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A night at the Spring and Shoal Creek

Alisha and I had the opportunity to hang out with new DANA board member Mitchell McGovern last Friday night.  Mitchell in the past year has made Spring his home and before heading out to dinner we got to check out his place.  Having been involved with DANA for over four years now, I am always fascinated to see how someone makes downtown their
home.  Obviously the annual DANA Urban Living Tour is the BEST way to experience this in just one afternoon but this was pretty special too.

Mitchell’s place as he says is still a work in progress but he has done some impressive things.  He has used sustainable materials on the floors and walls, and has added some “smart devices” to help reduce heating and cooling costs.  He says his electricity bill for his two-bedroom place is on average $50.00 a month. Since he is walking distance to so many of the places he likes to go, he is walking far more then he used to. We really liked with what he has done with his place and his view south-west over Lady Bird Lake wasn’t too shabby either.

After the tour of his place, we walked east on 5th Street to the stairs down to Shoal Creek. We walked the creek trail at night on the way to grab dinner, and there was just enough light from the streets above to see where we were going.  From his perspective this was a much better way to head north to places he likes to visit then walking up Lamar Blvd.  It was quiet compared to all the street noise just a few minutes before and if you pause and look closely it is full of wildlife and impressive old trees.  He also pointed many areas that needed attention.  Homes that looked vacant, trees that needed attention, walls were in disrepair and an overall a lack of integration of the treasure that could be Shoal Creek into the larger downtown area. Mitchell has been wanting to share his perspective on Shoal Creek and DANA definitely appreciates his opinions.

It just so happens, we ended our walk by going into Shoal Creek Saloon to split a few pounds of crawfish while discussing what could be done to make Shoal Creek an even greater treasure for the downtown community and all of Austin.

Saturday morning, Mitchell and fellow DANA board members Greg Anderson, Michael McGill and Kristina Witt participated in Austin Park Foundations’s “It’s My Park Day”.
If you haven’t heard about it, APF organizes volunteers to help cleanup and improve parks all around Austin.  Check out their website for more info.

It was a great night hanging out with Mitchell, and we all couldn’t help but be excited about where downtown is going.

What would you like to see improved on Shoal Creek?  Shoot us an email and let us know your thoughts.

Jamie Lagarde
President
Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association
jlagarde@gmail.com