Rock the Porch Public Art Rocks Kyle


Plum Creek, TX

The Tertiary Man by Negley Elementary School’s Garden Club

After months of suspense on our part, and much creativity and hard work on the part of our participating artists, Plum Creek’s Rock the Porch public art initiative is now complete and out in the community!  As of early August, thirteen Kyle-made rocking chairs were placed in locations around Plum Creek and Kyle for people to look at, appreciate and enjoy. Each chair has its own unique personality, and we love the variety of people, concepts and artistic realizations the initiative brought along.

Plum Creek, TX

Pictures of each chair, along with information about each of the participating artists is available at the Plum Creek website: www.plumcreektx.com/rocktheporch. All of the chairs are out in the community, and they’re there for you to interact with and appreciate. So send us your pictures, and tell us what you think about the chairs when you come across them in Plum Creek or in Kyle. We’d love your feedback! We’re also currently sharing information about Rock the Porch on Plum Creek’s Facebook Page, so like us to learn more about the initiative!

Plum Creek TX

The S.S. Adventure by the City of Kyle’s Parks & Rec Adventure Summer Camp

 

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Celebrate the Fourth of July, Central Texas Style


July 4th is around the corner. And various cities around Central Texas have some wonderfully patriotic events planned for the big day and the weekend afterward so you and yours can celebrate our country’s independence Central Texas style – with pet parades, rodeos, art exhibits, WWII reenactments, horse racing and more.

Plum Creek and the City of Kyle have some great activities planned for 4th of July itself including a firework display at the Plum Creek Golf Course. Before the official city activities begin, though, the Golf Course is hosting a 4-person scramble Fourth of July Tournament that will start at 3 p.m. Its $38 per person to play, but this includes the green fee, cart fee, prizes, celebratory finger food and an up-close-and-personal perspective of the fireworks. Teams can register by calling the Plum Creek Pro Shop at (512) 262-5555.

Plum Creek, TX

The official City of Kyle Fourth of July celebration takes place at the golf course as well, with live music from the April Hall Band as well as food and drinks from 6-9 p.m. The event itself is free and open to the public, but all proceeds from parking ($5) and the available food stuffs will benefit the Kyle Masonic Lodge. When it gets dark enough, around 9:30 p.m., the real show begins, with fireworks launching from the PCGC driving range.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, a variety of events are taking place throughout the Hill Country, including Wimberley’s annual VFW Pro Open Rodeo, which has occurred every Fourth of July weekend for the past 68 years, and was once the largest outdoor rodeo in the world! This year’s festivities fall on Thursday July 4th through Saturday July 6th with gates opening at 5:30, the first Mutton Bustin’ at 7:00 p.m. and the rodeo taking place at 8 p.m. Rodeo events include bull riding, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, women’s barrel racing and more. Food and vendors are available on the grounds, and there is a dance after Friday night’s show.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the Hill Country Current

On Saturday, Bastrop has a number of family-friendly activities including their 8th annual Pet & Pal Parade and the Bastrop Patriotic Festival. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and takes off from the Bastrop County Courthouse. Pets of all shapes and sizes can strut their stuff, everything from goats on leashes to bearded dragons. Judging occurs in seven categories including: the most patriotic pet, most creative pet costume, most unusual pet, best trick, best decorated pet vehicle, best pet / owner look-alike, and the best overall pet. Proceeds benefit the Bastrop County Animal Shelter. Later in the day, the Patriotic Festival occurs in Fisherman’s Park, with music by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Band beginning at 6 p.m. followed by music from the Austin Symphonic Band. People can picnic and relax in the park during the festivities, and fireworks will begin at dusk. For more information about the Bastrop Independence Day festivities, click here.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of The Gloss

Fredericksburg, – a little further away from Kyle to the west – has a number of Fourth of July festivities occurring throughout the weekend as well. On Friday night nearly a dozen art galleries in the city will stay open until 8 p.m. for the city’s First Friday Art Walk, which will feature show opening receptions, artist demonstrations, meet and greets and more. Other events throughout the weekend include concerts by Roger Creager Friday night and Saturday, multiple performances of the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s rendition to “Oklahoma” and a USO style Hangar Dance that is 1940s themed and will feature big band music from Bill Smallwood and Lone Star Swing. Even more, they’ll have WWII reenactments and two days of live pari-mutuel quarter horse and thoroughbred horse racing. More information is available at the Visit Fredericksburg website.

