North Austin Civic Association

February, 2007


Tiny dancers prepare for their big moment..

Project 2007 Volunteers
Do Great Service
in the NACA Area

February 24, 2007

And lived up to their billing!

by Keith Huntsman

Every year, in partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful, the UT Volunteer and Service Learning Center coordinates a one-day student-initiated, student-led service program to clean up and beautify a selected Austin neighborhood. This year Project 2007 partnered with Cook, Barrington and Wooldridge Elementary Schools, Lanier High School, and the North Austin Civic Association to beautify and clean up the neighborhood, schools, and creeks in North Austin and Quail Creek. Over 2,000 UT students, faculty, and staff were expected to volunteer for this annual day of service.

At 9:00am on Saturday, February 24, student volunteers by the hundred piled into Capital Metro buses and fanned out from Wooldridge Elementary and Barrington Elementary schools to cleanup sites in the area.

I put on my sneaks and walked throughout the southern part of the NACA area with my camera. Everywhere I went I saw whole crowds of enthusiastic volunteers with shovels, trowels, hoses, paint brushes and trash bags, enjoying the perfect weather and throwing all they had into their community service. Their efforts - and their spirits - brightened the entire neighborhood with a lot more than flowers and paint. We'll be enjoying the effects of their accomplishments for a long time to come.

Some stayed at Wooldridge to work on the landscaping there, and to help with the Community Fair hosted by the school.

Wooldridge Principal Celia Glick sits on the new bench donated by NACA. It will soon be mounted on a concrete pad under a tree near the playground.

During a lunch break, 8 of the 21 members of Ballet Folklorico de Wooldridge under the sponsorship of Dora Lopez entertained the lunch crowd. Parents of the dancers provided the lunch and refreshments, taking donations to help defray the cost of the splendid costumes.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders on his day included Mayra Avana, Leslie Martinez, Esbeydi Duran, Jacqueline Gomez, Emily Santos, twins Junior Coello and Junis Coello, and Christian Olalde.

Also at the Fair were Theo, the dog with the perfect teeth, and his sponsor, Vickie Vasquez, showing kids and their parents how to brush and floss....

...while across the room, UT student Nina makes homemade ice cream for an even bigger crowd....

...and back to Theo for the cleanup.

Down at Heron Hollow, at the corner of Lamar and Payton Gin, another crew of student volunteers works to clear weeds from the gravel path. NACA volunteeers led by Brian Almon were there, too, planting flowers in the pedestrian island at the corner.

In the background, the presence of heavy machinery demonstrates the city's continuing work on the drainage lines being rerouted from Little Walnut Creek. The gang could sure have used that earth mover.

Quail Creek Park got a facelift, too, with trash and leaf pickup and lots of paint on tables, fountains and handrails.

It was a truly beautiful day, even if you had to work.


Thanks to Stephanie Phillips,Jordan Nyberg and Jennie Stokes for coordinating the efforts of the Project 2007 Volunteers, Thanks also to Matt Meyers for organizing the NACA efforts and serving as liaison with BFI.

NACA President Anthony Williams, Jennie Stokes and LInda Moore manned NACA's booth at Wooldridge, and Linda provided some of the narrative here so I could freely wield the camera. And special thanks to the NACA volunteers who contributed to the community effort; among them Brian Almon, Bob Tavierne, Don Freeman, Evelyn Monnich....I'm dead certain I don't have the full roster of vounteers, so let me know if I left you out. Everyone involves deserves full credit for their great service.


Thank you everyone!!!!