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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Swiss Lodge Gets HOT Fixtures

Swiss Lodge Gets HOT Fixtures

Press Release: Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky – For Immediate Release: June 29, 2020 On June 29, Blanco’s Swiss Lodge motel became the first recipient of night sky friendly outdoor lighting fixtures paid for with Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds.  The 29 fixtures purchased for the motel were Ellicott Portfolio galvanized, gooseneck wall lanterns, approved as “Good Neighbor Lighting” by the International Dark Sky Association. Thanks to a lot of hard work done in the last legislative session, Blanco, Johnson…

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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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One Water – Blue Hole primary school

One Water – Blue Hole primary school

While COVID-19 dominates headlines in 2020, groundwater protection efforts in the Texas Hill Country are set to realize a tremendous success story when the first One Water school in Texas officially opens its doors for classes this fall!  Blue Hole Primary School will serve the growing Hill Country communities of Wimberley and Woodcreek with one of the most water efficient and cost-effective approaches ever envisioned for a school campus in Texas. One Water is a water planning and management approach…

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Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

“Historically, some people thought of wetlands like nasty places we need to fill in or useless land,” he said. “But really, they’re among the most productive and valuable ecosystem in terms of the goods and services they provide to humans.” Nicknamed the kidneys of the earth for their ability to filter water and improve water quality, wetlands are defined by three things: water, plants and soils. To be a wetland, water should flow through or stand in the area for…

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The credible case for a resilient water supply in Texas

The credible case for a resilient water supply in Texas

In this time of crisis and deep uncertainty, one thing we must be able to depend on is our water supply. Access to water is critical to public health, fragile local economies, and food production. And the benefits are also intangible. Confined to our homes, many of us are realizing that time spent along the banks of a lake or clear flowing creek offers much-needed respite. Now, more than ever, we must protect our water resources. The world is a…

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Conservation and reuse of reclaimed wastewater: A marriage of necessity

Conservation and reuse of reclaimed wastewater: A marriage of necessity

As the population of Texas increases and requires a more abundant water supply, big decisions loom regarding new water sources, growing volumes of wastewater effluent, and the impacts on our land, environment, and other species in which we coexist. A new way of thinking is taking root since traditional approaches to water management are generally viewed as deficient in the face of current water-related challenges. It promises a more viable, alternative approach. One Water is not an entirely new concept,…

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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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