In 2011, a parks bond package was passed in support of acquiring parkland for river corridor and greenways in eastern Travis County, including the areas along Onion Creek, Gilleland Creek, and Wilbarger Creek. Developing greenways along waterways have many benefits: extended, connected trail systems can be developed; the impact stormwater and runoff on water quality are lessened; flood damage is mitigated; wildlife corridors are established; and rural landscapes and views are preserved.
Onion Creek, a small tributary stream of the Colorado River in Texas that stretches from Blanco County to Travis County, is the source of the waterfalls in McKinney Falls State Park.
Gilleland Creek runs 27 miles from northwest of Pflugerville to the Colorado River. It was named for James Gilleland (b. 1798 – d.1839), an early Texas settler and Methodist preacher who settled on the creek in 1838. Gilleland was injured in a skirmish with Comanches at Brushy Creek in 1839 and died of his injuries.
Wilbarger Creek runs 42 miles from north of Pflugerville to the Colorado River in Bastrop County. The creek was named for Josiah Wilbarger (b.1801 – d.1844), who was granted land near the mouth of the creek in 1832. In 1833, Wilbarger was a member of a surveying party that was attacked by Indians near Pecan Springs, about four miles east of the site of present Austin. He was scalped but was still alive when he was found the next day by settler Reuben Hornsby (namesake of Hornsby Bend). Wilbarger never completely recovered from his wounds but lived 11 more years.