With all this available, in town, and to the west and the east, there are endless opportunities for authentic Central Texas fun next week and weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Summer Activities in the City of Kyle


Plum Creek TX

Ahhh summertime. Lightning bugs. Lemonade. Later and later sunsets. It’s the time of year for family reunions, having fun and enjoying the great outdoors (in a pool of nice, cold water that is). The last day of school for Hays CISD students is June 5th, and, for a couple months, kids in the community are free to expend their energies playing games, exploring and having fun instead of studying for those pesky spelling tests. To help keep you and your kiddos entertained this summer, the City of Kyle has a number of fun activities available for the whole family.

The Kyle Parks and Recreation Department is the master-mind behind many of the city’s summer activities. They have youth and teen day camps available throughout the summer, to help keep the kids away from the TV and the ever addicting video games. Instead, they’ll explore new places and ideas, and will engage with other Kyle area kids through physically and mentally exciting field trips and on-site activities. Field trip destinations include Blazer Tag, Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, rollerskating, bowling and more. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the camp too, through the Hays CISD summer feeding program. Camps run from Monday to Friday each week of the summer, from June 10th to August 9th, with the exception of the week of the Fourth of July.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of Peter French

In addition to Parks & Rec summer camps, the department is also offering special programming at the Kyle Pool this summer. The pool is open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, offering times for free swim and swimming lessons. Special night swims occurring throughout the summer including Teen Night at the Pool June 7th, Family Night June 21st, the Dive in Movie at the Pool July 26th and a Back to School Swim and Supply Drive August 9th. Each of these events takes place from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Another special summer feature from the Parks and Recreation Department is the city’s monthly Movie in the Park. Four times throughout the summer, the city will erect its 282” inflatable movie screen at Gregg-Clarke Park to show a G or PG-rated movie 30 minutes after sunset for the Kyle community. The 2013 schedule includes Here Comes the Boom June 14th, Madagascar 3 July 12th, Finding Nemo (at the Kyle Pool) July 26th and Jumanji on August 16th. The movies are free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and snacks.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the City of Kyle

The Kyle Library is also offering summer activities, including their Summer Reading Program which will take place in June and July. Registration begins Monday, June 3rd. In addition to the traditional summer reading log, the Summer Reading Program features fun, family-friendly events and activities such as the Kay Cassidy Book Scavenger Hunt, Zombie Day, Science Rocks and more. More information is available on the Kyle Library website.

We can’t forget, of course, the City of Kyle’s annual Fourth of July Firework Show, taking place at the Plum Creek Golf Course in Plum Creek. The golf course will host a golf tournament after lunch on the big day, and from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. live music, hot dogs and snacks will be available at the golf course clubhouse before the firework display.

With all these activities at your disposal from the City of Kyle, plus all the things available in Plum Creek and Central Texas in general, there’s no limit to the fun you can have this summer. Enjoy it!

Plum Creek Introduces Local Public Art Initiative + Front Porch Days, May 4-5


Chicago had its cows. Austin had its guitars. And Kyle – we’re getting rocking chairs.

Plum Creek, TX

This summer, Plum Creek is launching a public art initiative similar to the Cow Parade of Chicago and Guitar Town up in Austin called “Rock the Porch” that will manifest in the creation of 15 artistic rocking chairs that will be placed in the public spaces of Plum Creek and within the greater Kyle community. We’re looking for people, groups, organizations and artists from around Plum Creek, Kyle and Hays County to participate in creating these innovative public art pieces to beautify and enhance the neighborhood and the greater Kyle community. They’ll be placed in high traffic areas in the neighborhood such as the Plum Creek dog park, the Community Center, the pools, and around the city of Kyle, like in front of the library, City Hall and Lake Kyle.

These won’t be ordinary rocking chairs, though. We want them to be creative, innovative and thought provoking. Something worth talking about. Think something like a fur-covered chair placed at the Plum Creek dog park, or one that looks more like a children’s playscape than an actual chair. Or one that is completely reassembled and upside down! Do you have some creative ideas for a unique, sculptural rocking chair? We’d love to see what you’ve got! We’re accepting applications from local individuals, artists, groups and organizations. Just fill out the below application, and email kelsey@lookthinkmake.com to submit, or if you have any questions or feedback.

