Llano EcoWeb promotes beauty, importance of city’s natural landscape
LLANO — The Llano River and Llano Uplift create a unique and special landscape — along with the wonderful folks who call the area home — that is worth noting. And even celebrating.
And that’s pretty much what’s at the heart of Llano EcoWeb.
“One of our goals is to really begin facilitating a public awareness of the Llano River and its watersheds,” said Gregory Klein, one of the three organizers of the Llano EcoWeb. “The Llano River, the Llano Uplift and this entire area is so unique, and we’re not sure everybody realizes that.”
So Klein, Marcus Hammons and Valerie Smasal started Llano EcoWeb with the idea to bring awareness to the uplift and the river as well as promote some of the ecological-based activities the area offers. The organizers see it as community, the river and the uplift.
The Llano Uplift is a stretch of Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rock that are typically found deep below most of Texas but push through the surface around Llano and much of the surrounding Hill Country. It makes it a very unique geographic area.
And the Llano River, which starts as the North and South Llano Rivers before they join near Junction to form one river, is the only main river that flows through the entire Llano Uplift. Klein pointed out the Colorado River slices through a portion of the uplift, but only a bit of it.
Llano EcoWeb wants to highlight the importance of the Llano River, not just to Llano and the communities along it, but to everyone in the Highland Lakes and even into Austin. Klein pointed out the Llano River is a major tributary to the Colorado River, and cities, including Austin, depend on the rivers for their livelihood and lifestyle.
Building an awareness of how the Llano River impacts communities across Central Texas, Klein said, is one of the tenets of Llano EcoWeb.
The three organizers want to build a network of people, businesses, communities and organizations that support and celebrate the river and the uplift. And the community itself plays a big part of this.
Llano EcoWeb will have its official unveiling during the Llano EcoSummit from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at the American Legion Hall, 200 Legion Drive. The summit will feature talks and presentations focused on the Llano River and the Llano Uplift and information on ecological initiatives regarding the two and the surrounding communities.
The summit is free to attend. You can RSVP at www.llanoecoweb.net/contact.
Then on Sept. 5, Llano EcoWeb is hosting the Sun Splash Moon Dance at Badu Park and the new Sandy Beach. This is a complete celebration of the Llano River. There will be a number of activities as well as rentals of standup paddle boards, kayaks and tubes at discounted prices. The proceeds support Llano EcoWeb.
But Klein, Hammons and Smasal want people to know that Llano EcoWeb isn’t just a short-term project. The organization has laid out a series of goals, short-term, mid-term and long-term. One of the short-term projects is putting up signs highlighting the creeks that flow through Llano and feed the Llano River. A mid-term goal is completing an art-eco walk on which people can stroll through Llano while enjoying environmentally inspired art and native plants — even edible ones. And a long-term goal is working with the Texas Department of Transportation to get bicycle lanes on area highways.
And Llano EcoWeb will continue to support other local programs and events such as the farmers’ market and the Llano Earth Art Fest (the rock-stacking competition in the spring.)
“It’s really about celebrating the uniqueness of this community, the Llano River and the uplift,” Klein said.
Go to www.llanoecoweb.net for more information.
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