The nice weather is calling people out into their yards and drawing them to Central Texas parks. Maybe the sunny days have inspired you to start working in your yard. Have you started thinking about a vegetable garden? Take a class to learn which plants work best next to each other and which grow well in this climate. Are you thinking of adding a few trees? Find out which ones are best for our arid environment. In addition to classes, March is a great month for volunteering; help beautify your neighborhood planting trees or clearing trails.
Improve Your Landscape and Family Garden
Plan Your Spring Garden – Get Growing series
Will strawberries grow in a Central Texas garden? Can you plant onions next to tomatoes? How can you discourage pests without harming your growing food? Get the answers to these questions and others at this Get Growing class from the Sustainable Food Center. With the help of local gardening experts, you’ll learn how to plant flowers to attract pollinators and how garden tracking can boost your yield. You’ll learn which plants grow well in our area and how to plan your garden so that companion plants can positively influence your end-of-year harvest. Space is limited, so sign up soon!
Saturday, March 7, 10:00am – 11:30am
What’s In Your Garden? – Get Growing series
This Get Growing class from the Sustainable Food Center introduces you to the pests and diseases that plague gardeners in Central Texas. Learn tips and techniques used by local gardening experts. You will be learn to grow your own food and contribute positively to your local food system. The class is capped at 25, so register early.
Wednesday, March 11, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Use Native Plants in Your Struggle With Drought – Dealing With Drought series
Your choice of plants affects more than the visual appeal of your landscape. Learn how native plants can reduce your dependence on water as well as attracting beneficial pollinators and birds. Find out how to choose the plants that will thrive in the Central Texas environment. Texas Master Naturalist Meredith O’Reilly will be presenting this class which is part of the ongoing Dealing With Drought series. Register early for a discount.
Thursday, March 12, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Citizen Gardener Class 54 – Sustainable Food Center
If you have just recently become interested in gardening or if you are new to Central Texas, this 3-part class is for you. Learn the principles of organic, sustainable food gardening. Develop the knowledge and skills you need to put those principles to work in your own garden. Some of the topics covered in this class are how to choose a garden site, how to compost, how to keep pests at bay, and how to harvest rainwater. Students will enjoy opportunities to volunteer with the Sustainable Food Center, cementing the skills they learn during class.
Saturday, March 7, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Wednesday, March 11, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, March 14, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Citizen Gardener Class 55
Saturday, March 14, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Wednesday, March 18, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, March 21, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Community Activities for the Family
2015 Zilker Garden Festival – Zilker Botanical Garden
This family-friendly festival has something for everyone: garden shopping, a flower show, live music, advice from local gardening experts, food, and activities for the kids. A great tradition for more than 50 years, the Festival is your source for plants, gardening supplies, and instruction from experienced gardeners. Come hobnob with the community and enjoy a nice day at the Garden. Bring a wagon and a little bit of cash to fully enjoy the experience.
Saturday, March 28, 10:00am to Sunday, March 29, 5:00pm
Sprouts Preschool Experience – Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Family Garden
This weekly preschool-appropriate program is geared toward little ones between the ages of 2 -6. Enjoy hands-on activities, stories, a nature walk, and plenty of opportunities to play. Every week there is a new theme targeted toward the interests of your little ones and appropriate to the season. You’ll meet in the Cedar Elm Outdoor Classroom, located in the Luci and Ian Family Garden. Please dress appropriately for the weather and plan to take a water bottle. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30am – 11:00am, March 4 – May 29
Nature Play Hour – Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Family Garden
Plan to enjoy a guided nature activity with your little ones at the Family Garden. Each weekly program is led by an experienced Nature Play Guide with a focus on inquiry-based learning, so your young gardeners can guide the course of the experience.
Saturdays, 10:00am – 11:00am, March – May
Volunteer Opportunities In and Around Austin
It’s My Park Day – Austin Parks
Spend the day with other volunteers, clearing trails, working in parks, and improving other green spaces all over Austin. Make your choice according to the type of volunteer activity or by the location of the park; there are more than 50 different options. Volunteers will be presented with an event t-shirt, treats from KIND Snacks and Wheatsville Co-op, and a burrito card from Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Saturday, March 7
Seedling Planting in Austin’s Watersheds – Ready, Set, Plant!
Come participate one more time in the partnership between the City of Austin Urban Forestry Division, the City of Austin Watershed Protection, and TreeFolks. Volunteers will help plant sturdy, little saplings along the waterways of Austin. This adds to the diversity of native trees and shrubs growing in the area and improves water quality. While planting seedlings, supervisors will discuss urban forest stewardship and riparian planting. Volunteers should dress appropriately for work in tall vegetation. Please sign up in advance. Meet at the Blunn Creek Greenbelt.
Saturday, March 7, 8:00am – 11:00am
Tree Adoption Event – TreeFolks
Volunteers are needed to load and unload trees, talk to the public, collect information, and answer general tree questions. In addition to experiencing the benefits of having a beautiful city of trees, you’ll learn about the types of trees to plant in your own yard. Volunteer opportunities are available in shifts:
Unload trees and set up the adoption: Saturday, March 7, 6:00am – 9:30am
Distribute trees and answer questions: Saturday, March 7, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Hand out trees, answer questions, and clean up: Saturday, March 7, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Sapling Days – TreeFolks
This TreeFolks tradition has been going on for more than 10 years. Initially, about 500 baby trees were given away at the event; these days thousands of trees are passed out by volunteers around the city. Native trees offer many benefits to your own landscape and to the community: decrease runoff, boost the water cycle, and improve the quality of groundwater. Shade trees reduce energy consumption and the amount of water used in energy production. Your last chance to participate this season takes place at Montopolis Neighborhood Park.
Saturday, March 14, 10:00am – 11:30am
Will Your Landscape Be Affected By Drought Conditions?
February only saw about a third of an inch in rainfall; this is down quite a bit from our normal end-of-winter precipitation. If you haven’t looked into landscaping and gardening techniques to use during drought conditions, this may be the year to get started. Enjoy the sunny days and warmer weather by visiting neighborhood parks, taking your kids to a fun nature activity, or participating in a class all about putting in your own vegetable garden. This month offers plenty of reasons to get outside and help beautify the trails and waterways in our community. During most of the volunteer opportunities, you’ll learn as you go, so that you can return home with new techniques to use in your own landscaping.