Rock the Porch Artist Application – Applications are due by May 15th so there’s plenty of time to get involved!

Plum Creek, TX

The temporary public art exhibition is designed to provoke thoughts of what it means to be a neighbor, to be neighborly and to inspire conversation among people. We picked rocking chairs as the symbol because it encapsulates what Plum Creek is all about: a friendly place where you can sit outside on the front porch, watching the fun and activity of the neighborhood with a neighbor or a friend, rocking to the beat of the passing breeze and enjoying life. Plus, they’re practical – offering you a place to sit while you watch your dog in the dog park, or after you’ve picked up your favorite book from the Kyle library.

Plum Creek is launching “Rock the Porch” at our annual Front Porch Days next weekend May 4th and 5th. At Front Porch Days, we’ll have an rocking chair on display to inspire and get people excited about the initiative. It’ll be a weird example that embodies the kind of creativity and fun we’re expecting from the public art initiative. We’ll also have applications available at the booth, the opportunity for you to nominate your creative friends, and for you to submit ideas for chair locations in Plum Creek and Kyle.

We didn’t want to leave the kids of Plum Creek out of the rocking chair fun either. So, we’ll have a number of fun crafts at our Front Porch Days booth for the kiddos of Plum Creek and Kyle to enjoy. Kid-sized rocking chairs will be available for families to purchase and decorate with paint, glitter and more, as well as little clay pots and bird houses for decorating as well. We’re donating all the money we raise from these items to Kyle nonprofit Hope & Love 4 Kids.

Plum Creek, TX

Hope & Love is a local children’s nonprofit that serves kids in and around Hays County. Founded in 2006, they provide basic necessities to children in the community, and comfort and uplift them in their time of need through services and outreach. Their programs include school supply drives, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, the Angel Tree program during the holidays, the Hendricks Scholarship Foundation which awards three different types of scholarships to Hays County students, and more.

So, bring some cash and those creative juices to Front Porch Days, and don’t forget to stop by our booth to learn more about “Rock the Porch.” We think this is a wonderful opportunity for Plum Creek to become even more involved in the greater Kyle community, and it’s the perfect way to showcase the creativity and talent of Kyle-area artists.

And if you have some ideas for a creative rocking chair, APPLY! We want as many different people and perspectives involved. So show us what you’ve got. Fill out the below application and email it to kelsey@lookthinkmake.com. Email if you have questions or would like more information as well.

Rock the Porch Artist Application

Earth Day in Central Texas


This year is Earth Day’s 43rd anniversary; and in that time, the eco-friendly observance has grown from a U.S.-only celebration (of only 20 million participants) to an international day of awareness, with an estimated 1 billion people from countries across the globe celebrating the day each year. This years’ Earth Day occurs next Monday, and, this weekend, there are a number of ways you and your family can celebrate nature and further benefit and support the environment in Central Texas.

Twenty minutes north of Kyle, up in Austin, the weekend is filled with earth-friendly events, including Austin Earth Day Saturday April 20th, and the East Austin Urban Farm Tour, Sunday April 21st. Both events take place in Austin’s east side, and serve to showcase some of the city’s most eco-friendly businesses, farms and restaurants, musicians and non-profit organizations. Austin Earth Day takes place on Saturday in the “Historic Browning Hangar” in Mueller (off of Airport Blvd) from 12 – 7 p.m. The event features live music, (including an interactive drum circle!) speakers and presentations on topics like “Austin’s Progress Toward Becoming a Sustainable City” and “A Crash Course on Composting” as well as exhibitions and booths from over 50 Central Texas-based organizations, businesses and nonprofits. Food and drink will be provided from a number of Austin-based establishments, and there will be a Kid’s Zone for the young ones, with face painting, a petting zoo, an interactive storytelling stage, and more. The event is free and open to the public, which makes it the perfect way to spend an eco-friendly Saturday with the fam.

Plum Creek, Texas

On Sunday, the East Austin Urban Farm Tour showcases four of Austin’s urban farms in the Govalle neighborhood off Airport Boulevard, near 183. The guided tour provides attendees with the opportunity to experience the farms and produce fields of Boggy Creek Farm, HausBar Farms, Rain Lily Farm and Springdale Farm while learning about each of the farms and the way in which they operate. Additionally, chefs from a number of local restaurants who source from these farms will provide a sampling of food items, with accompanying beverages as well. Tickets to the event are $45 and can be purchased in advance, here. The East Austin Urban Farm Tour has sold out the past two years, so buy yours now!

