HCA is a passionate community caring for the unique features, spring-fed streams, heritage ranch lands, spectacular beauty and culture of the Texas Hill Country for the benefit of future generations. Join us.

Initiatives Around the Country



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

The Latest News

California’s water crisis and new groundwater rules are worth learning about

“Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.” Read more from the Washington Post. Now California lawmakers are overhauling the state's longstanding "pump-as-you-please" groundwater policy under a package of bills lawmakers recently sent Gov. Jerry Brown. Read about California’s new groundwater rules in the Fort Worth Star Telegram here.

Green Spaces Alliance's Picture Your World Youth Photography Project 2014-2015

Open to youth ages 8-18, the Picture Your World weekend workshops teach photographic composition and technique through hands-on demonstration, and constructive critique. Participants will produce a visual memory of their day and begin a creative portfolio while experiencing the wonders of the natural environment. Learn more

Fredericksburg SHINES Hosts Second Annual Sustainability-Green Home Tour

Fredericksburg SHINES (FBG SHINES), a local organization dedicated to educating the public about sustainable living, will host their second annual Fredericksburg fall tour of homes to spotlight local examples of sustainable, green-living practices. Learn more

Travis County Wants Your Feedback - Land Water and Transportation Plan Ready for Review

The population of Travis County is expected to grow 50% by 2035 for a total of 1,500,000 people. Planning for growth outside of the city limits is critical for the county to continue to thrive in a sustainable manner. As such, Travis County needs your feedback to ensure the County's first comprehensive, long-range Land Water and Transportation Plan reflects local values and priorities. Click here to learn how you can help Travis County plan for future growth.

Truck Stop in Hill Country Threatens Llano River

Hill Country preservationists are calling on state officials to act after Pilot Flying J, the nation’s largest truck stop operator and diesel fuel retailer, broke ground on an environmentally sensitive site in Junction only a few hundred yards from the banks of the North Fork of the Llano River. Read more from the Rivard Report.

Workshop Will Feature Discussion of Proposed Blumenthal Substation and Transmission Line

A landowner workshop has been planned for all interested in, or potentially impacted by, the proposed substation and transmission line planned for the Blumenthal area, September 6 near Fredericksburg. Learn more

Texans Speak Up for Beautiful Highways: TxDOT withdraws proposal for taller billboards

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has withdrawn its June 2014 proposed rule change that would have allowed billboards along federal highways to be taller. After receiving public comments from more than 900 Texans and 15 organizations in opposition to taller billboards, the agency advised today it is removing the item from consideration on the August 28 Texas Transportation Commission agenda. Learn more

The City of Fredericksburg takes steps to protect the night sky

Efforts to limit the nighttime glow in and around Fredericksburg were buoyed this month as the council approved an outdoor lighting standards ordinance, which will primarily affect new residential and commercial development. A complete draft of the ordinance can be found on the city’s website, www.fbgtx.org. Learn about Hill Country attorney-astronomer, HCA Night Sky team member Ken Kattner who records skies from home observatory and advocates for proper lighting in the Hill Country here.

SAWS proposing Burleson County pipeline – questions raised

SAWS presented plans for a 142 mile pipeline from Burleson County to San Antonio at a recent community forum at UTSA. Learn more and watch a video from SAWS news here. While the plan promises 50,000 acre feet of non-Edwards water annually, a Texas Public Radio segment points out that perhaps not enough questions have been raised. Are there consequences related to costs to the community and impacts on San Antonio’s conservation ethic worth exploring? Click here to read and listen to “The Source: Some Critique On A SAWS, Vista Ridge Deal." Decisions will be made by SAWS in September and SA City Council could take this up in October.

Save the date for the October 8th Water Forum: Securing our Water Future

“Innovative Strategies and Hard Choices for a Secure Future” will be moderated by Robert Rivard and hosted at the Historic Pearl Stable in San Antonio. A stellar line-up of speakers includes: Berto Guerra, Bill West, Andy Sansom and Karen Guz. Learn more and mark your calendar today.

The City of Dripping Springs is planning for a “World Class Trail”

“The routes will connect destinations beyond Dripping Springs and will take advantage of opportunities to reach the proposed Violet Crown Trail and other regional trails and parks planned for Central Texas.” Read more and get involved. The City of Dripping Springs is soliciting input.

Rainwater Revival Returns to Dripping Springs on October 25

Look to the sky for your water supply—and learn how to capture and use it at the fifth annual Rainwater Revival, which returns to Dripping Springs on October 25. The popular and free edu-fest event is put on by the Hill Country Alliance. “We began our part-educational, part-fun fest in Dripping Springs in 2010, and after two years there we took the event on the road to other parts of the Hill Country,” said Event Chair Karen Ford. “We’re happy to be coming ‘home’ to share the latest information about rainwater conservation and harvesting at Dripping Springs Ranch Park. Learn more

Lack of Shared Dream Challenges Management of Rural, Open Space

“The population growth has had some obvious impacts, For one, there are a lot more straws, big and small, taking from the groundwater supply.” David K. Langford tells the audience at a recent private lands summit hosted by the Texas Wildlife Association. Read more from Livestock Weekly.

NPSOT Native Landscape Certification Program - Register Now for 2014 Fall Classes

The Native Plant Society of Texas Native Landscape Certification Program is a series of courses that teaches best practices for native plant landscape and habitat preservation. Targeted audiences are homeowners, native plant enthusiasts, landscape architects, architects, landscape designers and nurserymen, Master Naturalists, teachers, citizens, Master Gardeners, engineers, and more. Learn more and register.

San Antonio Mulls $3 Billion Water Supply Project

Depending on whom you ask, San Antonio might either be on the cusp of securing its water future at a relatively low cost, or it is pinning most of its hopes on a multibillion-dollar boondoggle that could diminish the water supply for fast-growing Central Texas and wouldn’t deliver what San Antonio expects. Read more from the Texas Tribune

Hill Country Alliance Announces Winners of Photography Contest for 2015 Calendar

“It’s through photographs like these that we help share the importance of protecting our Hill Country environment, and one of the reasons our calendar has been so popular with both area residents and nature lovers worldwide,” said Milan J. Michalec, board president of HCA. Read More

More News

Upcoming Events

September

September 6 in Fredericksburg - HCA Landowner Workshop: Discussion of the Blumenthal Substation and Transmission Line - Details

Sepbember 8-12 in Austin - 6th International Workshop on Catchment Hydrological Modeling and Data Assimilation - Details

September 9 in Kerrville - “Drought Impact in Kerr County & How to Improve Our River’s Health” by Tara Bushnoe, UGRA’s Natural Resource Coordinator, at the Riverside Nature Center - Details

September 11 in Wimberley - Community Water Meeting, hosted by CARD - Details

September 12 in Kendalia - 2014 New Landowner Series: Wildlife and Range Management, Brush Work and Sculpting - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

September 20 in Fredericksburg - Fredericksburg Shines 2nd Annual Sustainability Green Homes Tour - Details

September 22 in Kerrville - Monthly meeting of the Texas Master Naturalists - Topic: Hill Country Land Trusts, Speaker: Bill Lindemann, Vice President of Hill Country Land Trust - Details

September 26-28 in Belton - Renewable Energy Roundup - Details

September 27-28 in Boerne - Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop - Details

September 28 in Austin - 7th Annual Celebration of Children in Nature - Hosted by The Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin and the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center - Details

See more upcoming events


2015 Calendar

HCA's 2015 Calendar is coming soon! Check back for availability.

Check out the top photos from our 2014 HCA Photo Contest


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



Hill Country View
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Maps

Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.

HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool

 
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