America 2050 - A national initiative to develop a framework for America’s growth and development in the face of rapid population growth, demographic change, and infrastructure needs in the 21st century. A major focus of America 2050 is the emergence of megaregions – large networks of metropolitan areas, where most of the projected population growth by mid-century will take place – and how to organize governance, infrastructure investments, and land use planning at this new urban scale. America 2050 is an initiative of the Regional Plan Association and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
America’s Longleaf Pine Initiative - An ad hoc public-private partnership with a multi-state strategy to restore Longleaf pine forests in the southeast U.S.
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor - A grassroots initiative blessed by Congress to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, along the 46-mile run of the river from Worcester, Mass. to Providence, R.I.
The Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance - Nonprofit organization creating innovative ways to manage growth and preserve the environment in the Chattahoochee Region of Georgia
Clear Creek Watershed Foundation - Dedicated to improving the ecological, aesthetic, recreational and economic conditions in the Clear Creek Watershed through comprehensive efforts with watershed stakeholders.
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan - A $7 billion inter-governmental effort for the nation’s most ambitious ecosystem restoration initiative, encompassing an 18,000-square-mile region of subtropical uplands, wetlands, and coral reefs from south of Orlando to the Florida Keys.
The Crown of the Continent Ecosystem Education Consortium Encourages and supports coordination and cooperation among individuals, organizations, and agencies whose purpose is to educate and inform people of all ages and backgrounds about the human and natural resources of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.
Envision Utah - The Envision Utah approach of civic engagement has been replicated by dozens of regions around the country. How we grow will affect how we and our children will live. At Envision Utah, we don’t believe in sitting back and seeing where growth will take us. We seek to be visionary and actively secure our future.
Freedom to Roam - A coalition of business, government and conservation groups ensuring that wildlife can move, migrate, and adapt under the challenges of habitat fragmentation and a changing climate in North America.
Houston Tomorrow - A nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the Houston region. Houston Tomorrow works toward a strong and healthy economy, community, and environment, with policies for growth that don’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs and pursue their dreams. The institute uses research, education, and discussion to inform citizens and decision makers about the best practices and ideas about urban development from around the world.
Kentucky Bluegrass Tomorrow - An 18 County initiative in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky
Land Choices - Help bring Conservation Subdivisions nationwide by educating landowners, local planners and officials.
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - A shared decision-making authority authorized by Congress through the Bureau of Land Management and the Sonoita Valley Planning Partnership to manage public lands and resources across a high-desert basin and wildlife corridor across the Southwest and Northern Mexico.
Maryland Department of Planning - The Department of Planning in the State of Maryland is a fantastic example for planning, smart growth policy and community involvement.
New Jersey Pinelands Commission - Nonprofit organization reserving, protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands National Reserve in New Jersey
Northeast Landscapes – A large landscape conservation initiative in the 13 state Northeast megaregion.
Platte River Cooperative Agreement and Implementation Program - A negotiated agreement for managing the river basin in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, to protect endangered species while allowing recreational water uses to continue.
Practitioners' Network for Large Landscape Conservation - An alliance of professionals and citizens engaged in leading, managing, researching, advocating, funding, educating or setting policy to advance large landscape conservation initiatives.
The Race for Open Space - The decisions we make today on land-use will affect generations beyond our own children and grandchildren. New Jersey is in a race that will shape the future of our lives – a race between development and open space preservation.
Regional Plan Association (RPA) - Independent, not-for-profit regional planning organization that improves the quality of life and the economic competitiveness of the 31-county New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region through research, planning, and advocacy.
Roaring Fork Conservancy - Founded in November 1996 through a unique public-private partnership, Roaring Fork Conservancy has become one of the most respected watershed conservation organizations in Colorado.
Sustainable Napa County - Nonprofit organization bringing together Napa County business, agriculture, nonprofit, and government entities as part of a comprehensive, collaborative campaign for long term environmental, economic, and social sustainability in California.
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency - The nation’s first interstate land use authority to maintain environmental quality within the 500-square-mile Lake Tahoe Basin spanning Nevada andCalifornia, amid private development, tourism, ranching, and logging.
Tamarisk Coalition - Advancing the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.
Water Blues Green Solutions - Water Blues Green Solutions is a 60-minute documentary telling stories about real people solving their water blues with green solutions in four cities across the country.
Back to Resources
Some water experts believe Hill Country clear-running creeks and streams may soon be a thing of the past if cities are permitted to discharge treated wastewater directly into creeks such as Onion Creek. Water wells may also become contaminated. Read More
"Keeping Rivers Flowing" is a free three-part webinar series designed to inform interested persons about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries. Drawing on practical experience from here in Texas and around the world, speakers will discuss innovative approaches for ensuring that rivers, bays and estuaries continue to get the flow needed to protect water quality and support healthy fish and wildlife populations. Learn More
There’s a lot of bad information floating around in the Hill Country regarding land management, in addition to a lot of good information. Sometimes it is difficult to sort out the bad from the good. Misinformation can come from a variety of sources – the coffee shop, the feed store, magazine articles, well meaning neighbors and even natural resource professionals. By clarifying some of the common misperceptions, people will be able to make better decisions regarding natural resources. Steve’s writings are timeless. Read more from Steve Nelle and educate your neighbors.
The Bennett Trust will host its first ever land stewardship and education conference April 23-25 in Kerrville. Wyman Meinzer, state photographer of Texas, will deliver the keynote address on the history and legacy of the Edwards Plateau. Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit local ranches, vineyards and orchards to learn more about sustainable practices in horticulture, forage production and wildlife management. Learn More
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has opened their State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) rules making process for public comment. Participation in the rules making process is critical to ensure that the intentions of the State Legislature are carried out in the long-term administration of the State’s SWIFT funds. The HCA has submitted a list of recommendations to the TWDB that will help ensure spring and stream-flow sustainability in the Hill Country.
The Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) is hosting a candidates forum for two board of director seats up for election this year. The meeting will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at PEC Headquarters, 201 S. Ave. F in Johnson City. The event will also include discussion of a ballot referendum on whether to switch to single-member district elections for board directors. Learn more about the candidates from the San Marcos Mercury. Learn more about the process and forum from the PEC.
Sky has been selected to receive a “Lone Star Land Steward Award” for her work in education and outreach for the Nueces River Authority in Uvalde County. “Sky Lewey is a conservation educator with extraordinary leadership and dedication. A key figure in the efforts to restore healthy riparian function to the Nueces River Basin and beyond.” David Langford, HCA Advisor, and his wife Myrna are also receiving an award for their landowner cooperative in Kendall County. Congratulations HCA leaders! Read more from TPWD.
“With the exception of the lower Rio Grande Valley and small parts of Far West Texas, much of the state has received less than 50 percent of normal rainfall,” reads TWDB’s most recent report. “This doesn’t bode well for the next six months. A dry winter generally portends a dry spring and summer.” Read more from Nextcity.org.
Bat Conservation International has inspired major support to prevent intense development of 1500 acres adjacent to Bracken Cave from the City of San Antonio, Mayor Julian Castro, City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and others. Find out more about recent negotiations to save the cave and learn about upcoming opportunities to personally visit Bracken Bat Cave and see the bats take flight.
How many times have you heard that the Hill Country was once a great vast grassland with only a modest covering of trees and brush? Although this longstanding myth is deeply ingrained and embraced by many government agencies, biologists, landowners and professionals, it is false and misleading. Learn what the Hill Country was really like prior to 1860 from eye-witness accounts, and why it is important to understand the past. Read and share from Steve Nelle.
“The rules require residential developers to use only drought-resistant plants from a list provided by the city. St. Augustine grass, which tends to be very thirsty, can only be planted in areas where there is 10 inches of topsoil and less than 6 hours of full sunlight per day.” Read more from the American Statesman (subscription required). Learn more about St. Augustine and the impact lawn watering has on our regional water supply from Native American Seed here. KXAN reports “more buyers want homes with smaller yards and less grass to water.” View video here.
The fact is the city’s sprawling suburbs, gated communities and ex-urban neighborhoods are addicted to lawn and landscape watering. SAWS officials say about one-third of all the water we use in the hot summer months is pumped to keep grass alive. Not humans, but grass. Learn More
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has developed a new Interactive 2012 State Water Plan webpage that will let water users statewide take an up-close look at data in the 2012 State Water Plan and how our water needs will change over time. This data will arm communities with important information as they plan for projects to submit for State Water Implementation Fund (SWIFT) funding. Learn More
It started when the Kimble County Commissioners Court, followed by the City Council, passed resolutions supporting voluntary efforts to protect the Night Skies. This paralleled actions being taken in other Hill Country communities to preserve the awe-inspiring Night Skies and the enjoyment that comes with stargazing, including its attraction for visitors. Read more from the Junction Eagle.
April 22 - Earth Day! - Earth Day Events
April 22 in Austin - Texas Water Journal Forum focusing on current challenges to rural and urban water conservation - Details
April 23-25 in Kerrville - Bennett Trust Educational Program: "Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau" - Details
April 23-27 - 2014 Hill Country Nature Quest - Tour the Hill Country River Region and learn about native plants, birds, butterflies and wildlife - Details
April 25 in Austin - SOLD OUT - Kent Butler Summit, “Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles: Balancing Growth and Sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer Region” - Details
April 25-27 in Fredericksburg - 4th Annual Wings over the Hills Nature Festival - Details
April 26 in Austin - Native Plant Spring Symposium - Hosted by The Native Plant Society of Texas and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Details
April 28 in Kerrville - Native Bees of Texas - A meeting of the Hill Country Master Naturalist - Free and open to the public - Details
April 30 - Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers - Free three-part webinar series on strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries - Details
May 3 in Bandera - 13th Annual Medina River Cleanup - Details
May 6 in Medina - Fruit Tree Management Workshop - Hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details
May 7 in San Antonio - Public Health and the Built Environment - Healthy Communities by Design - Details
May 8 in San Antonio - Urban Wildlife Management Workshop - Details
May 9 in Boerne - Monarch Workshop: Monarch Biology, Ecology & Monarch Larval Monitoring Project Training - Hosted by the Cibolo Nature Center - Details
May 9 in Stonewall - 2014 New Landowner Series: Forage Production, Livestock Production and Handling, Crop Production - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details
May 10 in Wimberley - Grand Opening of the newly improved Jacob's Well Natural Area - Details
May 12 in Fredericksburg - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Hill Country University Center - Details
May 13 in Kerrville - Texas Riparian & Stream Ecosystem Workshop – Upper Guadalupe River - Details
May 13 in Llano - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Details
May 14 in Marble Falls - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Details
May 16 in Fredericksburg - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Enchanted Rock State Natural Area - Details
May 16 in Austin - Exploring Conservation Design in Central Texas with Randall Arendt - Details
May 19 in Austin - 2014 Texas Water Summit: Securing our Economic Future - Presented by The Acadamy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas Details
May 28-30 in San Antonio - Southwest Stream Restoration Conference - Details
Photo contest begins March 1st!
Imagine a place where vibrant communities draw strength from their natural assets to sustain their quality of life. A place where citizens care about protecting the special qualities of a region – their region. A place where people and partners band together to envision a better economic future, tackle shared challenges and care for the natural, scenic, and recreational resources that define the place they call home.
~This is a Conservation Landscape
Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.
HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool