Water Capture, Storage, and Conservation at Community Gardens Panel Discussion, June 3, 2017, 10-11:30am

Just in time for summer gardening – let’s talk about water! Visit Homewood Heights Community Garden for a tour and panel discussion all about water capture, storage, and conservation. Learn success strategies for setting up a rainwater system and the technical ins and outs of water storage and conservation and mulching techniques. Meredith Gauthier from City of Austin Parks and Recreation will also explain the City’s rainwater rebate program.

Panel speakers: Greg Hammond from Homewood Heights Community Garden. Other water expert panelists TBD. Panel discussion will be held in a shaded area. : )

When: Saturday, June 3rd, 10-11:30am

Where: Homewood Heights Community Garden, 2606 Sol Wilson Dr., 78702

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1272163382882375/

Registration up for 2017 American Community Gardening Association Conference, July 27-30 in Hartford, CT!

The American Community Gardening Association hosts an annual bi-national conference that is a fantastic way to meet gardeners and advocates from across the U.S. and Canada (and beyond), as well as wonderful way to learn about best practices for successful community gardens and about other food justice projects.

Registration is open and scholarships are available (applications are due TODAY, May 5 at 5pm EST, 4pm CST).

Check it out! Sustainable Food Center will be sending their Grow Local’s program director (Sari Albornoz). Consider sending a representative from  your garden!


5/2 Coalition of Austin Community Gardens working group meeting notes

Hello gardeners!  Please see the meeting notes from our 5/2 CACG working group meeting below.

Coalition of Austin Community Gardens Working Group

May 2, 2017 6-7 pm at Sustainable Food Center

Note-Taker: Sari Albornoz

Present: Janet Adams (Sunshine CG), Kay McMurry (SCG), Greg Hammond (Homewood Heights CG), Meredith Gauthier (City of Austin), Sari Albornoz (SFC).

  1. Introductions & Announcements
    1. Meredith gave brief overview of how last panel discussion went. Friends and Foes: Managing Pests & Invasives w/Wizzie Brown. Turnout of about 20 ppl.
    2. Originally proposed date for next panel discussion now has Patterson Park CG’s Grand Opening(!) scheduled on it – May 27th. Need to find new date.
  2. Confirm panel meeting date
    1. June 3rd, 10-11:30am
  3. Discuss and choose panel topic and speakers
    1. Water: irrigation and rainwater – CONFIRMED. Call it: Water Capture, Storage, & Conservation at Community Garden
      1. Greg H. (from HHCG) will be a panelist. 2 more panelists. Ideally, people who can speak to setting up RW system, technical/logistical aspect of it. Possible panelists: Staryn Wagner from City of Austin Watershed Protection (MEREDITH will ask if others are not available), Ed Parken, Master Gardener who spoke at our previous RW harvesting panel discussion– SARI will ask. Other possible panelists: Liz Cardinal (SFC) SARI will ask.
    2. Volunteer management and volunteer management systems
    3. Other
  4. Discuss and choose panel host
    1. North Austin Community Garden
    2. Homewood Heights Community Garden – CONFIRMED
    3. Other
  5. Discussion Structure & Questions
    1. Structure:
      1. 10:00-10:05 am Arrival & settling in
      2. 10:05-10:30 am Greg lead tour of Homewood Heights’ system
      3. 10:30- 11:15 am Panel Q’s
      4. 11:15-11:45 am Q&A
      5. 11:45am-12:00 pm Wrap up
    2. Questions
      1. What system do you recommend for harvesting rainwater?
      2. What advice do you have for managing mosquitos?
      3. How did you fund your rainwater capture system, or what resources do you know of for funding rainwater capture systems?
      4. How does the City rainwater rebate system work, and where can you find information about this? (rainwater collection rebate, rainscape rebate)
      5. What water conservation strategies do you recommend?
      6. Any last comments from panelists
  6. Panel Outreach
    1. Greg will outreach to his neighborhood
    2. Meredith will make the Facebook invitation & will make Greg a co-owner of event, and will share with KAB, NWF, and on Nature in the City, Master Gardeners
    3. Sari will send it out to CACG listserv, SFC’s Community Happenings section of newsletter,  and will put on CACG website.
    4. Kay and Janet will put in Sunshine CG’s newsletter & website
  7. Website Update
    1. Meredith and Sari shared updated website. Old url now leads to new site! http://www.communitygardensaustin.org
  8. Policy Update
    1. Austin Travis County Food Policy Board Codes & Ordinances Working Group is looking at food-related language in CodeNEXT. Analysis doc, if interested: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Kn0jZsJSXgVC9GOI0GXaNbxU0fB_7PvVFz8XlDEu0i4/edit#gid=904940565 (please don’t edit if you’re not coming to the C&O Working Group meetings). CodeNEXT Draft language: https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Planning/CodeNEXT/ALDC_PRD_23_LandDevelopmentCode_Combined_2017_0130_web.pdf
    2. ATCFPB Working Groups are:
      1. Farmland Access & Preservation
      2. Healthy Food Access
      3. Budget
      4. Codes & Ordinances
    3. To keep in the loop, sign up for Austin Food Notes:
    4. Onion Creek FEMA Buyout area: City looking at using for agriculture. Will send out RFPs.
  9. Action Items and Next Meetings
    1. Highlighted in red throughout
    2. We’ll decide next meeting date & next panel date over email. Meredith or Sari will send out Doodle poll.