Conservation Ballot Measures

TLCV-EF will support citizen referendum involving public spaces, parks, and public transportation.

In 2013, the Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund supported the
Great Austin Parks initiative.

Great Austin Parks was founded to marshal support for increased funding to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s (PARD) maintenance budget in the upcoming City Budget for 2013-2014. This is the first time in Austin that a broad array of park advocates have formed a united front to lobby for better park funding.

Background: The Austin Parks Department has been a favorite target for budget cuts in economic downturns for decades. However, when the good times return, these cuts are never fully restored. The results, PARD does not have the staff or the funding it needs to properly care for Austin’s 29,225 acres of parkland.

For instance, the Forestry Division has fewer employees today than they did in 1992 to take care of Austin’s tree canopy today. This is true despite the fact that they are responsible for three times the amount of acreage as then. This leaves them unable to do little more than cut down dangerous trees that are a threat to public safety. This understaffing comes at a time when Austin is estimated to have lost over 10% of its trees due to the ongoing drought and badly needs to plant new ones and care for others in distress.

“Great Austin Parks” proposes a $4.75 million dollar increase in the PARD budget. This increase will focus on Pools, Trees, Trails, and General Maintenance.

Great Austin Parks is asking City Council to support the following for the 2013-2014 Budget:

  • $1.5m additional funds for Forestry
  • $1m for Pools to keep them open and equitably service in all areas of town!
  • $1.25m for trails to keep them in good shape for walkers, runners and bicyclists!
  • $1m for basic maintenance of our parks.

Let’s take care of what we have!

Support the Great Austin Parks’ agenda, contact Austin City Council, help close the park funding GAP!

In 2012, the Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund supported
conservation ballot measures in Houston and Austin.

Houston Bayou Greenways Initiative

The Houston Parks Board has recently joined forces with other public and private partners to embark upon a bold initiative focusing on Houston’s bayous, specifically the potential of connected greenways and park spaces along ten of our major bayous. This unique project, made possible by Houston’s natural landscape of bayous, will elevate the city’s standing as one of the top “quality of place” cities in the nation, and demonstrate our commitment to the invaluable ecological capital in the midst of our large metroplex.

Bayou Greenways is an approximately $480 million project that will be tackled by many public and private stakeholders over a series of ten to fifteen years, and when complete, the greater Houston area will have 4,800 acres of new and equitably distributed greenspaces. The project will also build upon City, County, State, and Federal water quality and flood control. Other benefits to using bayou corridors for greenspace and recreation in the greater Houston area include increasing the use of alternative transportation for commuting along the hike and bike trails, increasing the property values along the corridor resulting in increased revenue to the city, and increasing air quality due to increased CO² sequestration by newly planted trees, and use of trails for alternative transportation.

For more information please visit http://www.houstonparksboard.org/projects/bayou_greenways_initiative.php

Love Austin? Let’s Bond!

The Austin City Council has voted unanimously to place seven municipal bonds on the November 6th ballot. The projects funded by the seven bonds, totaling $384.9 million, were culled from a “needs assessment” of over $1.5 billion. The Austin City council and a citizen commission prioritized these investments to meet Austin’s most critical needs. These investments include environmentally friendly initiatives such as $143.3 million for transportation and mobility, including road improvements for I-35 and MoPac, sidewalks, bikeways, and the Violet Crown Trail, $30 million to preserve open space and protect water quality, and $77.7 million for parks and recreation projects, including repairing and upgrading neighborhood parks and pools. Other initiatives involve $78.3 million to build, repair and renovate affordable housing in all parts of Austin, $31.1 million for public safety improvement projects, $11.1 million for health and human services projects, and $13.4 million for library and cultural arts projects.

For more information, to get a yard sign, or to volunteer, visit Facebook.com/LuvATX, email us at loveaustincampaign@gmail.com, or call us at 512-466-6939.