Photo courtesy of The Trail Foundation
The Trail Foundation

The Trail Foundation's mission is to preserve, enhance, and connect the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike-Trail for the benefit of all. The Butler Trail is the 10-mile lush, urban path in the heart of Austin that meanders along the edges of Lady Bird Lake and gets more than 2.6 million visits every year.

Since its founding, The Trail Foundation has achieved restoration and beautification projects to the trail's infrastructure and environment, while honoring the original vision of the trail's founders and ensuring its vibrancy for generations to come.

The best way to get involved with The Trail Foundation (TTF) is to become a member. Support from TTF's generous members helps make the Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake more beautiful, accessible, and enjoyable for the benefit of all. This year TTF invested about $4 million into trail enhancement projects, and the City of Austin put $1 million into the trail.

Trail users can honor someone special while supporting TTF at the same time by purchasing an honorary or memorial gift in their name. Currently available memorial gifts include personally engraved Lakeshore Park commemorative bricks, boardwalk benches, and endowment funds. Learn more about these options to get involved here.

Another great way to get involved with TTF is through its Lady Bird Johnson Adopt-a-Garden program, in which an individual, business, family, organization, or club may adopt a garden along the trail and design, plant, and tend it. Gardens are adopted for a year, and new garden beds are put up for adoption as they become available. To volunteer with this program or find out more info, head here or email gardens@thetrailfoundation.org.

TTF's "Day in the Trail Dirt" program is an opportunity for corporate groups to promote volunteerism and environmental stewardship while building employee cohesiveness and camaraderie. A "Day in the Trail Dirt" is a highly customized volunteer day that includes a TTF staff member that is dedicated to your group and helps facilitate the volunteer event. TTF provides all the necessary tools and resources to maximize the value of the day's activities for the corporate volunteer group. Learn more about this program here.

In addition, Austinites can get involved with The Trail Foundation through a number of volunteer opportunities. TTF hosts quarterly volunteer days each year that take place on Saturdays from 9 am-noon. Activities are based on season, temperature, rainfall, and needs of the trail at the time. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to: painting benches, pipe fencing, or railing; planting trees and native plants; seeding wildflower meadows; removing invasive plants or weeds; mulching garden beds; and more. Each volunteer day is limited to 30 participants, and the list of upcoming dates can be found here. Trail users can also shop with Amazon Smile to benefit The Trail Foundation, sponsor an individual project or event, or donate materials. Visit TTF's website or contact kelly@thetrailfoundation.org for more info.

The Maudie's Moonlight Margarita Run and Party is TTF's largest annual fundraising event. This year the event will take place June 6, 2019 from 8-10 p.m. Ladies can trade the little black dress and heels for little black shorts and running shoes, while gentlemen can leave their ties at home. The evening begins with an 8 pm shotgun start to a 5K course that travels along the streets bordering Lady Bird Lake.

Immediately following the race, join TTF for a post-race party on Seaholm's scenic Great Lawn. Party attendees enjoy dinner and margaritas catered by Maudie's Tex-Mex, live music and dancing, and fun photo ops underneath the stars and lights of downtown Austin. For more info, head here.

Any donation to The Trail Foundation makes you a member, but the minimum donation amount is $25 if you'd like branded items to show your support for the trail. Dog and student memberships start at $25, individual memberships are $50, and family memberships are $150. Head here to view all the membership levels and associated perks as well as the awesome TTF swag items.

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