What we're about...
We live in a new era of connectivity where regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status, people are using the internet and social media to express their feelings and gather information. According to Pew Research Center, 64% of U.S. adults use facebook and 30% find news information via facebook (2013). The internet is a valuable tool to better understand communities and reach out to people, yet as people are more technologically connected they seem to be less connected to environmental systems around them.
The vision of MyCreekATX as a website and app is that of more connected communities both with eachother and with our environmental systems. Creeks in Austin are part of our identity much like our national reputation as a top green city. As a host to many tech companies, the creation of MyCreekATX provides an ideal opportunity to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders in sustainability and technology that will only further the city’s Imagine Austin goals of creating a complete community that is vibrant, livable, and connected.
The mission of MyCreekATX is to provide a platform for conversation about all of our valuable creeks by aggregating data from social media, survey data about creeks from field surveys and users of MyCreekATX, USGS creek flow information, City of Austin Department of Watershed Protection environmental indicators data, maps, and streaming web cams. Our hope is that this will fill a void for Austin residents who want more information about Austin’s iconic creeks and creeks in their backyard.
We also envision this as a resource of invaluable social and cultural information for professionals who manage Austin’s creeks. Information gathered from surveying Austin residents will be used to create a metric of social and cultural function of Austin’s creeks as part of research being carried out at the University of Texas at Austin. We hope this tool will be complementary to ecological functioning metrics already in place and provide for deeply informed management of Austin’s urban creeks.
1) Foster community stewardship of Austin’s creeks,
2) Strengthen the connection between Austin residents and ecological cycles,
3) Contribute to the understanding of the social and cultural value of Austin’s creeks, and,
4) Maintain a user-driven platform as a community-wide resource for creek information.
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