Monday, November 22, 2010

Upcoming 2011 conferences in Austin add fieldtrips to the urban wasteland

A sign of change as two conferences in 2011 have asked to bring fieldtrips to Austin's urban wasteland, Hornsby Bend.

The 2011 International Urban Wildlife Planning and Management Conference May 22-25 2011 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Austin is planning a day-long fieldtrip to Hornsby Bend

And the huge Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting is Aug 7-12 2011 at the Austin Convention Center and they are planning a Hornsby Bend fieldtrip as well

Hornsby Bend is Austin’s sewage farm. This Austin Water Utility facility was built to recycle the sewage and yard waste of the city, but it is also managed as urban wildlife habitat open to the public seven days a week. For over 50 years, birders have visited the 1200-acre site on the Colorado River compiling sightings of over 370 bird species. Hornsby Bend is nationally known as one of the best birding sites in Texas, and Texas Parks and Wildlife has designated Hornsby Bend as a stop in its ecotourism trail for Central Texas. Birds are only the start of the biodiversity at the site, for instance, 82 species of dragonflies and damselflies have been found there. Ecological research at Hornsby Bend is coordinated by Austin Water’s Center for Environmental Research [CER] located on the site which works with Texas universities and government agencies to study the ecology of this urban wasteland [website - ]. Research projects include urban waste recycling, soil ecology and environmental trace contaminants, hydrology and riparian ecology, biodiversity studies, and avian ecology.

And it is where I live and work...

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