Zilker Zoom Wednesday; Parks Board April 24thZoom training call April 19, 11am: SOS will host another zoom meeting led by Tanya Payne with Rewild Zilker! We will answer questions and help you formulate ideas for speaking. The link to attend the meeting is HERE.
We have t-shirts available for sale, sizes M, L, XL & 2X for $20. Please email Garrett@SOSAlliance.org if you want to come pick one up at our office or at the pool on our tabling days.
See all the details on the Zilker Vision Plan journey from our friends at Rewild Zilker below!
You are amazing and are having an impact!!! We are now in the part of the process that involves Boards and Commissions. And your showing up at the meetings and sending in email letters is making all the difference! They hear you and they are requesting changes to the plan!
Next up: Parks Board April 24, 6pm City Hall
This is the "BIG ONE" for us.
It is the last stop before we go to the City Council. The Zilker Vision Plan team will be looking to get a whole hearted approval for this terrible plan. We are hoping to make sure that doesn’t happen and the vision is changed to one that is more nature-based and less commercialized. Show up, wear light blue or green so when they look out in the audience they are constantly reminded of the blue water of the springs and the green grass on the great lawn that are at risk! Come, even if you don't speak so they can see you in the audience watching! If you email, please send it as early as you can so the Commissioners have time to take in your opinions.
Date: Monday April 24
Location: City Hall
Sign up to speak: Email Tim.Dombeck@austintexas.gov. They don't have a form up yet.
Zoom training call April 19, 11am: Our own Rewilder Tanya will be leading a zoom call with SOS to help you formulate ideas for speaking and to answer questions. Join Zoom Meeting -
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84898249679 Hope to see you there!
Here are their emails:
Jennifer Franklin (new member, assigned by CM Zo Qadri) no email yet
While you are emailing, perhaps consider emailing the City Council here. You could copy and paste from your notes to the Parks Board. Our expectation is that they will review this plan, so the sooner they start hearing from you, the better.
Here are some requests to consider asking them for. Please use your own words. We hear Commissioners get tired of getting the same emails.
1. Keep the umbrella non-profit out of the plan. They voted to keep it out of the plan the last time it went before the Parks Board, do it again! We need accountability and transparency not further commercialization. Also, the environmental commission joined them in removing the umbrella non-profit and the design commission recommended the umbrella be audited!
2. Join the Design Commission and remove the Azie Morton garage - it is too close to Eliza Springs and requires a traffic study because it's at the intersection of two small roads.
3. Also join the Design Commission in removing the underground parking garage - it is located in the confluence of 3 major watersheds and digging that deep into them is sure to cause damage.
4. Remove any garages OUT OF THE PARK onto already paved areas.
5. Remove the Hillside Theater from the Great Lawn.
6. Require that 75% of the “ecological uplift” be switched to rewilding for better water protection, climate mitigation and shade.
7. Remove the Welcome Center (we already have one and don't need another!)
8. Support the internal and external shuttles as well as trails, bike/ ped and transit.
9. What you love to do in the park!
For more background, here is a matrix of the Rewild Zilker Recommendations that you can attach or refer to.
What's happened so far?!
Parks Board #1 (March)
Voted to pass the plan with the removal of the Umbrella Non Profit because it has the potential to increase privatization and commercialization in the Zilker Park. Here is the resolution.
Note: The Collective - an assemblage of commercial operators in the Park (both profit and non-profit), shortly after went ahead and announced their umbrella non profit Zilker 351 anyway. Does this seem desperate and disrespectful to you?!
Environmental Board (April)
Voted to pass the plan with a list of 20 conditions, you can see them in the resolution here.
At that Board meeting 3 former Board and Commission members spoke up to support our Rewild recommendations! And, a new folk hero emerged - Commissioner Rick Brimer - who did over 100 hours of his own research into the plan, led the meeting with dozens of questions, conducted a master class on interrogating the staff presentation and has been at every board and commission meeting since. Thank you Commissioner Brimer!
Urban Design Commission (April)
The “Designers", as we affectionately call them, took aim at the parking garages and the Hillside Theater, removing the underground garage (that is inexplicably located in the confluence of 3 major watersheds), the Azie Morton garage (dangerously close to the Springs) and protecting the Great Lawn by moving the Hillside Theater as well as recommending the Umbrella non-profit be audited. Their resolution has not been published yet, but we'll share it when we see it.
So do you see a pattern? Each Board and Commission is “approving” the current plan but adding substantial conditions that make the plan much stronger and more ecologically balanced. They are doing this in large part because you are educating them, showing up, making your opinions known and that is essential to our work. We are making progress but have a ways to go.
If you plan to attend Earth Day, we have Rewild Zilker stickers for you to hand out as you walk around - ping us and let us know if you'd like some!
Thank you so much for your help. We appreciate all that you do for Zilker Park.
Your Wild Rewilders