The following Saturday, April 27th, San Marcos hosts another Earth Day celebration at the San Marcos Springs. This event features live music performances from local bands “Green Mountain Grass,” “Albanie and her Fellas” and “Those Nights” as well as educational booths, green vendors and a kid-friendly talk from Doc Edwards from the Edwards Aquifer Authority and Karson, his Texas Blind Salamander puppet sidekick. The event benefits the Hays County Food Bank, and if you bring a non-perishable donation to the celebration, you can receive $2 off a glass bottom boat ride that day!  San Marcos also hosts a weekly farmers market every Saturday throughout the year where attendees can get local produce, sustainable products and other food items from a number of Central Texas-based farms and green organizations. For other Farmers Markets in the area, check out Edible Austin’s list of Central Texas farmers markets and resources.

Plum Creek, Texas

 

If you’d rather celebrate Earth Day on your own, there are many ways for you and yours to help and benefit the environment. Try to walk or ride your bike to school or work instead of getting in the gas guzzler, make a bird feeder from a milk carton or an empty liter soda bottle, plant a tree or flowers at home, or spend an afternoon outside walking around Lake Kyle or one of Plum Creek’s many parks. Or you can practice Earth Hour by turning off the lights, and the TV, and the computer, etc. in your home for one hour. Use the time to chat with the kids about sustainability, or do something fun by candlelight like reading a book.

In Plum Creek, the New Urbanist community located in Kyle, being green is easy, as the neighborhood privileges alternative modes of transportation, and there are countless ways to get out and enjoy the environment in the neighborhood! The streets are designed to slow traffic, and sidewalks offer residents the perfect space for taking a stroll and stretching those legs. Additionally, homes, amenities, schools and businesses are located within walking distance from each other, so you can virtually get anywhere in the neighborhood without the car. If that’s not green we don’t know what is!

Plum Creek, Texas

Art City Austin


Art is everywhere in Austin, in galleries, museums, and in parks and other public spaces throughout the city. This weekend it’s taking over the streets of downtown Austin too, through Austin Art Alliance’s annual Art City Austin – a two-day outdoor art festival and block party that will transform Cesar Chavez Street and the hip 2nd Street District into an artistic and cultural mecca this Saturday and Sunday, April 13th and 14th. So pile the family into the car for a short jaunt up north for a day full of art, culture, food and live music out on the streets of downtown Austin.

Plum Creek Texas

Photo courtesy of Austin 360

Art, of course, is front and center at the event, with two different kinds of art browsing experiences available for attendees this year. As in past years, Art City Austin features more than 100 temporary outdoor art galleries set against the streets, plazas and open spaces along Cesar Chavez Street and in the 2nd Street District. These galleries feature an array of art types and mediums, and you’re given the opportunity to meet the artists themselves at the event, too. New to the festival this year, though, is the People’s Gallery inside Austin City Hall, on Lavaca between Cesar Chavez and 2nd Street. This part of the festival is made possible by the Cultural Arts Division of the Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office and features only Austin-based artists and creatives, to showcase the regional talent and creativity available in Central Texas. And we all know there’s A LOT of that!

Additionally, festival-goers are given the multiple opportunities to watch art in action over the course of the weekend. Articulture Designs will create and install living art pieces throughout the festival site to beautify and set the stage for the festival, while local artists from the Hatch Workshop will weld a sculpture from unusable bike parts in the middle of the fest. Once complete, the sculpture will live at one of Austin’s many bike shops.

Articulture Design

Photo courtesy of the Articulture Designs Facebook page

While these galleries and exhibits are geared toward the teenage plus crowds, Art City Austin doesn’t leave out the kiddos. In fact, they’ve got a whole Kid’s Block that is chock full of fun, arts-related activities. Activities include making action paintings with marbles with Abrakadoodle, making masks with the Mexic-Arte Museum, crafts with the Mexican American Cultural Center, face painting, decorating bags, street chalk and more.

Two other activities at the fest unite the creative talents of many into group artworks.  These include Building a City with the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, where kids are given a single ceramic tile to decorate, which will then be assembled and featured at the Sculpture Garden during the May 5th Umlauf Family First Sunday; and the massive origami peace crane installation. This eventual art piece will incorporate colored twine and the origami peace cranes made at Art City to create a public art installation that will revitalize and transform an ordinary alleyway in downtown Austin. The installation will be on display on 9th street between Congress and Brazos through May 5th.

