I Have Decided to Run 105 Miles in the Mountains To Get Your Attention
July 5, 1915
If you live in, or have visited, Austin you have probably spent time running or walking on the Trail or strolling along the new Boardwalk. I spent so much time on the Trail over the years and thought I had a handle on who was responsible for the area. I was so wrong. I’ve been working with The Trail Foundation for nearly two years and have learned so much about what it really takes to make it all happen. The plan is to share that information with as many people as possible. It’s so important that I’m gonna run 105 miles in the mountains with Hut Run Hut to get you to listen! That’s right, I’ve decided to challenge myself with a run from Aspen to Vail in the Rockies to raise awareness (and funds) for The Trail Foundation.
Yes, I’m fully aware that it’s over 10,000 ft of elevation. I’m just a bit crazy.
Here are just a few things that I learned and thought you should know about Austin’s central greenspace:
It’s so much more than just a Trail. When you are out there, take a look around; especially up. Just about every amenity you see exists thanks to TTF. This could be a separate point, but– – It’s 200 acres! Okay, almost, technically it’s 199 but rounding is easier. That is A LOT of land to keep up-to- date with safe access and functioning passageways all while maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
I mentioned up because of the trees. That canopy and most of the ecological work happening in the space is coordinated by TTF. Tree planting and pruning, vine removal (yup, that pesky poison ivy) and enhancing the banks so that cleaner water is entering Lady Bird Lake. As Austin grows, the need to protect and enhance its greenspaces becomes increasingly important. We need more trees to clean the air that gets dirty thanks to all of that awesome traffic!
Yeah, we do restrooms, but there is a TON more in terms of infrastructure! I’m sure we are all thankful the rest rooms are around when we need them, but TTF’s work far exceeds cool places for mirror selfies. Think about the bridges, trailheads, places to meet, stretching areas, exercise equipment and, oh, did I mention ecological work?!
So, how does all of this happen? It happens thanks to people like me and you. The Trail Foundation does not receive any money from the City of Austin to get this work done. And, the City doesn’t have the resources to accomplish everything that is needed. They are awesome and wish they could, but there just isn’t enough park money to go around so private funds must be raised to keep up with the work.
The Trail means so much to so many people in Austin. We like to call it the heart of Austin and it seems pretty appropriate. There are countless benefits to urban greenspaces and your money will go directly to work being done. That means trees planted, wildflowers seeded and trash removed from the lake.
Give me a shout if you want an even longer list of all the good that you can do!
Thanks for listening and I hope you will support your Trail!