Springs that form Headwaters of San Antonio River protected forever

Springs that form Headwaters of San Antonio River protected forever

The springs that form the headwaters of the San Antonio river will be forever protected from development, thanks to an agreement involving the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and Green Spaces Alliance. On Friday, leaders of the Headwaters Preserve at Incarnate Word told the Rivard Report they had placed the 53-acre preserve north of downtown under a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a restrictive covenant that permanently bars construction, paving over natural surfaces, mining, or drilling on…

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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…

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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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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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Hays County Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission call for projects

Hays County Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission call for projects

The Hays County Parks and Open Space Advisory Commission (POSAC) is now accepting project ideas for parks, open space and natural areas from cities, nonprofit organizations, homeowner associations, and other groups or individuals who see specific needs for their communities and for the county as a whole.  In February 2020 the Hays County Commissioners Court recognized the need for additional public park lands and conservation spaces in Hays County and established the POSAC to provide a democratic, public process to…

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SOS reaches agreement with Stratus Properties over new project, protecting land in the Barton Springs Zone

SOS reaches agreement with Stratus Properties over new project, protecting land in the Barton Springs Zone

Stratus Properties (“Stratus”) owns some of the largest areas of land within the Barton Springs Zone. They own land all throughout Southwest Austin, including the site of the notorious 4,000-acre Barton Creek PUD, which was the catalyst of the SOS movement 30 years ago, when more than 800 Austin residents rallied to protect Barton Springs from overdevelopment. Oftentimes, the inherent conflict between developer profits and our mission to protect the water quality of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer puts…

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Fort Worth is moving forward to buy land despite the coronavirus budget crunch

Fort Worth is moving forward to buy land despite the coronavirus budget crunch

The city expects to close this month on a $610,000 deal to buy the 53-acre Broadcast Hill property adjacent to the Tandy Hill Natural Area in east Fort Worth. It is the first step in a broad plan to buy open space ahead of urban sprawl, with the goal of preserving the Texas landscape while helping to mitigate flooding. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the city’s robust growth consumed 2,800 acres of Texas prairie a year for housing divisions, strip malls…

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A gift for Texas: Collins family donates easement on 531 acres in Williamson County

A gift for Texas: Collins family donates easement on 531 acres in Williamson County

More than 50 years ago, Michael Collins and his father bought land north of Liberty Hill, drawn to the river that cut through the property and the old log home that stood there. They evicted the goats bedding down in the house and renovated it, and the Collins family spent the next five decades building memories at a place they called the Farm at Loafer’s Glory, named for a church where an eclectic group of locals once worshiped. For a…

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Expanding efforts to keep ‘cows over condos’ are protecting land across the West

Expanding efforts to keep ‘cows over condos’ are protecting land across the West

Across the West, a growing number of ranchers and farmers are seeking such “conservation easements” to stave off the big-box stores, self-storage complexes and residential construction consuming millions of acres of fertile open space. From Montana’s sagebrush steppe to New Mexico’s Central Flyway, the interest is so strong that state agencies and nonprofits are juggling lengthy waiting lists of applications. A Wyoming land trust funded in part by state appropriations typically has as many as 24 projects vying for review.…

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Rare native prairie near Texarkana preserved by family, conservation groups

Rare native prairie near Texarkana preserved by family, conservation groups

Fifth-generation Texans, David and John Talbot of New Boston, in February 2020 sold one of the last examples of unplowed native prairie in northeast Texas to the Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) for permanent preservation as the Talbot Brothers Prairie Preserve. The 366 acres in Bowie County also includes more than 200 acres of bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands. The Talbot family owned the property for more than 55 years. “The land stewardship and preservation of these unique prairie…

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