Saturday, November 9, 2013

Halloween Flood Repair Teamwork

A 4 hour project Saturday November 9th resulted in leveling and spreading a huge pile of crushed granite road base donated from a nearby project underway by White Construction Company and their site preparation contractor Champion Site Prep. THANKS to them and the energetic volunteers who filled in a large puddle in the parking area next to the Bull Creek Greenbelt trail head at the SE corner of 360 and Spicewood Springs Road. There are several more large piles at other leroded locations that need spreading..
One just downhill of this area and another on the west side of 360 and north side of the creek at Google map location
Please feel free to go out on your own and  work oin spreading these out in the low and eroded areas.

5340 Old Spicewood Springs Road south of the rest rooms

7872 highway 360, west side, north of low water crossing

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Flood Repair Workday Saturday Nov. 9th 10-1

We have some October 30th flood damage repairs to do.
Please RSVP to if you can join us.
Bring your own water and snack, trash bag and a favorite tool if possible - lopper, shovel,
rake, hand saw.
We will have limited tools available.
We will meet at the parking lot by the rest rooms at 5340 Old Spicewood Springs Road just off 360.
Map at
See you there!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bull Creek Watershed Report

This link to the City Watershed Protection Department report on Bull Creek Watershed contains a host of good information

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bull Creek Flood Aftermath Oct. 13, 2013

From severe drought to flood in one day!

We had 4.5 inches overnight. Some parts of town 5 miles south of here got 12 inches.  These pictures were taken at 2:30 pm, when the flow was down to 100 cubic feet per second, hours after the nighttime deluge which raised the creek flow quickly from 1 to 1,800 cubic feet per second and the height up 4 feet and from 6 feet wide to over 100 feet wide.

Kayakers headed downstream to search for a Black Labrador who was swept downstream when he stepped off into the rushing current at the low water crossing at Old Spicewood Springs Road and Hwy 360. No word of a rescue after almost 2 hours.

Fallls east of Hwy 360 at Lakewood Dr which were almost dry one day earlier.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bull Creek Fireewise Management

Wednesday September 4, 2013, on a steamy hot morning just after a rain shower, Heather, Mark and Jarryd from the Gateway Whole Foods Market came out at 7 AM and worked for 4 hours with Crew Leader George Innis to cut and remove dead combustible wood under the canopy of heritage hardwood trees and stack it in open areas for a future control burn by Austin Fire Department. Firewise Management is included in every volunteer work day along the Bull Creek Greenbelt.

Monday, August 5, 2013



Protecting the riparian area the full length of Bull Creek and keeping Spicewood Springs Road west of 360 a "country in a city" corridor has been our goal since we started Bull Creek Foundation in 1994.
The one eyesore has long been a Junk Yard in the banks of the creek.
I have been working on the City and with its owner Roy Cavanaugh for at least 5 years to help facilitate an agreement so he can move his Junk Yard and commercial Glass Business off his property right on the banks of Bull Creek at 6308 Spicewood Springs Road and Yaupon, and let the City preserve it for water quality, riparian habitat and recreation..
We have had meetings at Roy's tract and at City hall with Parks, Watershed, Realty departments, Council staff, Mayor, consultants and lawyers during this time, and nothing of substance has emerged, primarily because the City doesn't understand the commercial value of Roy's current business and the commercial redevelopment potential.
In frustration Roy spend even more money and developed and got full City site plan approval in June 2013 for multi story self storage and dog grooming/kennel facilities, in order to give the City a more specific means of valuing the property.
Since that time City Staff has now told Roy that they need direction from City Council to do work on an agreement, even though previously they had attempted a few unsuccessful proposals. The Mayor even assigned an assistant of his to get engaged, but so far there has been no dialog with Roy.
The City has done many other agreements for land preservation. The City could offer Roy a combination of cash funds from Parks, Water Utility, Watershed departments, and they can grant Transfer of Development Rights (which allow developers needing more impervious cover in the desired development zones to purchase TDRs), and can offer a swap for City owned land, or possibly other measures.
Below is a current statement from Roy Cavanaugh. At the end he details the action that interested parties  can take immediately to urge the City to get moving on an agreement to allow the junk yard and glass business to be moved elsewhere over time.
Thanks for your help on this critical issue.

Skip Cameron, President
Bull Creek Foundation
8711 Bluegrass Dr.
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 794-0531

July 29, 2013

To: Neighborhood Association Officers, Interested Parties, and

I have been working for the past 8 years on a plan for my 6-acre tract on the Banks of Bull Creek at 6308 Spicewood Springs Road and Yaupon Dr. It houses Ace Auto Salvage and Discount Glass and Door.
I have owned and operated this successful  business for over 25 years, and it supports many members of my own family and over 20 long time employees and their families.

