Capital Metro–with the help of many volunteers, the landscape design dynamo of Ilse Frank, principal of Studio Balcones Landscape + Urbanism, the grant and materials support of Keep Austin Beautiful, the assistance of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Austin/Saltillo Sister Cities Association, and the in-kind donations of several local businesses–has been revitalizing Plaza Saltillo over the past several months.
The most recent volunteer day was this past Saturday, June 19th. Twenty hard working, dedicated volunteers planted about 300 plants in sweltering heat at Plaza Saltillo. Many thanks to Thistle Cafe for providing lunch and Texas Coffee Traders who supplied coffee. This work day completed all of the large planting beds and added shade trees, ornamental shade trees, grasses, and native plants. It looks fantastic! Check out the photo gallery on the Friends of Plaza Saltillo Facebook page.
A little history on Plaza Saltillo: The Austin/Saltillo Sister Cities Association, together with the City of Austin, built Plaza Saltillo in 1997 with contributions from the City of Saltillo, Mexico. The people of Saltillo donated the benches, fountain, the statue, and some of the labor for the construction of the plaza.
Originally, small concerts, local events, farmer’s markets were held here, but over the years it has become less active. With the opening of the Red Line, several groups began working together on plans for breathing new life into the Plaza. Ilse’s newly installed landscape design incorporates plants that are characteristic of the southern Texas/northern Mexico climates of both the Sister Cities.
Within the next few days, flowers and ground covers will be planted in the areas near the rail platform, and the pruning will be finished. Plaza Saltillo is now an oasis along the Red Line, and promises to be more vibrant area for the neighborhood and for those accessing the area by train via Plaza Saltillo Station.