Member Stories

Austin Neighborhood Hits the Sidewalks to Create Positive Change

Written by Anne Dreshfield

For residents in the greater Rundberg area in Austin, helping improve their neighborhood is as simple as taking a walk outside.

Residents, local businesses, and the Austin Police Department have been working together on the Restore Rundberg project since 2012, pledging to make a difference in the 6-mile stretch of Austin that suffers from high crime rates.

“There are several of these neighbors out here that I now consider friends.”
One neighborhood in the area, Georgian Acres, has a unique way of fighting crime: lacing up their walking shoes. Every Wednesday, a group of neighbors meets to walk their neighborhood.

“I love the people, that’s probably the best thing,” said Rigel Thurston, who started the walking group on Nextdoor in an effort to help take back the streets. “I posted the first Wednesday on our Nextdoor website, and a few people showed up.” The group has grown steadily in the weeks since, and several police officers from the Restore Rundberg team have joined the neighbors for their weekly walk.

“Just being out here and being a positive presence – it shows that we care.”
“There’s all sorts of things you can miss out on in a community if you’re not active in it and talking to everybody to find out what’s going on,” said Senior Police Officer Taber White. “It’s good on both sides because, you know, there’s several of these neighbors out here that I now consider friends.”

The group usually ends their Wednesday walks in an open lot at the edge of their neighborhood, where Thurston says the land used to be used for dumping. The group is now working to clean the area up and hopes to eventually build a park.

“Just being out here and being a positive presence – it shows that we care,” Thurston said.

As reported by ABC Austin.

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