Texas parks are broke. But there’s good news: voters can rescue them.

Texas parks are broke. But there’s good news: voters can rescue them.

Money intended for state parks and historic sites should actually be spent on state parks and historic sites, right? It took lawmakers a little more than a quarter century to reach that conclusion. Since 1993, sales tax collected from the purchase of sporting goods and outdoor gear was supposed to fund Texas’s system of much-loved yet perpetually cash-strapped state parks and historic sites. Buy a kayak in Texas? In theory, you’re a park benefactor. Same for the purchase of baseball…

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Commentary: Why you should care about groundwater pumping in Hays County

Commentary: Why you should care about groundwater pumping in Hays County

  • June 25, 2019
  • News

Barton Springs, the Austin’s beloved spring-fed swimming pool, is the crown jewel of the city – the soul of this soulful town. Almost a million people cooled off in the springs in 2018, and more than a million swimmers are expected to return in 2019….In recent years, hydrogeologists studying groundwater flow in the Trinity Aquifer to the west of Austin in Hays County have learned the Trinity is also a source of water for Barton Springs….Water in Hays County is…

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June Director’s Notes: Hill Country Conservation gets a national spotlight

June Director’s Notes: Hill Country Conservation gets a national spotlight

In this month’s notes, we wanted to highlight how HCA and our partners have been working to elevate the profile of conservation in the Hill Country to a national level. Partnering with individual landowners, city and county governments, academic institutions and conservation organizations, we are proving that great conservation successes can be achieved through collaboration. I’m very excited to share two new developments that recognize and showcase the value of our collaboration… (click to read more)

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Wiring The Hill Country: new internet providers take on rural areas

Wiring The Hill Country: new internet providers take on rural areas

  • June 24, 2019
  • News

David McCullough’s phone rang. It was Home Town Donuts in Johnson City, and their internet service was down. He raced through his house to find his laptop, which would allow him to diagnose the issue, but not before cracking four metatarsal bones in his foot. He couldn’t stop for a broken foot, though, because he and his wife, Ginger, have an internet company to maintain. On the way to the emergency room, they dropped off a wireless hotspot at the…

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Dripping Springs neighbors petition to ‘Save Hamilton Pool’ from RV park development

Dripping Springs neighbors petition to ‘Save Hamilton Pool’ from RV park development

  • June 24, 2019
  • News

A petition circulating online is calling for an end to a proposal to put an RV park near The Hamilton Pool Preserve. “Our kids have grown up here. Our daughter had birthday parties down at Hamilton pool,” said Stagecoach Ranch resident Bob Adkins. People who live nearby believe the quality of water and wildlife at Hamilton Pool is in jeopardy. Two developers are eyeing a 10-acre piece of land above the entrance to the pool. “The property is about 500,…

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Scientists have big hopes for Uvalde pool study

Scientists have big hopes for Uvalde pool study

  • June 21, 2019
  • News

Ron Green, a scientist at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, and his team of hydro-geologists are busy collecting data on and creating a lumped parameter model for the Uvalde Pool, a major reservoir of underground water centered over central Uvalde County and part of the Edwards Aquifer. Though the project is relatively new, Green said their research in Uvalde has been ongoing for over 20 years. “For over 20-plus years, we’ve been trying to quantify how much water goes…

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Community aims to fight east side gentrification with affordable housing

Community aims to fight east side gentrification with affordable housing

  • June 21, 2019
  • News

As San Antonio’s real estate boom continues, finding affordable housing can be a challenge, especially in neighborhoods on the east side where entire streets are becoming gentrified. Old neighborhoods near popular downtown are seeing new residents moving in and remodeling older homes and driving up property values, according to the Bexar County Appraisal District. Those higher property values mean higher property taxes which forces older residents, especially those on fixed income, out of homes they have lived in, sometimes for…

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Fredericksburg Historic District expansion

Fredericksburg Historic District expansion

  • June 20, 2019
  • News

The local historic district has been expanded following a 3-1 vote by the Fredericksburg City Council Monday night. Mayor Linda Langerhans and councilmen Charlie Kiehne and Gary Neffendorf voted in favor, while councilman Tom Musselman voted against the ordinance. Councilman Bobby Watson recused himself as he lives in the proposed expansion area. Upon its passage, the ordinance is now in effect. “With anything, there has been pushback whether that has been the sign ordinance, the short-term rental ordinance or the…

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New Edwards Aquifer facility designed to protect endangered species

New Edwards Aquifer facility designed to protect endangered species

A new facility to research and protect some endangered species that are native to central Texas opened Thursday. The new Edwards Aquifer habitat conservation plan buildings will house a handful of endangered species that include the San Marcos salamander, the comal springs riffle beetle, the foundation darter, and eve Texas wild rice–a grass native to the San Marcos River. Read more from Matthew Prendergast with KXAN here

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Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve now open to the public

Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve now open to the public

The project the late Gay Ruby Dahlstrom worked for almost a decade over is now complete and open to the public as a nature preserve and conservation easement. Hays County, the Hill Country Conservancy and the Dahlstrom family announced the opening of the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve. The nature preserve is located in Buda on the Dahlstrom Ranch spanning 384 acres of undeveloped land. Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said the county fully supported the project and invested more than…

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