and the occasional oak destroyed by oak wilt. Throughout the week, a few of us also measured, tagged, and took the GPS coordinates of the larger oaks and cedars along the trail which will be included in a GIS map of the trail. The youngest of our crew, Molly Coffman, led the way on this part of the project with her background as a civil engineering major at UT. Though many of our crew are new to Austin, being a part of creating the Violet Crown Trail is a very big project and in the words of one of the SLA crew leaders, Preston Smith, “Totally awesome, man!” It’s a sentiment the purple crew echos everyday we work on it.
Emily Grooms, ECorps Crew Leader