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Riders Against the Storm, courtesy of Do512

In addition to these art activities, Art City Austin will feature live music and food from a number of favorite Austin food trucks. Five different bands perform each day at stages that are a part of the outdoor block party. The musical selection is diverse and eclectic, ranging from Texas folk, to positive hip hop, to world music in order to reflect the diversity and quality of Austin and Texas’ music scenes. For more information about the musical performers, visit the Art City Austin music page, for band bios and to listen to some tunes.

Ways to Get Ready for Spring in Central Texas


lkv-wildflowerblog

Photo courtesy of Austin American-Statesman

It’s almost March, which, in Central Texas, means that spring is on the horizon, or, honestly, already here. This March, get your home, your yard, and your mind ready for the season, and all the fun things there are to do here in the area.

The most oft-talked about spring activity is the dreaded spring cleaning. But, really, it doesn’t have to be THAT bad. Open the windows to let in the fresh cool breeze and the spring sunlight, bust out your favorite Pandora radio station (something upbeat and inspiring to get you dancing with that broom) and get to cleaning. Of course, the degree of clean depends on your personal preferences, but wouldn’t it be nice for your home to start fresh and new, like the flowers and the plants that are about to bloom?

Remember, there are some small tasks you can do that make a big impact, like giving your front door some love (a fresh coat of paint, perhaps), cleaning your windows inside and out, adding some fun-loving color and prints to your home (like on the fridge) and putting out a colorful, spring welcome mat. And, when you’re done, you can light a spring-smelling candle as the cherry on top of your fresh, clean home. Up in Austin, Lights Out Candles and Soy Delites offer local, organic candle options to your home will smell clean AND local!

Plum Creek, Texas

Photo courtesy of The Daily Green

The next step in spring preparation is usually the yard. As the cold slips away into warmth, our front and back yards typically need a little more love than they did the past few months, and it often requires some additional effort to get everything back in green, healthy mode. Get the boring, tedious tasks done first – pruning, mulching, and clearing gutters – so you can spend more of your time planting flowers and landscaping instead.

There are some wonderful local nurseries in the area that can provide you with the perfect colors and complements to your soon-to-be mowed, fertilized and green front yard. Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, for example, is one of the largest plant nurseries in Central Texas. They grow both “hard to find” tropical trees and shrubs, and local, native plants like Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes and Laura Bush Petunias. And, on your way out there, if you wait a few weeks, you might be able to see the wild versions of these plants out on the sides of HWY 290. In Austin, the Barton Springs Nursery has a robust selection of native and well-adapted plants for Central Texas weather as well; and, they aim to be more than a nursery, but also a place for information, guidance and entertainment. The nursery is located on three and a half acres, complete with groves of Live Oak trees, a Parakeet atrium, a toy-filled sandbox and flourishing ponds with fish and turtles galore, so the whole family can be entertained while shopping for flowers for the flowerbed.

Plum Creek, Texas

Photo courtesy of J Peterson Garden Design

KLRU’s Central Texas Gardener offers some excellent tips for gardening in Central Texas too, so if you’re stumped on how to care for your new plants they’re a great resource. For those interested in planting a vegetable garden for the spring, Texas Gardener has a free weekly email newsletter with gardening tips and information, and the A&M Horticulture Department is a nice resource as well. The A&M webpage is really robust, and has gardening fact sheets and gardening guides for virtually every veggie out there!

Perhaps the most important “spring cleaning” activity, though, is cleaning YOURSELF (and we don’t mean literally). Just like January 1st, the spring is a time of new beginnings, as the flowers bloom and the weather changes, and with all the spring cleaning and organizing you’ll be doing, why not clean and organize your body and your brain too? It’ll be warm enough for you to bust out that bicycle, do some morning yoga, or get out on Plum Creek’s hike and bike trails. Revamp your wardrobe. And make some goals. What do you want to accomplish this spring and summer? Think about it, plot it out on a calendar and get going! And remember, there’s going to be so much going on this spring and summer in Central Texas that you should add some events and activities to that goal list. Stay tuned to Go20 for information about some of these upcoming opportunities. Happy Spring, everybody!