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Austin gets a spring cleaning as tourism picks back up

Volunteers will clean up Austin's "front of house," including picking up litter, covering graffiti, sprucing up trails and fixing planters.

AUSTIN, Texas — After a challenging 13 months, Austin is undergoing a spring cleaning as visitors and residents begin to return to the heart of the city.

The Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and Visit Austin teamed up with the city's hospitality community to spruce up Austin's "front of house" and get it ready for new visitors. 

"We know that people love coming here and we want that return to work and downtown to be seamless and smooth," said Matt Macioge, director of operations at DAA. 

Two-hundred volunteers from businesses, venues and restaurants downtown are spending Tuesday morning sprucing up the area, including: 

  • Refreshing planters with new plants and mulch
  • Cleaning graffiti from downtown murals
  • Cleaning sidewalks and fixtures (poles, waste receptacles, benches, bike racks, etc.)
  • Trash pick-up along the trails, creeks and parks

"Our ambassador team will be leading the efforts and working individually with each group and ensuring that they understand what our goals are, how we actually go about cleaning an urban core environment and making sure that the place just looks fantastic," said Macioge.

Groups of five to 10 volunteers will focus on areas of high traffic including the Red River Cultural District, Second Street District, Sixth Street, Congress Avenue, the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, Shoal Creek, Waller Creek, Republic Square, Capital Metro stations and more. 

Visit Austin President Tom Noon has kept his office busy trying to revamp tourism as the city emerges from the COVID-19. 

WATCH: Austin gets a spring cleaning as tourism picks back up

He said now is a really important time for the city to put its best foot forward as an attractive destination.

"Austin’s third-largest industry needs to recover so we can bring back the 30,000-plus employees that are still without work," Noon said.

Visit Austin and the DAA plan to organize this event each year, working with different parts of the community each time to keep Austin beautiful. 

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