Oak Hill Phoenix  LbNA # 61495 (ARCHIVED)

OwnerConkat Hippie Chicks    
Placed DateApr 16 2012
LocationWindmill Run Park, 7306 Kirkham Lane Austin, TX 78736, Austin, TX
Found By Silver Eagle
Last Found Feb 12 2013
Hike Distance?

The Oak Hill Phoenix represents the comradeship demonstrated on the afternoon of April 17, 2011. Neighbors were forever changed into heroes, neighbor bonds were strengthened into friendships, and individuals were gracefully transformed into a rather special “we” as we banded together in hundreds of ways to help neighbors literally rise up like a phoenix, from the ashes caused by the Pinnacle Fire as it’s now known as, which proved to be the largest in Austin’s history. The drought conditions coupled with the 30-40mph gusts of wind along with a small unsupervised campfire quickly turned out to be the greatest wildfire Austin has ever experienced. Ten homes were destroyed and nearly 25 other homes were heavily damaged on that dreadful day. Many homes have been rebuilt with the help of neighbors, businesses, and churches. The 100 acres burned just over the hill to the southeast, which is just ahead of you if you keep straight on from the entrance path. The neighboring communities of Steiner Ranch, Spicewood, Hamilton Pool Road, and Leander suffered much damage from fires that same day also. Six months later on September 4, 2011 the giant Bastrop fires destroyed over 96% of Bastrop State Park and over 1600 Bastrop and surrounding area homes.

Directions to Windmill Run Park
(7306 Kirkham Lane Austin, TX 78736): From the Y in Oak Hill, take Hwy. 71 West to Scenic Brook Drive. Turn left and proceed to Kirkham Drive, which is just over a mile up Scenic Brook Drive. The park entrance is on the left at 7306 Kirkham Cove. Windmill Run Park is a 16 acre park with beautiful trails; most are pretty smooth walking trails with some a little rocky with some hills. Park hours are sunrise to sunset.

Once you enter the park, look for the giant spiderweb. Sit on the South-facing bench beside it and decide if you want to climb on it. Then look right and start walking that direction. You will see 3 trails; 1 right, 1 left, and a center trail. Take the center trail which leads you to a small wooden footbridge crossing Williamson Creek. After you cross the footbridge, take about 30 steps forward up a slight hill and look for a pile of rocks at the top of this small hill. Sit on the largest rock there and face the bridge you just traversed. Reach down to your right and slightly back, and you’ll find the Oak Hill Phoenix stashed under a small pile of rocks. After you exchange stamps and sign the book, have a look around. Downhill a bit, you will notice fire damage to your right and to your left. The homes on the hill behind you that were damaged are being rebuilt at the time of this plant, one year later. Some homes in the Oak Hill area have already been rebuilt. Families are returning home, birds are singing, and lots of new healing growth after recent rains has literally rose up from the ashes, springing new life. Explore the rest of the trails and enjoy what nature has to offer; do not take it for granted.

A commemorative Oak Hill Village themed mosaic wall is being planned for the entrance to this park, to honor this special kind of survivorship. Keep informed on this and other Oak Hill events at:
http://oakhillfirebenefitfortheloveoflilly.wordpress.com/news/ or by checking the kiosk bulletin board near the entrance to the park.