21 Acres to be Donated to the City in Montopolis

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For Immediate Release September 21, 2010

Montopolis Tributary Trail Association

Media Contact: Stefan Wray stefan@iconmedia.org

512-983-5852

21 ACRES TO BE DONATED TO CITY IN MONTOPOLIS Austin, Texas – The Montopolis Tributary Trail Association and Montopolis neighbors very much thank the McElhenney Family for their generous donation of 21.3 acres of their property to the City of Austin that will be preserved as open green space.

City staff confirmed today that the City will accept the land from Amy Barbee, John McElhenney, and Jennifer McElhenney Bertino that makes up nearly half the property they own in the Montopolis neighborhood adjacent to State Highway 183.

The donated property is rich with flora and fauna. An abundance of heritage trees provide home and cover to a diversity of animal species, including horny toads, jackrabbits, hawks, and deer. The sisters and brother inherited the property more than 20 years ago from their father and it has remained as undeveloped land. The deal with the City was made possible with support from attorney Stephen Drenner. The Montopolis Tributary, a main branch of the Carson Creek watershed, bisects the McElhenney property. 17.4 acres of this portion is entirely within the 100-year floodplain. This part will become under the management of the City’s Watershed Protection Department. Another 3.87 acre parcel adjacent to the Montopolis Practice Field, located at Felix Ave. and Vasquez St., will be under the management of the City’s Parks Department.

This donated land adds to an existing 13 acres of Watershed property and 6 acres of Park land bringing to a 40 acre total the amount of contiguous public land, by far the largest acreage within the Montopolis neighborhood.

The Montopolis Tributary Trail Association, which has received a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation to build a multimodal hike and bike trail in this area, welcomes the opportunity to work with the City and others on the best use of this property. The association also keenly awaits word from the National Park Service, to which it has applied for support from its Rivers Trails & Conservation Assistance Program. If it is a grant recipient, the association looks forward to bringing in other partners such as the Texas Riparian Association to help with tributary restoration.  – end –

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