Upcoming Opportunities to Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle!

Just a quick reminder that as you “Spring Clean” over the next month, we have some upcoming events that allow you to Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle!

First up is the Friends of the Library Garage Sale on March 30.  If you’re not up for hosting your own garage sale and don’t want items to go to waste, the FOL will gladly take them off your hands!  Visit their website for more info:  http://wbfriends.org/.  Leftovers at the end of the day will be donated to Easter Seals.

Coming up April 13, we’ve got EXTREME Clean Spring! at 13905 Thermal from 8am-2pm.  This is the perfect excuse to clean out all your cabinets and closets!  Twice a year, we have Drug Take Back and FREE On-site Shredding.  We’ll also be collecting supplies for Austin Wildlife Rescue and assorted Animal Rescue Groups (clean towels, pet beds, bowls, crates, collars and leashes, toys, etc.), those experiencing homelessness via Austin Humanists at Work www.austinhumanistsatwork.org, Austin Creative Reuse http://austincreativereuse.org/, Easter Seals http://www.easterseals.com/centraltx/.  This year, we’ll be collecting gently used (or new) purses for Handbags for Hope to be distributed to women’s shelters throughout Texas.  We’ll have more info up on the WBNA website next week.  And as always, we’ll be collecting metal, electronics, styrofoam, paint, anti-freeze, household batteries, and cardboard for recycling.  Please sort through the items you bring for bulk trash and repurpose or recycle wherever possible.

As an added bonus, we’re bringing back Yard Chemical RedistributionThis year, we’ll be collecting fertilizer, pesticides, and fungicides at 2602 Tracy Trail from 8am-2pm on April 13 in conjunction with EXTREME Clean Spring.  Our volunteer, Pamela Woodward, will be collecting and listing items as they come in with the intent of finding homes for the unwanted supplies.  Leftovers will be transported to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility the following week.  Please do not bring these chemicals to the Thermal location.  They will only be taken at Tracy Trail.  Please make sure supplies are in their original containers and sealed or re-sealed.  Previously opened containers are acceptable, but we do need to be able to seal them for transport.  Relatively “clean” is appreciated as well.

The WBNA collaborates with Wells Branch MUD four times a year to offer our Extreme Clean program.  Watch our websites and the upcoming WBNA newsletter for updates.

If you need help transporting items to EXTREME Clean, WB Venturing Crew 1409 will be offering pick up as a fundraiser.  There is a minimun $20 charge, but we encourage you to tip accordingly as our Wells Branch youth are earning money for campouts/trips as well as offering a valuable community service.  To schedule pick up, contact Daniel White at 512-413-0097.

WB Garden Guild
Landscaping Contest
$100 Prize!

The Wells Branch Neighborhood Association and the Garden Guild are sponsoring a yard landscaping contest for the Spring of 2019.  A one hundred dollar prize will be awarded to the yard voted best landscaped during the Wells Branch Garden Tour on May 18, 2019.  You may nominate your yard for inclusion in the tour by sending photos of your landscaping with your name, physical address, email and phone number to glennoe@att.net by April 20, 2019.  Nine yards will be selected to participate in the tour, with an emphasis on including yards new to the tour, and tour participants will vote to name one yard “Best Landscape of the Tour“.

Make Plans NOW to Join the Silver Branchers!

The Silver Branchers began in 1988 as a group of seniors interested in meeting for fun and fellowship. The current group has continued this tradition and would like to extend an invitation to any and everyone who might be interested in making new friends. Meetings are held Thursdays from 1- 3 PM at the Wells Branch Rec. Center, 3000 Shoreline Drive to visit and play games. We also have socials and take day trips to local places of interest from time-to-time (list below). Membership is free. There are no age requirements; everyone is welcome.

2019 Day Trip Schedule

Thursday, April 18 – Picnic in the K.F. Park Gazebo catered by Branch Bar B Que. We will meet at the gazebo at 1:00pm. Cost is $17.  Cut off for registration and payment is April 5. Advanced collection of fees is done by cash or check with Glen 512-461-1665.  No refunds after cut off date.  This event may be rescheduled to a later date in case of inclement weather.

Thursday, July 18 – Museum trio:  Bullock (https://www.thestoryoftexas.com),Blanton Museum of Art (https://blantonmuseum.org/) and the Harry Ransom Center (http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/) are all in close proximity so you can choose which you wish to visit.  Cut off for registration is July 11.  We will leave the Rec. Center at 10:00am and return at 2:00pm (back at the Rec. Center by 2:30pm).

Wednesday, October 16 – Vanishing Texas River Cruise, 11:00am Cruise, http://www.vtrc.com/scenic-wilderness-cruises/ We will leave the Rec. Center at 9:15 and return following the cruise.  Please make your reservation directly with the cruise operator (512) 756-6986 as early as possible after August 1 since these cruises sell out in advance.  Cost is $22.50.  Remember to sign up with the staff at the Rec. Center as well; that cut off date is October 10.

Thursday, December 5 – Christmas Luncheon, 1pm at Mesa Rosa, 15515 FM 620, near the intersection with TX 45, http://www.mesarosa.com/.  We will leave the Rec. Center at 12:30pm and return following lunch.  Cut off for registration is November 27.

You may sign up for events with the Wells Branch MUD’s customer service at 512-251-9814 or at the customer service desk at the Wells Branch Recreation Center.  Please note that if we are not collecting fees in advance of an event, you will be responsible for making reservations if needed and paying any fees. Transportation may be limited, so please insure that you have secured a ride as we are not responsible for forfeited event fees.  If private cars are used for transportation, you may be asked to contribute for the driver’s expenses. For more information call Glen at 512-461-1665 or http://wbna.us/community/silver-branchers/.

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 spring as we have several new construction projects underway in and around Willow Run.  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 breeding season, folks.  Our largest den (by Sambuca and Mocha) has just been displaced and is in the process of relocating the pack within the area so we’re seeing increased activity.  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.

Below are two presentations given by City of Austin Wildlife Animal Protection Officer Adrienne Clark in Wells Branch in 2018 & 2017, a hand out from Travis County to download, and links to City of Austin, Humane Society, and Texas Parks & Wildlife pages devoted to information on coyotes in an urban environment.  All cover tips on deterring coyotes and discuss how to best protect your fur babies.

WBNA Meeting – April 19, 2018

WBNA Meeting – October 12, 2017

Should you come in contact with a coyote that does not respond to hazing or acts in an aggressive manner, please report it directly to Adrienne Clark.  ***NOTE:  Please don’t file a report unnecessarily as it will most likely be put down.  They do not relocate coyotes.

Adrienne.Clark@austintexas.gov
Animal Protection Officer – Wildlife
Austin Animal Center
(512) 978-0514

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.