Wells Branch is Under Construction and the CRITTERS are BACK!

Expect an increase in all kinds of wild creatures (possums, raccoons, snakes, rats, coyotes) this summer as we have several new construction projects underway in and around Wells Branch.  The best form of control for any of these animals is an integrated plan that removes access to shelter, food and water.  If you have a rat or mouse problem, then the use of rodenticides or traps may be necessary as well.  Every resident in Wells Branch can take steps to minimize appeal to these animals.  Rodent control is particularly effective when all our neighbors participate.

  • Do NOT leave food outside for your pets.
  • If your animals eat outside, give them a chance to eat and then bring the food and water bowls inside.
  • Secure all doggie-doors at night.
  • If you have a bird or squirrel feeder, bring it in at night.  Empty the birdbaths as well.
  • Seal all openings into your home and any outdoor storage units using hardware cloth and steel wool.  Mice can squeeze into a ¼” opening and it only takes ½” for a rat to gain access.
  • Clean out any debris that might provide refuge for these animals.

Coyotes:  It’s four months later and we’re still losing pets to coyotes.  Please visit the sites listed below and make sure you’re following all their tips.

  • Keep your pets inside from just before dusk until after dawn.  If they have to go out, take them on a leash – even in your own yard.  We have had coyotes both jump and dig under fences.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  They’ve been sited along the trails daily and have even followed walkers.  Keep your dog on a leash and close by.

Here are links to a great hand out from Travis County to download, the City of Austin webpage on coyotes, the Humane Society page, and Texas Parks & Wildlife page.  All cover tips on deterring coyotes and discuss how to best protect your fur babies.

Be safe, not sorry!

Snakes:

With the mild winter we’ve had and a plentiful food source, our slithery friends are out and about!  Please remember that rat snakes are our FRIENDS.  They earn their keep around here by keeping the rodent population down.  While they can get quite large, they don’t pose a threat to you, your children or your pets and are reluctant to bite unless messed with – leave them be and they’ll go on about their business.

Photo by Brad Dushkin

Unsure about which snakes are harmless and which may be poisonous?  Visit austinreptileservice.net to learn more.  This site makes it easy by breaking them down by stripes, blotches, diamonds, bands and solid color snakes.

WB Photo Club to Host “Camera Basics”

Summer is in full swing and so is the WB Photo Club!  During the June meeting we kicked off our own “Camera Basics Summer Camp”.  Steve Hilchey led an excellent session on the “Exposure Triangle” which covered the basics of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO settings (fstoppers.com also has an excellent short article that highlights the main discussion points).

“Summer Camp” continues July 11 when we offer Part II of Camera Basics. We’ll work through bracketing, white balance, and some best practices to leverage basic “magic light” techniques.  August 8, we’ll host a hands-on session, with a photo op field trip.  Be sure to watch the WB community forums for more information.

WB Photo Club meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at the WB Rec. Center, 3000 Shoreline Drive, at 6:30pm. Our meetings follow a drop-in session format and are open to the entire community.  Questions?  Contact Margaret at mmsufke@gmail.com.

Remember, everyone is welcome and you do not need expensive equipment, any camera will do–even cell phones.

Take a break this summer and learn something new or just help share the hobby!
FOL Photo Contest Update:  Everyone is encouraged to participate!  Deadline was June 30th for all photos, with one exception; you may submit your absolute favorite shot of 4th Fest no later than 6pm, July 7.  See wbfriends. org for more information.

Get to Know Your Neighbors at the Library!

by Brittany Hecker, Adult Program & Service Librarian, WBCL

Strong communities start with strong relationships.  The people of Wells Branch are a close-knit community, with a wealth of talent and a friendliness that can’t be beat!

To celebrate and enrich this sense of community, the library is hosting a Community Meet & Greet Event on July 9th from 3:00-5:00pm.  Get to know your neighbors and develop new friendships!  Adults, families, and kids of all ages are invited to drop by to talk, play, and create with other Wells Branch residents.  We’ll have board games, ice-breakers, crafts, and a face-painter for the kids!  It’s a fun way to beat the heat and meet other wonderful neighbors in our community.  Refreshments will be served.  Whether you’re new to the area or have been here for years, come by to make some new friends this summer!

No registration needed.  For more information, email brittany@wblibrary.org or call the library at 512-989-3188.

EXTREME CLEAN  Saturday, July 8

Wells Branch Maintenance Yard • 13905 Thermal

*Extreme Clean is a joint endeavor brought to you by the WBNA and Wells Branch MUD.


Habitat for Humanity WILL NOT BE COLLECTING THIS TIME They will be back in October!


Easter Seals 8am-4pm


ATXHAW 8am-4pm

Accepting donations for those experiencing homelessness.  For a list of needed items, please visit:

http://www.austinhumanistsatwork.org/donate/


Pet Supplies for Wildlife Rescue 8am-4pm


Bulk Trash Styrofoam Metal Drop Off 

Household Waste Collection

Batteries • Paint* • Antifreeze* ONLY

*MUST be in closed container.

8am-5pm

ATTENTION:  We cannot accept ANY TYPE of OIL

(cooking or motor), car or boat batteries.

Motor oil may be dropped off at McSpadden’s Automotive

(NW corner of IH35/WB Pkwy) from 8am-4pm free of charge.

Batteries can be taken to CMC Metal Recycling

1704 Howard Lane M-F 8am-5pm.

Questions?  Call 512-656-0654.


