meeting The regular annual meeting of the Property Owners’ Association
was held on Wednesday, November 16th, however, because attendance of
property owners did not meet the percentage of membership necessary to
form a quorum, a special meeting was scheduled for Saturday morning,
November 19th, at 9 am. Members elected on that date to fill the two
full-term Board positions were Mark Ruthenbeck and Margaret Paine. No
new nominations could be accepted at the special meeting for the remaining
one-year position, however Sue Ponder expressed an interest in serving
on the Board in this position, and the Board invited her to attend its
next regular meeting scheduled for January 4th. All meetings of the Board
of Trustees are open to the public, and members wishing to learn more
about the neighborhood are encouraged to attend. • Editor
Neighborhood History: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Looking out onto our present parched landscape, thoughts of a stroll
through a botanical garden at this time of year may not be uppermost.
is a perfect time to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – admission
is free throughout the month of January.
Most visitors to the Center have tunnel vision – fixating on Lupinus
texensis, more commonly known as the bluebonnet. Those of us who reside
in the Hill Country realize there is more to the landscape than the spring
flush which, if this drought continues, will be sadly lacking this year.
Consequently, it is possible to tour the Center without fighting crowds.
There are several interesting walking trails, a café for coffee
or lunch, and a gift store, Wild Ideas.
Of course, everyone knows that the driving force behind the Center
is former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, but few realize the co-founder
was a first
lady of theater, Helen Hayes. The National Wildflower Research Center,
as it was first known, was opened on Mrs. Johnson’s 70th birthday,
22 December 1982, on 60 acres belonging to the LBJ Holding Company in
East Austin on the banks of the Colorado. It was far from an ideal site,
to radio pylons and the airport. There was no municipal sewage or plumbing,
with water being hauled in, pumped from the Colorado, or collected from
roofs. It did have rich Blackland Prairie soils, good for horticulture.
The primary focus was on research, although the public was encouraged
to visit. It soon became apparent that another site had to be found.
In 1993, 43 acres of the former Circle C Ranch in the Barton Springs
Recharge Zone of the Edwards Aquifer were purchased. It was an acquisition
did not sit well with many local environmentalists who felt that the
Center would encourage other development which would pollute the pristine
of the aquifer and the famous Barton Springs swimming hole. Mrs. Johnson
believed it was possible to “live lightly on the land,” with
the Center setting an example for future developers.
The architects chosen were a small, relatively unknown firm, Overland
Partners of San Antonio. They were flabbergasted when told they had
but it was the making of them! The impressive buildings, spiraling
out from the “axis mundi,” the San Antonio tower, reflect Spanish,
German, and ranch influences, so representative of the Hill Country.
The combining of sandstone and limestone create the illusion of age.
The tower is a cistern, part of one of the largest roof water-collecting
systems in North America. In line with the Center’s regard for
the environment, it is packed, not with concrete, but with debris which
have otherwise been hauled to a dump.
The beautiful new site posed many challenges, including thin soils
which, unlike the rich Colorado bottomland, were not conducive to the
research in wildflower germination and growth. In the ensuing years,
the Center has learned many lessons and made several changes, including
name. In 1997, it became the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to
honor Mrs. Johnson in her lifetime and to clear up any misconceptions
the Center was affiliated with governmental agencies.
The Wildflower Center has now increased in size to 284 acres, including
136 acres, the focus of the exciting Land Restoration Program, putting
research back on the agenda. It is also involved in conservation of
our native plant species and the elimination of invasives. There is
partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, building
up a herbarium and seed bank as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project.
As the Center looks to the future, an innovative Gardens Master Plan
is set to unfold, under the direction of Gary Smith, a landscape architect
famous for his inspiring work at Winterthur, Longwood Gardens, and
Naples Botanical Gardens in Florida. Later this year, the wonderful “Big
Bugs” exhibit returns. To keep abreast of all the Center’s
activities, log onto www.wildflower.org.
Think of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as an extension of
your own backyard and consider becoming a member and/or a volunteer.
find it is well worth your investment.
•”2006 J. Marie Bassett
Neighborhood Watch meeting On Monday, February 13 at 7:30 pm, a representative
from the sheriff’s Crime Prevention Unit will present information
to residents about the Neighborhood Watch Program. This program is designed
to help homeowners achieve a greater level of preparedness, cooperative
vigilance and security for their homes and property. Objectives of the
program include the following:
1. Reduce crimes, especially residential burglaries and thefts, by
target hardening techniques
2. Encourage neighbors to work together and watch for suspicious
activity in the neighborhood
3. Maintain a continuing system for the dissemination of information
4. Educate the community on how to make themselves, their families,
and their homes safer
5. Make the neighborhood safer and more enjoyable to live in
Residents who participate will be taught how to make their homes
more secure and will learn how they may be able to save up to twenty
homeowners insurance by meeting certain requirements. All residents
are urged to attend this important meeting.
