Spring is officially here and it is time to get outside. Throughout the community there are plenty of service opportunities, gardening classes and chances to socialize with others who are hoping to make a positive difference. Don’t forget that Earth Day is coming up. Find out about Austin activities geared toward this day.
Volunteer Opportunities in Austin
Clean Sweep at Fiesta Gardens – Keep Austin Beautiful
This is the biggest city-wide service day of the year. Join with the crowds to clean up your own neighborhood, the local creek, or your favorite school. There are possibilities for service all over Austin and event planners expect more than 4,000 volunteers. After cleanup activities, a huge party is planned with free t-shirts, live music, family activities, and much more! Learn more about how your efforts can have a positively meaningful impact.
Saturday, April 11, 9:00am – 11:00am Cleanup
Saturday, April 11, 11:00am – 1:00pm Party
Tree Mulching – TreeFolks
If you have some time to spare and you’d like to get your hands in the dirt, join TreeFolks at their office to mulch mature trees. You’re sure to learn a few things about your own trees as you hobnob with other gardening enthusiasts.
Tuesday, April 14, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Everything You Need to Know About Gardening in Texas
Deep Roots: Bees & Beekeeping – Sustainable Food Center
Did you know that honeybees and other pollinators can be attracted to your yard? During this class, you’ll learn how to invite these garden helpers to your yard and some basic tips for keeping them content there. Your flowers and vegetables will thank you for it! This interactive workshop is brought to you by the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) and Austin Bees. The course fee is $20. Space is limited, so sign up fast!
Saturday, April 4th, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Growing Herbs& Savor the Flavor – Get Growing
This class is next step in the Get Growing series from SFC. It is a two-part course that will prepare you to develop your own herb garden and then use those herbs in your own cooking. In the first class, you will learn how to grow herbs in an outside garden and in pots. You’ll also be introduced to the proper methods of harvesting the herbs and keeping your garden healthy throughout the year. During the second section of the class, you’ll learn to handle, dry and store herbs. Enjoy testing out some recipes that use your homegrown herbs. Registration is capped at 25, so sign up quickly for one or both of the classes.
Wednesday, April 8th and April 15th, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Protecting Trees from Drought – Dealing with Drought
When hot, dry weather settles in for a long time, trees can really suffer. Lara Schuman, a certified arborist will conduct this course, providing you with information on selecting those trees that are drought tolerantand those that will support the rest of your landscape during droughts. She will also cover topics such as appropriate tree maintenance tips and fertilization methods. Register early for a discounted cost.
Thursday, April 9th, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Choose, Manage, and Use – Citizen Gardener 56
The Citizen Gardener Series continues with a new month. These classes will introduce you to a holistic method of gardening that is appropriate to the environment in Central Texas. Learn to use organic and sustainable principles to maintain your own garden. You’ll be introduced to basics such as choosing a garden site, managing pests while attracting natural pollinators, and using organic methods to nurture your garden. As part of this experience, you’ll have the chance to reinforce your developing skills by volunteering at school and community gardens. At the conclusion of the course, you’ll have the chance to participate in a local food potluck.
Saturday, April 11th, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Wednesday, April 15th, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, April 18th, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Deep Roots: Composting – Microbial Magic – Sustainable Food Center
What you can’t see can definitely affect you! Although the microbes in your garden are too small to be seen by the human eye, they can have a powerful impact on your garden, all of your plants, and your overall health. Attend the first class in the two-part series to learn the basic ingredients of compost, how to make your own, and the best ways to use it. The second class will cover the use of your homegrown foods to create probiotic beverages that can boost your health. Classes are limited to just 25 students, so sign up quickly!
Saturday, April 25, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Talk Green to Me – An Ongoing Series
Enjoy discussions, presentations, documentaries, and story time activities all over the city of Austin. With different classes available almost any day of the month, you’ll have access to educational opportunities regarding local gardening, aquifer protection, green landscaping, and much, much more. Visit the library.austintexas.gov/talkgreen site for information about the classes most pertinent to your situation.