ELECTRONICS RECYCLING* 8am-5pm

* We can ONLY ACCEPT the following items:

Computers  •  Laptops  •  Tablets  •  Computer Parts  •  Cell Phones  •  Wire (Extension Cords, Christmas Lights, Computer Cables)  •  Laptop Batteries  •  Lead Acid Batteries (Household Alkaline Batteries MUST be dropped at a different station)  •  Routers  •  DVRs  •  Cable Boxes  •  Flat Screen ONLY Monitors (Non Cracked)  •  Flat Screen ONLY TVs (Non Cracked)  •  GPS Systems

* We CANNOT ACCEPT the following items:

TVs  •  CRT Monitors  •  Printers  • Copiers  • Scanners  •  Radios  •  Stereos  •  Household Electronics (Microwaves, Coffeemakers, Toasters, Vacuums, etc.)

Questions?  Call 512-656-0654.  Text if you need us to save moving boxes; otherwise, they will be broken down and recycled.

WB MUD 4th Fest!  Celebrate Independence Day the Wells Branch Way!

Roll out the Red, White & Blue!  If you haven’t decorated yet, you better get busy!  Let’s show our Wells Branch Spirit.  Hang your flags out NOW!  Let everybody know that you’re ready to celebrate!  Meet in front of the community center at 9:30am; the parade takes off at 10am.  If you’ve never been to one of our parades before, then you should probably know we have decorated bikes, wagons, trailers, DOGS, KIDS, hats, motorcycles and floats.  It’s a grand event!  If you wish to include a float in this year’s parade, please contact the MUD Rec. Staff at 512- 251-9814.

2017 Parade Route

• Klattenhoff Dr. (facing east)
Depart Community Center
• East on Klattenhoff Drive
• Right on Surrender Drive

Left on Delvin Lane
• Right on Weldon Lane
• Left on Gaylord Drive

Left on Sandy Side Drive
• Cross over Klattenhoff Drive
• Left on Crystal Shore Drive

Right on Klattenhoff Drive
• Return to KF Park

When the parade returns to the Community Center, we kick off a FULL day of events. 

There’ll be children’s activities throughout the park from 11am-3pm and free admission to KF Pool with games there from 12-3pm.  The Kiddy Train will be all revved up and giving rides and there’ll be balloon clowns and carnival games in the courtyard and inflatables in the park from 11-3pm.  Be sure and look for the dunk tank and capture a moment in the 4thFest photo booth.  Cool off inside the CC  and get your face painted by Dianne Koehler and crew, then visit the WBNA Silent Auction.  Don’t forget to stop by the Friends of the Library table and vote for your favorite photos for their 2018 calendar.  ALL FOR FREE!!!

Live entertainment starts at 11am and goes through 5pm under the Big Tent with a magician, live music from the Camille Sanders Trio, a ventriloquist, and then MORE music!  Throughout the day, concessions will be available from local restaurants and community service groups offering a variety of items to enjoy.  For over 20 years, Branch BBQ has been on hand at 4thFest with their fabulous chopped beef sandwiches and for fans of Chon Som, they’ll make their annual reappearance serving Asian cuisine.  El Faro will be here as well with their delicious fajitas and for the first time, we’ll have Johnny Beans on hand serving coffee, pastries and iced coffee drinks.  For a complete list of entertainment, visit wellsbranchmud.com.

The Silent Auction is back this year and benefits the WBNA.  Money raised from this event funds the Easter Egg Hunt, National Night Out, our participation in Halloween Trunk or Treat, Friday night at Luminary Fest and all of the educational and safety seminars we put on throughout the year.  Come check out all the wonderful gift baskets and gift certificates donated by WB friends, neighbors and businesses and start placing your bids as soon as the parade returns.  Call or email 512-656-0654 or SilentAuction@wbna.us if you have an item or service you’d like to donate or if you’d like to volunteer at the Silent Auction.  We can ALWAYS use a hand!

As the afternoon winds down, we hope you’ll join us as Wells Branch Celebrates Independence Day with a fireworks show to remember.  The display will be launched from the soccer field adjacent to the Rec. Center on Shoreline Drive beginning at dark.  The MUD suggests being in your seats by 9pm.  Please see the map below for parking and viewing areas.  Parking will be limited so we encourage residents to walk or bike utilizing the various bike lanes and hike and bike trail.

Come show your spirit, and remember – YOU make Wells Branch GREAT! 

*Please note: 4th Fest is a Wells Branch MUD sponsored event.  Countless hours go into planning, set-up, day-of events, and clean-up, all funded by the MUD, not to mention the fact that their employees give up time that could be spent with family to make our (WB’s) holiday special.  It features many area WB community service groups and allows them the opportunity for both community service and fundraising.  The WBNA is grateful for this opportunity.

*Fireworks display is subject to change or cancellation depending on weather conditions so check our website for updates.

 

Plan Ahead for Fireworks Safety

by Allison Strupeck, PIO/Community Outreach Coordinator, Prevention Division
Pflugerville Fire Dept./Travis County ESD No. 2

Please respect your neighbors if you choose to light fireworks.  This year, July 4th falls on a weeknight when many families will be working the next day.  Keep in mind that the sound of fireworks can be very stressful for some veterans and others who experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  It also scares many dogs and other pets.

Remember that fireworks are NOT legal to use on or around schools and Travis County parks.  They’re also not legal on Wells Branch Municipal Utility District (MUD) property, which includes all MUD facilities, parks, trails, greenbelts, the Pond, drainage detention areas, the veloway, and the grassy area located at Robert I. Walker and Charla Circle.

But if you choose to light fireworks in a safe, legal location, Travis County ESD No. 2 (Pflugerville Fire Dept.) wants you to better understand the dangers of fireworks and work together as a family to stay safe.  Rather than risking your safety with personal fireworks, we strongly recommend checking out a professional fireworks show.  A great option in this area is the 4th Fest in Wells Branch!  Here are other safety tips for your family: Continue reading Plan Ahead for Fireworks Safety