Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Let the Train Catch You: A Press Release from Capital Metro

MetroRail trains to begin afternoon/evening testing Nov. 16
Faster, more frequent trains prompt another call to safety for motorists and pedestrians
Austin, Texas, November 11, 2009 – Capital MetroRail trains will shift to afternoon/evening testing beginning on Nov. 16. MetroRail trains will be out on the line from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, testing the tentative afternoon schedule for MetroRail service in real-time conditions. The testing also gives DMU train engineers additional practice operating the train at night.
During this testing, freight trains will run from 9 p.m. each evening until 2 p.m. the next day.
MetroRail trains will be traveling at full operating speeds, nearly twice as fast as freight trains. Additionally, train activity will increase significantly.
For these reasons, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to always expect a train, and to stay off the tracks.  
Capital Metro is contacting schools and neighborhoods adjacent to the line to inform students and parents, erecting rail safety signs at grade crossings, and working with rail safety advocates in the community to assist the agency in spreading the message. 
For the past three years, Capital Metro has worked closely with neighborhoods, schools, community organizations and the Austin Police Department to raise awareness about train safety in advance of the safe arrival of Capital MetroRail in Central Texas . Police will be ticketing motorists who park on the tracks or within 15 feet of the railroad crossing arms.
John-Michael V. Cortez

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Special Neighborhood Meeting - Tuesday, October 20

At our regular meeting last Monday, October 5th, at the Walnut Creek Baptist Church on North Lamar, residents voted to accept the offer of Austin Energy to remove the seven (7) live oak trees in the North Star Green Belt, contingent upon GWNA committee reaching an agreement about a mitigation plan.

The oaks are located in the North Star Greenbelt near Swearingen. A mitigation plan would include a landscaping design, plantings, and irrigation.

On Tuesday, 10/20, the GWNA committee will meet with the Austin Energy Forester to discuss mitigation plan requirements and options. The public is invited to attend. Walnut Creek Baptist Church Hall (north Lamar) at 7pm.


Background on the Trees to be Removed

There are seven live oak trees in the greenbelt between Swearingen and Bittern Hollow that were severely trimmed this summer. This greenbelt area is owned by Austin Energy. They also own a set of power lines running down the middle of the greenbelt. Austin Energy is responsible for the safety of these power lines, and for trimming the trees to a safe clearance distance from the power lines. Four years ago, neighborhood representatives and Austin Energy signed an agreement stating these trees would be trimmed every four years, and offering to remove and replace these seven oak trees for smaller native trees sometime in the future.

Recently, Austin Energy received several complaints about the agreed trimming project. GWNA was approached to review this situation and decide if the community wanted to continue having these trees trimmed every four years, or to have the trees removed now and replaced with other height appropriate native trees.

(Please do not call Austin Energy. They will be attending the meeting.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gracywoods Picnic!

Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
11701 Tallow Field Dr

Join your neighbors for a potluck dinner in the park

This is an annual, nation-wide event designed to promote neighborhood safety

Where: From Braker Ln, go North on Metric Blvd, turn Right on Gold Wing Dr (2nd Right). The park is at the end of that block.

Who: Neighbors of all ages, APD officers, firefighters, EMS officials

Why: To encourage a safer community and get to know your neighbors

Bring: Your favorite dish and a chair or blanket. Or, bring a cooler of drinks in lieu of a dish. (If you’re unable to make a dish, please come anyway!)

Print this Flyer for your Fridge or for a Friend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You'll Love a Parade

You are invited to the First Annual Gracywoods 4th of July Parade!

8:30 a.m. - Registration
Sign in at Bittern Hollow entry to the North Star greenbelt (11737 Bittern Hollow, near the drinking fountain). We will help you decorate your non-motorized bikes, strollers and wagons. Or bring your wagons pre-decorated. Prizes will be awarded for the best Red, White and Blue decorations. Please bring decorated cupcakes to share. Prizes for best-looking cupcakes.