April 2 – April 26
Become Part of the Community
Passion for Plants –East Austin Garden Fair
This free event will provide community members with loads of information regarding low-cost ways to nurture fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Find out how to improve your family’s diet while you make your landscaping efforts more Earth-friendly. Enjoy expert advice from master gardeners regarding everything from composting your garden to keeping backyard chickens. This fair offers activities for everyone in the family, so plan to spend the day. Show up early for the chance to grab some free plants.
Saturday, April 11, 9:00am – 2:00pm
Spring Native Plant Sale –Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
It’s time to choose from a selection of beautiful native plants for your gardens and landscaping. Enjoy rare native treasures and plants that are wild-life friendly. Participate in Walks and Talks on Saturday or bring the kids for activities in the Courtyard and the Little House. There will be plenty to do and plenty to learn. Don’t forget to bring a wagon to haul your purchase and a refillable water bottle. Be sure to check out the schedule before you come, so that you can be sure not to miss your favorite events.
Friday, April 10, 9:00am – 5:00am, Members Only
Saturday, April 11, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Public Day
Sunday, April 12, Noon – 5:00pm
Mayfield Gardening Symposium – Friends of the Parks of Austin
No matter how developed your gardening skills are, there is something new to be learned during the lectures at this symposium. Benefit from the expertise of Jay White, contributing writer to Texas Gardener; Trisha Shirey, Director of Flora and Fauna; and Molly Ogorzoly, botanist. You’ll also have the chance to participate in a plant sale featuring rare heirlooms and favorite perennials. Take advantage of self-guided tours through the gardens and keep your eyes open for friendly peacocks.
Saturday, April 11, 9:30am – 1:00pm
Onion Creek Buyouts – Public Meeting
If you are a property owner in the 100-Year Project area, plan to meet at the Perez Elementary School Cafeteria for a presentation and discussion regarding the buyout process.
Saturday, April 25, 10:00am – 11:30am
Water Conserving Plant Fairs – Texas SmartScape
Members of the Texas SmartScape program have teamed up with various retailers to offer a variety of low-water-use plants that are perfect for the Texas climate. Visit one of the plant fairs to get great deals on these plants, to visit with a master gardener or irrigation specialist, for landscaping tips, and fun events for the entire family. These fairs will take place around the state beginning in April and continue on into September.
How Will YOU Celebrate Earth Day?
For the Beauty of the Earth – St. David’s Environmental Guild
Prepare for Earth Day with a musical celebration and a number of different environmental activities. Interact with master gardeners and participate in ecological activities. All proceeds from the concert will benefit local environmental groups.
Saturday, April 18, 2:30pm – 5:00pm
Austin Earth Day Festival – Austin EcoNetwork
Mingle with environmental champions such as Brandi Clark Burton, Chris Riley, and Pliny Fisk at this event on the day before Earth Day. Enjoy drumming and dancing performances from around the world. Treat the kids to activities set up just for them. This celebration of the Earth is full of opportunities to connect with the world around you.
Saturday, April 18, Noon – 6:00pm
Earth Day Fair – Austin Eco Network
What do you know about beekeeping, monarch butterflies, and environmentally-friendly ways to share this planet with wildlife and plant life? This Earth Day join with representatives from community groups to celebrate and learn more about treating our one and only planet well. There will be plenty of food and fun for everyone, including the kids.
Sunday, April 19, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Will April See Showers or Drought?
March brought an average of 4.83 inches of precipitation. This represents a nice improvement from the 0.50 inches of precipitation in February. It can be hard to predict what this month will bring, so brush up on your drought-resistant gardening skills with one of several classes geared toward this very topic. While you’re out and about in the community, plan to attend a plant sale or Earth Day fair. There are plenty of chances to get involved this month; let’s make the best of them!