Where did MyCreekATX come from?
Back in January I started work on a thesis project that has evolved into MyCreekATX today. I wanted to understand how different people in Austin perceive creeks to be functioning, which led me to beg the question – “How do people value creeks?” It was easy to find out how the city values creeks. The Department of Watershed Protection has a set of indicators that it uses to score each creek’s ecological functioning. But then I realized that the question of how creeks are valued by people was for the most part missing from the management of creeks here in Austin. A core belief of mine is that these ecosystems, especially in urban areas, should be valued by many intersecting factors - ecology, social and cultural value, economics, etc. I thought we were missing the boat as a growing city if we didn’t do something to paint a clearer picture of how urban creeks are valued holistically, and shift management accordingly.
One of the craziest things about our generation is how attached we are to technology. During my first semester of grad school, one of the ideas that really connected with me was that technology can be good or bad, it depends on how it’s executed. Right now, we are more disconnected from the environment around us than any generation before. We assume cities are largely void of nature despite natural space all around us. Technology has been a wall instead of a door. MyCreekATX came about because I am passionate about reconnecting my generation with the environment around us and believe it can be a resource to promote holistic creek management. I know it’s possible to better connect Austinites to entire creek systems. I hope MyCreekATX will help us to center our communities on creeks rather than hide them behind parking garages.
Between now and our Hackathon in September we’re meeting with anyone and everyone involved in creek advocacy and management here in Austin. We’re recruiting an advisory committee and crafting a schedule for our hackathon that will include planners, designers, web developers, and our community partners. We are incredibly fortunate to have Asakura Robinson Company on board to ensure our hackathon is both effective and engaging. If you can take the time to tell us about your creek, you’ll not only contribute to the website, but also to a research topic that is incredibly underserved. Click here to take our survey.
Check out the “What we're about...” page here for more information on our vision, mission, and goals; and contact us any time at MyCreekATX@gmail.com.
Katie Coyne, Founder - MyCreekATX