The venue for this event will be the beautiful Tuscan Hall at the
new Wizard Academy, our neighbor to the west. The management of the
generously granted GWW the use of the space for this meeting. Come
visit with your neighbors, join our effort to protect our families
and property, and take advantage of a great opportunity to view this
beautiful facility. For directions to the Tuscan Hall, visit http://www.tuscanhall.com/content.asp?id=240.
Landscape Committee In late March
or early April the Committee will be coordinating planting of the
smaller shrubs and perennials in
around the pavilion. Watch for more news about a neighborhood planting
the March newsletter. • Editor
Emergency news Are you on the
GWW emergency news email list? Residents may request to be added
to the list of folks who receive an online
version of the newsletter as well as late-breaking updates on suspicious
or activities in the area, missing pet notices and other items
of immediate concern. As the Neighborhood Watch program is reinitialized
community, members on the email list will receive weekly notices
from the GWW webmaster
relaying information from the sheriff’s office about any
criminal activity in our area, fire danger information, and other
Email addresses are kept strictly confidential, are maintained
by the GWW webmaster, and are never released to any other party
unless the resident
gives express permission to do so. Residents who wish to receive
should contact the editor, Margaret Paine, at 894-0903 or email@example.com.
Bookstore at the Wizard Academy The Wizard Academy, a business
which offers classes in advertising, marketing, writing skills
will soon be opening a bookstore for the convenience of visitors.
The store will sell snacks and drinks, as well as copies of the
various publications of the directors and alumni of the Academy.
GWW website and
bulletin board for solicitations for part-time sales staff to operate
the store. • Editor
News on our wily cohabitants One Tuesday afternoon this month,
at 1:30 pm, one of our residents spotted a coyote trotting down
on Scenic Oaks Drive, headed south. Another neighbor reported seeing
Trail earlier that afternoon. Daytime sightings of these native
animals may indicate that they are losing their fear of humans.
It is important
for the health and safety of our small pets, as well as for wildlife
in the area, that we not encourage wildlife, including coyotes
and deer, to
become acclimated to humans or to learn to consider our homes as
source of food. All residents are reminded to avoid behaviours
which will upset
the balance of the local ecology:
• PLEASE do not feed deer or provide water for them
• Do not leave food scraps or pet food outside where coyotes can eat it
• Supervise small pets when they are outside, and bring them inside at
• Keep trash cans securely covered to discourage animals from using garbage
as a food source
Please report all coyote sightings to the GWW Administrator. •
Board of Trustees News
January meeting POA member Sue Ponder was appointed by the Board
to fill the remaining year of a two-year term left vacant upon
a former member. The Board appreciates Sue’s willingness
to serve the community.
Elections were held by the BOT to fill positions for the year,
with the following results: President, Mark Ruthenbeck; Vice
President, Dena Seligman;
Secretary, Margaret Paine; Treasurer, Rick Bondurant.
New administrator sought Vanessa Kolar, our excellent GWW Administrator,
gave the BOT notice that she will be resigning her position effective
March 1st for personal reasons. The Board is very grateful to
Vanessa for the
outstanding work she has done for GWW during her tenure in this
capacity, and she will be greatly missed. Any POA member interested
the community in this paid position should contact the Administrator
for more information. The position is part-time, and all equipment
and materials necessary are provided.
Recreation area loan The Administrator announced that the loan
made to finance construction of the pavilion and other improvements
paid off as of the end of last year. This brings to a successful
conclusion the construction project undertaken over two years
ago to improve the
area with the addition of the pavilion and other amenities. Those
long-time residents who remember battling fire ants, keeping
towels out of mud,
and taking small children to the portable toilets while visiting
at the pool
have a particular appreciation for the improvements at the common
The next meeting of the BOT will be on March 1 at 7 pm at the
News from the APC
Holiday decorations The Committee recognizes the yard of John
and Debbie Anderson, 17000 Whitetail Run, for a particularly
the holidays. Thanks to everyone who added to the joy and
excitement of the season by decorating their yards and homes.
The next meeting of the APC will be held on February 15 at
7 pm at the pavilion. If weather is inclement, an alternate
at the mail station bulletin board and on the website.
News from the GWW Water Board
The next meeting of the GWWWB will be held on February 22
at 7:30 pm at the Driftwood Fire Station.