Earlier this year, the Waller Creek Conservancy joined University of Texas faculty and staff, along with students, private citizens, and partner non-profit organizations to ask the question: What’s happening on Waller Creek?
The Waller Creek Symposium featured updates on ongoing research and data collection throughout Waller Creek, as well as a deep dive into the state of Waller Creek’s aquatic health, presented by City of Austin Watershed Protection Department’s Todd Jackson, and the Conservancy’s plan for Waller Creek below 15th Street, presented by CEO Peter Mullan. The Symposium brought together a range of expertise and aimed to give all in attendance a chance to share their perspectives and research findings, coordinate future efforts, and explore the possibilities for Waller Creek.
Waller Creek is the common end point for a range of inputs in Austin: from urban storm runoff to a golf course and public parks, private and public pipes ending in the creek, pet waste, and more. Like any creek, Waller Creek has its share of challenges, and the Symposium was a chance to concentrate efforts throughout the watershed to face those issues and think through possible solutions. Importantly, the event was also a chance to share knowledge on the species diversity and functional habitat already happening on Waller Creek.
Today, we have a group of talented and diverse stakeholders working to increase the amount of data collection, expand native habitat, and improve water quality on the creek. By increasing attention and public interaction with the unique ecology in the watershed, we’ll be working towards experiencing Waller Creek as a living lab––a place where we can learn, enjoy, and celebrate our favorite urban waterway.