The Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake Urban Forestry and Natural Area Management Guides

The Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake Urban Forestry and Natural Area Management Guides


This report, focused on the green and blue heart of Austin, Texas, was commissioned to proactively look at opportunities and issues to improve natural areas over the next four years, with an explicit focus on natural areas' health. Suggested recommendations include actions that would minimize degradation, enhance climate resiliency, improve users' experiences, and restore and expand the woodland where appropriate. This plan includes a site inventory, data acquisition, and ecological restoration guidelines for the 199 acres of urban forest land adjacent to Lady Bird Lake and the Butler Trail. 

The city has used it to guide planning and budgeting for the forest around Lady Bird Lake and Butler Trail, though implementation has been difficult due to staff turnover. Additionally, the geographic structure of the document does not perfectly overlay with the existing boundaries, which has caused confusion. 

In a nutshell, this resource offers:

  • A blueprint for the long-term management of this important resource at the center of Austin.
  • Plans to heighten visitor experience and ecological integrity.
  • A standard for natural areas management.

How to use this resource:

  • As an example of a framework that examines the needs and management of urban natural areas.
  • As an example of conducting an in-depth plant and animal inventory, plus specific guidelines to expand or enhance vegetation areas where appropriate, divided by management units.
  • A framework for implementation, including how and when to hire contractors, use volunteers, or use staff, and what time of year to accomplish each task.

Author: The Siglo Group

Date published: 2015

Point of contact: The Trail Foundation, hello@thetrailfoundation.org 

Citation: The Siglo Group. 2015. The Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake: Urban Forestry and Natural Area Management Guidelines. Austin, TX.

Resource available online here.

 

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