Recent highlights: See how the Southwest Austin community has supported one another in April

Circle C Ranch residents have been painting stones and placing them along local sidewalks and trails. (Courtesy Laurie Lejeune)
Circle C Ranch residents have been painting stones and placing them along local sidewalks and trails. (Courtesy Laurie Lejeune)

Circle C Ranch residents have been painting stones and placing them along local sidewalks and trails. (Courtesy Laurie Lejeune)

Image description
Stones are decorated with messages and bright colors. (Courtesy Laurie Lejeune)
Image description
Stones also feature small images and artwork. (Courtesy Laurie Lejeune)
Through the month of April, Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs residents were ordered to stay home and stay safe to limit the spread of the coronavirus in local communities. With many businesses closed, residents working from home and public interaction limited, many used the time to help support others, spread encouragement and have fun while staying safe. Here are six ways those in the Southwest Austin community helped and supported one another this past month.

Brightly painted stones highlight neighborhood strolls

Residents across Southwest Austin have been painting and decorating small, smooth stones and rocks to hide around their communities. The rocks, which feature inspirational messages, art and bright colors, are a way to scatter good feelings and add excitement to walks through neighborhoods.

Car parade thanks St. David’s South Austin medical staff

South Austin’s Bannockburn Church organized a Hero Care Car Parade on April 20, honoring the medical professionals who work at the local St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. About 150 families decorated their cars with balloons, banners and posters showing their support for employees. To see more pictures, click here.

Southwest Austin residents and businesses create medical masks for residents, heath care professionals in need

Businesses from Austin’s Couch Potatoes to ZIPS Dry Cleaners on South Lamar and Hill Country Bridal and Alterations in Dripping Springs have produced handmade medical masks over the past month.

Many resident groups in Dripping Springs and South Austin have also began making masks at home. A group of Circle C residents is making masks to give to any Circle C-area residents in need as well as workers in health care and other essential workers throughout Austin. Make-A-Mask Austin, an organization that provides masks to Austin-area health care works, was also formed. Click here to learn more about the efforts.

Bears and chalk art help children during stay-at-home orders

While some residents have enjoyed searching for wildflowers along public trails, others have stuck to the familiar, walking along similar neighborhood sidewalks each day. In some Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs neighborhoods, residents have been decorating sidewalks, lawns and windowsills so neighbors have something different to look at each day as they walk.

At some homes, stuffed animals, toys or holiday decorations have been put on display to catch the eye. Other homes display chalk art on their driveways, with art drawn by children that include uplifting messages or fun visuals. Click here to see more photos of local decorations.

Dripping Springs students perform porch concerts for neighbors

Band students from Sycamore Springs Middle School and other Dripping Springs ISD schools have taken to their front porches to play concerts in the evenings this month. Dripping Springs students join band students throughout the United States who take to their instruments at the same time each evening, using the hashtag #MusicConnectsUs to share their concerts on social media. Learn more here.

Austin residents show up to foster animals in need

Local animal shelters, including Austin Pets Alive, the Austin Animal Center and the Austin Humane Society, have reported record numbers of foster applications and pet adoptions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Animal shelters have continued to operate during the ongoing stay-at-home order, and as Travis County residents were urged to begin staying indoors and working from home, thousands reached out to local animal shelters to either adopt a pet or sign up as a future foster owner. Learn about what local shelters have been doing and their current need here.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


Tents have become a common sight throughout Austin including along Cesar Chavez Street downtown, but with the passage of Proposition B the city may now consider moving unsheltered homeless individuals to designated sites. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Designated campsites for the homeless are back on the table

City staff had previously dismissed developing official camping locations in 2019, but new directives from City Council this week could revive the concept in Austin.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.

Stephanie Hayden-Howard will become an assistant city manager in Austin on May 10. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Role changes coming for health officials leading Austin-Travis County COVID-19 efforts

Dr. Desmar Walkes will take over as Austin's next medical director and local health authority as Dr. Mark Escott and Stephanie Hayden-Howard transition to new roles with the city.

The brewery and kitchen‘s new spot will offer a larger indoor setting area than its original. (Courtesy Suds Monkey Brewing Co.)
Dripping Springs brewery relocates to new, expanded facility closer to Austin

Suds Monkey Brewing Co. opened in Dripping Springs in 2017.

A pilot Austin Police Department cadet class is now set to commence in June under an updated training regimen and with additional city and community oversight on the APD academy's culture and curriculum. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes to restart APD cadet training in June, with framework for ongoing reviews of pilot academy

The Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class will now kick off training next month, with continued oversight of APD's instruction and culture throughout the 34-week academy process.

Marco's Pizza will open a South Austin location later this month. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pizzeria opening later this month, a local animal shelter hits a milestone and more South Austin business news

Here are updates from The Bungalow, PAWS Shelter of Central Texas and more.

Holland Photo Imaging celebrates 40 years in business this year. (Courtesy Holland Photo Imaging)
The latest business news in South Central Austin

1. Holland Photo Imaging, located at 2125 Goodrich Ave., Ste. A, Austin, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the community this year. Founded in 1981 by Pete Holland, the business has been owned by residents Brian and Morgan Morrison since 2006. Holland Photo Imaging offers film processing, printing, framing, photo restoration and archiving services. 512-442-4274.

A sign advertises a property for rent in Austin on May 6. Local eviction orders remain in place through August 1 protecting most tenants from eviction. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local eviction moratoriums remain in effect despite federal judge’s decision

The May 5 ruling from a U.S. District Court judge striking down a federal moratorium does not affect orders in place in Austin or Travis County.

Q2 Stadium in North Austin
U.S. women’s national soccer team to debut Q2 Stadium next month

The USWNT takes on the Nigerian national team at Q2 Stadium ahead of the summer Olympic Games.

Juneau was adopted at Austin Animal Center in November 2019. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Animal Center reaches critical capacity, opens doors to all adopters for first time since May 2020

Austin and Travis County’s animal shelter, Austin Animal Center, reached negative kennel space May 4, meaning there are more dogs than available kennels, according to a release from the city of Austin.