There are two options for this property that I have diligently pursued. The preferred one, based on input from the City, neighbors and Bull Creek Foundation,  is to reach an economic agreement with the City which would allow me to move my business elsewhere, removing all commercial uses. The other is to redevelop
the property, replacing the junkyard with another viable business to complement the existing glass business – mini storage and dog kennel/grooming.

Despite a lot of effort and expense on my part, I have been unsuccessful in getting the City Department leaders and City Council to reach an agreement that would allow me to move my businesses to another
location. Part of the City’s difficulty has been to fully understand the economic value of my land and business and come forth with an adequate proposal that would allow my businesses to survive and my family and employees with their jobs.

To assist the City better understand the commercial value, and to plan for a redevelopment should they not offer an acceptable agreement to me, I have spent more money and developed and received
City approval of a site plans in June 2013 for construction of dog kennel/grooming and mini storage facilities.

I have again tried to engage the City in substantive discussions on an agreement
that would allow me to transition my businesses elsewhere over a period of time. The Mayor assigned one of his assistants Andy Moorman to work with me on this last month. Despite numerous attempts by me, I have received zero communication from anyone in the City. With the City’s lack of interest, I have no recourse but to pursue my redevelopment plan. By August 29, 2013,I will have bids in hand and can commit to begin construction if the City will not agree in good faith to hammer out an Agreement so I can move.

As a lifelong resident and lover of Bull Creek, I have always preferred the move away option.
You as a stakeholder can lobby the City to achieve this by asking the City to produce a Development Agreement that will allow me to transition my businesses off my property over time.

Please send a message to City Council. Ask them to “Please pass a resolution on or before 8/29/13 directing City staff to finalize a Development Agreement under Section 212 of the State Code by 11/21/13 that provides adequate incentives for Roy Cavanaugh to transition his businesses elsewhere.”
Send your message to Council by going to this City web page
Click the box “Send yourself a copy” and then please forward that message to me at so I will then be able to keep you informed of progress.
Please call me or email me if I can answer any questions.
Roy Cavanaugh

Roy Cavanaugh

Monday, June 24, 2013

If you ever wonder what happens to the invasive Chinese Ligustrum that we remove all along Bull Creek, our lead Ligrustrum removing volunteer leader Jerry  Levenson takes some of them home and makes furniture!  Jerry is retired from IBM, lives right next to Bull Creek and is keeper/caretaker of out tool shed.

Jerry's latest - a Ligustrum 4 poster bed frame

Jerry Levenson's Ligustrum Rocker

Monday, May 20, 2013

Saturday May 11, 2013 saw an energetic group from LBJ Liberal Arts and Science Academy and several other volunteers and crew leaders do Spring trail widening along 2 miles of the Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail, and a Firewise Management wildfire suppression and old oak tree preservation all in one project, removing small new growth understory and cutting it into small pieces and laying it flat under the canopy of a majestic oak tree. This prevents a wildfire from jumping to the oak canopy which would kill it, and directs any fire close to the ground which does less damage and can be fought more easily.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 16 Work Day 9-12

   Removal of Waxleaf Ligustrum, a well known exotic invader, will be our main objective for this outing. Specifically, we will work on stands of this plant near the blue pin on the right on the map at
where you will also see where to park.
   Please remember, before you leave home, leave or store all things that can be viewed through your vehicle window in the trunk or below hatchback covers. Leave nothing in view after you park.
   We will be off-trail so close-toed shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats are advised. Please bring a drinking bottle for water. BCF will provide jugs of water, tools, supervision, and gloves. Our gloves are well used and mostly large, so if you have your own work gloves, you might want to bring them.
   At the work site, you will sign in and be introduced to the plant, tools, and safety measures.
   I look forward to working with you and to a productive and pleasant day.
George Innis

Brian Ellis gets Eagle Scout Award

On January 27, 2013 Brian Ellis received his Eagle Scout Award. His project was to create a spur off the Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail west of Hwy. 360, install a bench and a memorial sign remembering Morris Beachy, one of the folks who worked from the 1960s onward to preserve Bull Creek from environmental impacts. Brian's Dad Jonathan and Mom Julie join Brian as he accepts his Eagle Certificate.

Sylvia, Diana, Frances Beachy at the dedication of the Morris Beachy memorial bench.