9:00 a.m. - Parade
We will march along park path towards Parkfield and back to the water fountain (About 15 minutes)

9:30 a.m. - Awards & Refreshments
Awards for costumes, decorations and decorated cupcakes. Refreshments for all. Come enjoy iced watermelons, soda floats, cupcakes and mingling.

For information or to volunteer, contact Bill Glass 836-3330,

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Every Dog Has Its Day

Coming up on Thursday, June 25, Rattan Creek Park (just down Parmer Ln) will be host to a Dog Fair, sponsored by the nearby Crossroads Community Church. Contests of skill and appearance are scheduled, and a veterinarian and a trainer will be on-site to take questions. The fun starts at 6:30 in the evening, so come on out and don't forget the little ones, both four- and two-legged.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Take Our Park Survey, Please!

The Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of gathering input across the city to create "Comprehensive Plans" for respective greenbelts and park within communities. A survey for the North Star greenbelt and Gracywoods Park is on-line and the neighborhood association would appreciate your taking a few minutes to participate and have your voice heard.

You might be surprised to learn there are greenbelts and parks within the city that do not have walking paths, a drinking fountain, no Mutt Mitt dispensers, no trash cans, no more than one park bench, no workout equipment, street parking, no picnic tables or shaded pavilions and literally only two trees. You might also be surprised to learn that those neighborhoods or communities do not want anything other than what they currently have. Sometimes we lose sight; we have a tremendous amount to be grateful for to have such a nice greenbelt and park so close by that have many amenities, wildlife, trees and irrigation to water those trees. We have individuals, a neighborhood association and a neighborhood garden club all of who take pride in what we do have and when they are able, volunteer their time to help the neighborhood association and community continue to be good stewards of the greenbelt and parks in our area.

The North Star comprehensive plan will reflect the vision of our community and could include additional amenities, structures or other ideas that you include with your survey responses. Add anything you want to see (shade coverings over park benches that have no mature trees nearby, plant or tree identification markers, kiosks, a dog park, a plaque to dedicate a tree, bench or bridge, a succulent garden - add anything you think of). Keep in mind the fact that submitting an idea does not guarantee that it will become part of the plan. All community input will be provided to PARD; they will review it, look at the viability of the submittal and provide us with a draft for the community to review and approve before the plan is solidified. Cost and maintenance will be big factors in what the Parks department agrees to fund and support from Gracywoods input.

Your engagement is important; please take a few minutes to participate in this survey.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Warblers in the 'Woods

Over on his blog, GracyWILD, Dr Nazor has penned a piece about that most controversial of Austin avians, the Golden-cheeked Warbler, featuring fine photographs of the fowl as it rested in his pecan tree.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Volunteers Wanted for GWNA's First-Ever Fourth of July Parade!

That’s right, GWNA, will be presenting our first annual Fourth of July Parade. We need volunteers to help organized and produce this family-oriented event. Flags, food, fun and new friends are guaranteed. If you would like to help make this event happen, please contact us at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Monthly Meeting is Nigh!

Come out to Walnut Creek Baptist Church this Tuesday, May the 5th for the monthly general meeting. Running from 7pm until 8:30, learn about and discuss the business of our neighborhood and hear our Austin Police Department District Representative speak. All are welcome, so we hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Ground Floor

If you've been on the fence about joining up with the happenin'est neighborhood association between Austin Park Ln and Burnet Rd, there's never been a better time. This site is not the only aspect that's being born anew. This is an excellent jumping-on point, as there is much going on in this part of town, and GWNA is taking an active role in shaping it.

The inclusion of residents along Gracy Farms Ln west of Metric Blvd is giving us a seat at the table as the future of development between here and US 183 is decided. We'll soon be asking the membership for their opinions about how the city might improve the North Star Greenbelt. There's even talk of a parade that needs organizing, and who doesn't love a parade?

Click on the Membership link to the left to learn how to get in on the action.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Welcome to the next step in the evolution of! This is the Gracywoods Home blog, which, as you can see, makes its home nestled into the homepage here. This will be the place where important notices are posted, new content is highlighted and any and all can discuss these goings-on (if they keep it civil). Watch this space for ways to enjoy your community and to help make it an even better place to live.