Parks advocates push $750M bond proposal to add sidewalks, trails throughout city

Parks advocates push $750M bond proposal to add sidewalks, trails throughout city

Parks and transportation advocates hope to put a $750 million bond proposal on the November ballot that would fund many construction projects centered around “active transportation” found in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan… “For the bike plan, sidewalk plan and trail plan, Vision Zero and everything else to be funded, that would be more than $100 million per year for the next six years injected into our economy going to primarily local contractors,” he said. “We see it as a…

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TPWD announces funding opportunity for streamside landowners

TPWD announces funding opportunity for streamside landowners

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is looking to expand public access to fishing and paddling on Texas rivers through leased access agreements with streamside landowners. Private streamside properties are essential to achieving this goal, and TPWD is requesting applications from landowners for the River Access and Conservation Areas program. “Texas has over 40,000 miles of free-flowing rivers and creeks, and with 95% of the land held in private ownership, it can be a real challenge finding safe legal access…

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Try a local trail or two — or even three

Try a local trail or two — or even three

Some friends and colleagues have mentioned their frustration in seeking away-from-home options while remaining distanced and quarantined in this “selah season.” They’ve mentioned their appreciation for my/our circumstances living as we do with wild and pasture life as our primary neighbors. My suggestions have included, “why not try a trail suited for your interest, ability and purposes!” We in New Braunfels and Comal County are blessed with local trail options as well as a broader Hill Country context which multiplies…

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A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

From the moment Kinder Morgan and its business partners announced that their 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline would cross the Texas Hill Country, landowners, environmentalists, elected officials and groundwater protection agencies along or near the route have fought tooth and nail to move it or stop it. And they openly warned of the precise danger landowners such as Albright now face: disturbing the “karst” features below their property. Like underground Swiss cheese, they serve as conduits for groundwater that, in a…

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Great Springs Project envisions a network of trails from Austin to San Antonio

Great Springs Project envisions a network of trails from Austin to San Antonio

Twenty-seven years ago, Deborah Morin watched as the hills, streams, caves, and springs of the Hill Country outside of Austin were being gobbled up by construction… Almost three decades later, Morin, a San Antonio native, is at the head of a nonprofit working to do just that, but on a much larger scale. She’s president of the board of the Great Springs Project, an initiative to preserve land and stitch together a network of hike and bike trails that will…

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Shhh… This just might be the prettiest body of water in Texas

Shhh… This just might be the prettiest body of water in Texas

I’m a spring-fed freshwater swimming nut. Rivers and creeks are my thing, as long as they’re unspoiled, untamed, and unchlorinated—the clearer, the better. The sweetest water I’ve ever seen was on a ranch near the headwaters of the West Fork of the Nueces, out in the middle of nowhere. The water, fresh and infused with ozone, even smelled amazing, like a crashing wave at the beach, minus the salt. I wanted to know if the main channel of the Nueces…

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Black women come together to form Black Hikers Week

Black women come together to form Black Hikers Week

  • June 24, 2020
  • News

After witnessing the power and pride experienced as a result of Black Birders Week, Social Media Influencers and members of the black hiking community Zenovia Stephens (Huntsville, AL), Debbie Njai (St. Louis, MO), and Nailah Blades Wylie (Sandy, UT) joined together to form Black Hikers Week. Hiking is the act of taking a long and sometimes strenuous walk on a trail or path. As natural as it is, black faces have been underrepresented and almost completely left out from the…

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TESPA files new lawsuit against Permian Highway Pipeline, Kinder Morgan

TESPA files new lawsuit against Permian Highway Pipeline, Kinder Morgan

The Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA), acting on behalf of Blanco County landowners whose water was impacted in a spill of drilling fluid, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Permian Highway Pipeline and Kinder Morgan. The case alleges violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which protects “underground sources of drinking water” by prohibiting the injection of “contaminants” into underground drinking water. “That is exactly what occurred on March 28, 2020, when Kinder Morgan’s PHP constructors…

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What’s next for Black AF in STEM?

What’s next for Black AF in STEM?

Last week, Black researchers and avian enthusiasts flocked to social media to participate in the first ever Black Birders Week (May 31-June 5). “Growing up, there weren’t many outlets showing diversity, so I was only able to be inspired by white conservationists and naturalists,” said Tolga Aktas, a conservation biologist based in the UK. “The Black Birders Week movement allowed me to see that there are many Black wildlife heroes out there. It reassures me that everybody can make a…

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What’s at stake when we pave over, fragment and otherwise fail to protect Texas farmland from the disruptions of development?

What’s at stake when we pave over, fragment and otherwise fail to protect Texas farmland from the disruptions of development?

Millions of acres of America’s agricultural land were developed or converted to uses that threaten farming between 2001 and 2016, according to “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States,” a new report by American Farmland Trust. The report’s Agricultural Land Protection Scorecard is the first-ever state-by-state analysis of policies that respond to the development threats to farmland and ranchland, showing that every state can, and must, do more to protect their irreplaceable agricultural resources… The report found that Texas was the most threatened state in the nation due to…

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