April’s International Dark Sky Week urges homebound families to “look up together”

April’s International Dark Sky Week urges homebound families to “look up together”

Press Release: International Dark-Sky Association – For Immediate Release: April 9, 2020 During International Dark Sky Week, April 19-26, the International Dark-Sky Association invites you and your family to engage with dynamic authors, educators, artists, and scientists from around the world who are excited to share their passion for astronomy, our cultural connection to the stars, life in the dark, and how we can work together to protect the night. “Right now, families around the globe find themselves spending many…

Read More
Director’s Notes – April 2020: Community resilience

Director’s Notes – April 2020: Community resilience

Dear Hill Country Neighbors,  If there is one thing that the past several weeks have taught us, it is the power and importance of resiliency. Whether we’re talking about our region’s ability to weather cycles of drought and intense rain, or our ability to adapt to an ever-changing economic and health situation, resiliency is the key to moving through adversity.   A great strength of our region exists in the ties that bind each of us and our communities together. While…

Read More
Supporting local Hill Country food banks

Supporting local Hill Country food banks

Across the state, food banks are seeing more faces than ever before. Whether you are in a place of need or a place of plenty, don’t forget your local food banks. A recent article from The Texas Standard stated that “the need for food bank services in [Central Texas] has increased by as much as 300%.” The need is there and if possible, now is an incredible time to give.  The Central Texas Food Bank works with partners across 21 counties…

Read More
Monarch butterfly gets protection in ‘historic’ deal

Monarch butterfly gets protection in ‘historic’ deal

The Fish and Wildlife Service today unveiled a sweeping, multistate plan to protect the monarch butterfly without adding it to the Endangered Species Act list. A long time in the making, the plan called, in part, a “candidate conservation” agreement unites state and federal officials with energy and transportation industry leaders on a common cause. “Completing this agreement is a huge boost for the conservation of monarch butterflies and other pollinators on a landscape scale,” FWS chief Aurelia Skipwith said in…

Read More
TESPA issues notice of intent to sue Permian Highway Pipeline for contamination of an underground source of drinking water

TESPA issues notice of intent to sue Permian Highway Pipeline for contamination of an underground source of drinking water

Press Release: Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association & Wimberley Valley Watershed Association – For Immediate Release: April 8, 2020 Attorneys acting on behalf of the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) today issued a notice of intent to sue the Permian Highway Pipeline LLC (PHP) and its managing partner, Kinder Morgan, for contamination of an underground source of drinking water as a result of PHP construction operations in Blanco County on March 28, 2020. Of primary concern, and contrary to…

Read More
Texas State Parks temporarily close to the public

Texas State Parks temporarily close to the public

Press Release: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – For Immediate Release: April 7, 2020 At the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas State Parks will be closed to the public effective at the close of business Tuesday, April 7 in order to maintain the safest environment for visitors, volunteers and staff. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will continue to stay current with the latest public health recommendations and will announce when a definite reopening date has been determined.…

Read More
Inside the story of how HEB planned for the pandemic

Inside the story of how HEB planned for the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the country in just a handful of weeks. As Americans focus on the essentials—feeding our families and ensuring we have the necessary supplies to keep our households clean and safe—grocery stores and pharmacies have demonstrated just how crucial they are to a functioning society. We’ve seen chains struggle with the challenges the current crisis presents. Some stores are instituting policies limiting the numbers of shoppers allowed in at a time, creating long waits to enter.…

Read More
TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

While environmental regulations are not being set aside, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Monday that enforcing those rules may be eased for violations “that were unavoidable due to the (coronavirus) pandemic.” The agency has “not relaxed any limits on air emissions or discharges to water,” Chairman Jon Niermann wrote in an open letter addressed to the public, environmental advocates and industry. Read more from Asher Price with The Austin American-Statesman here.

Read More
Texas food banks asking for help to support surge of people in need

Texas food banks asking for help to support surge of people in need

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, food banks across the country are tasked with serving those in need from every socioeconomic level. Many people are using food bank services for the first time. Food banks in Texas are doing their part, but they face many challenges. Derrick Chubbs, president and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank, says the pandemic has been a major test for his organization. “Nothing has stretched our ability to serve Central Texans as much as COVID-19,” he…

Read More
The pandemic is turning the natural world upside down

The pandemic is turning the natural world upside down

From inside her living room in London, Paula Koelemeijer can feel the world around her growing quieter. Koelemeijer, a seismologist, has a miniature seismometer sitting on a concrete slab at the base of her first-floor fireplace. The apparatus, though smaller than a box of tissues, can sense all kinds of movement, from the rattle of trains on the tracks near Koelemeijer’s home to the waves of earthquakes rolling in from afar. Since the United Kingdom announced stricter social-distancing rules last…

Read More