The Austin Water Center for Environmental Research at the Hornsby Bend is a partnership formed in 1989 with the University of Texas and Texas A&M University to support urban ecology and sustainability studies for Austin.

Lunchtime Lectures

Lunchtime Lectures are cancelled until further notice. 

  • Upcoming Events -  Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Lunchtime Lectures - Cancelled Until Further Notice 

Hornsby Bend

  • UPDATE: 3/10/2021 - Hornsby Bend Phase 2 Construction Begins Feb 1 2021 –  The new Transfer Pump Station is scheduled to begin in February 2021 affecting access to the grounds. New fences will be built to protect visitors from walking into the construction areas. This will involve a fence blocking the Pond 2 road further east along the pond than the current construction zone fence. This will temporarily reduce the length of the Pond 2 road open for walking. Also, during the duration of Phase 2, the River Trail will be closed to visitors beginning just east of the old pump station. The Transfer Pump Station project is planned to be completed by the summer of 2022. Please see the map for the latest changes to road and trail access.
  • Phased Reopening - The main gate and treatment pond area at Hornsby Bend will remain open for public access. All visitors are required to check in and pass temperature screening at the main entry gate before proceeding to the ponds. The River Trail and Platt Lane Trail are also open and accessible for hiking and biking activity. Austin Water continues to follow the direction of Austin Public Health and the City Manager who have extended the Center for Environmental Research closure into April. No public restrooms are available for public use. We ask all visitors to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask when interacting with others. For more information, view the Hornsby Bend map highlighting areas closed to public access.


The Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant plays a key role in sustaining Austin’s environment by recycling Austin's biosolids and yard trimmings. Hornsby Bend is also nationally known for its biodiversity, ecotourism, and one of the best birding sites in Texas.


The biosolids recycled at Hornsby Bend get mixed with compost and yard trimmings and turned into an EPA-certified soil conditioner called Dillo Dirt™. Dillo Dirt is donated to landscape public places and sold through commercial vendors.

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