Bill Neiman: A sculptor of seeds and soil

Bill Neiman: A sculptor of seeds and soil

A sculptor molds, carves, shapes, and ultimately creates. They may work in different media and are adept with their tools. In addition to shapes, lines, and colors, some incorporate motion —an interrelationship of objects. Bill Neiman is a sculptor. For more than four decades, his medium has been plants and Texas soil. In 1974, at age 19, he started his own landscaping company with a borrowed shovel, rake, and lawn mower. Today, Neiman’s family and a dedicated team run Native American…

Read More
Conservation is essential to Texas’ future, and it’s time to get serious

Conservation is essential to Texas’ future, and it’s time to get serious

As we head into another hot Texas summer and ponder future summers in a warming climate, the imperative to sustain adequate water availability for our communities and support fish and wildlife habitat continues to grow. The just-released 2020 Water Conservation Scorecard addresses this concern head-on by offering an in-depth look at how effectively Texas water utilities are saving water. Since the release of the initial Scorecard in 2016, utilities have made some advances, but these new scores highlight that the…

Read More
The Hill Country Alliance is preserving our beautiful land in Central Texas

The Hill Country Alliance is preserving our beautiful land in Central Texas

The non-profit environmental organization, The Hill Country Alliance plays a vital role in preserving the beauty of the hill country of Texas. Their mission is: “The mission of the Hill Country Alliance is to bring together an ever-expanding alliance of groups throughout a multi- county region of Central Texas with the long-term objective of preserving open spaces, water supply, water quality and the unique character of the Texas Hill Country.” Our guest on Shades of Green is Daniel Oppenheimer, Land…

Read More
Catch some falling stars with Comal County Friends of the Night Sky

Catch some falling stars with Comal County Friends of the Night Sky

With Comal County in the crosshairs of rapid growth along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, Wells and other Canyon Lake residents have joined forces with a grassroots movement sweeping Central Texas whose goal is stopping “light pollution” before it erases stars from the night sky… With the help of HCA, Comal County’s night skies movement kicked off in December 2018 after Commissioners Court passed a Night Sky resolution encouraging residents, businesses and developers to start paying attention…

Read More
Group to keep eye on the sky

Group to keep eye on the sky

A week after the county adopted a resolution to protect the night skies, a local group is forming with the intent of educating residents about how they can help protect one of the Hill Country’s greatest assets — a starlit night sky. Cliff Kaplan, program manager with the Hill Country Alliance, said 14 counties have adopted resolutions similar to that of Kendall County. However, because of state legislation, it’s often difficult for cities and counties to regulate lighting. Instead it’s…

Read More
County resolution supports efforts to preserve darkness

County resolution supports efforts to preserve darkness

The stars at night are big and bright — and disappearing from view deep in the heart of Texas. That was the consensus of a standing-room-only audience this week as the Kendall County Commissioners Court heard comments from concerned citizens in support of a resolution supporting efforts to preserve the night skies. Precinct 4 Commissioner Don Durden introduced the resolution, and the court voted in favor of its adoption. “Sometimes we don’t miss things until they’re gone, and then they’re…

Read More
Hill Country Alliance: Meet Executive Director Katherine Romans

Hill Country Alliance: Meet Executive Director Katherine Romans

Once again the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is hosting their spring Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival (April 4, 2020). And their fifteenth anniversary looms, all of which makes for a great excuse to sit down with the nonprofit’s executive director, Katherine Romans. The goal? To learn more about this important organization as well as Romans’ personal commitment to it. Can you tell us what led you to join HCA as a staff member? It was a chance connection that…

Read More
Fredericksburg earns ‘dark sky’ designation

Fredericksburg earns ‘dark sky’ designation

After review by the International Dark-Sky Association Board, the City of Fredericksburg’s application to become an International Dark Sky Community was unanimously endorsed. “The IDA works to protect the night skies for present and future generations by requiring applicants to follow a rigorous application process to demonstrate robust community support for dark sky protection and document designation-specific program for requirements,” said Fredericksburg City Manager Kent Myers. An IDA International Dark Sky Community is a town, city, municipality or other legally…

Read More

Preserving the night sky in Austin

Most evenings in Central Texas, the sky transforms into the legendary violet crown before falling into darkness. Although humans wait for the beauty of the sunset, it is the darkness that animals need, according to Cliff Kaplan of the Hill Country Alliance. “All of the creatures of Central Texas rely on dark nights. That’s what they evolved for,” he told the Environmental Commission at its Feb. 5 meeting. Golden-cheeked warblers navigate by starlight and fireflies communicate in darkness. Darker skies…

Read More
Resilience along a river

Resilience along a river

It’s a crisp November after-noon and landowner Suzanne Davis is admiring native bald cypress seedlings while cutting back invasive Brazilian verbena along her stretch of the Blanco River. Davis and her husband, Edward, live in Wimberley, where, four years ago, the Blanco River rose more than 20 feet in an hour — over 40 feet at its peak — causing extensive devastation to property and life. “The destruction all around was incomprehensible,” she said. While the couple had to start…

Read More
  • 1
  • 2