Director’s Notes – October 2017
If you’re a river lover like me, then you likely celebrated #WorldRiversDay last month on September 27. Rivers are an integral part of our communities. In fact, did you know there are 13 rivers that begin right here in the Texas Hill Country? More than just a place for the occasional summer retreat, tubing trip, or fishing adventure, these waters sustain life from the rural ranches of our region to the thriving estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico. They are critical to the livelihood and future of our bustling cities. And they demand protection-from all of us.
Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats. Only through our involvement can we ensure their health in the years ahead. That’s why the Hill Country Alliance actively works with communities across our 17-county Hill Country region to implement restoration projects, combat non-native invasive species, and raise awareness about the importance of our rivers. A few of our recent efforts include:
- Developing a landowner stewardship manual for residents living in the Pedernales River Basin, which will be available at the end of this year – stay tuned for details!
- Bringing communities together to explore environmental issues through award-winning films at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. On September 28, we hosted nearly 100 attendees at the Kerrville screening. More than 70 came out to the Odeon in Mason. Stay tuned for an upcoming screening in Fredericksburg!
- Working with Fort Mason City Park staff and the Texas Master Naturalists Program to flag over 270 invasive Chinaberry trees for removal on the Llano River Basin in Mason. Learn more.
- Identifying native tree saplings and installing caging around them for protection against deer and other browsing animals at the South Llano River State Park in Junction (with help from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Llano River Watershed Alliance and the Texas Tech University Field Station). Learn more.
- Hosting the 8th Annual Rainwater Revival, this year expanded into a Hill Country Living Festival! We’ll have vendors, speakers, and nonprofits there to share information about the art and science of managing land for wildlife habitat, using native plants, capturing rainwater, and minimizing your footprint on the land. Plus we’ll have kids activities and live music! You won’t want to miss it: Saturday, November 4th from 10am-5pm at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park. Learn more.
The Hill Country Alliance is proud to continue our work protecting and preserving this region’s extraordinary water resources – from the magical hidden springs to the crystal-clear swimming holes. We get so many benefits and enjoyment from our rivers – why not take some time to give back? Consider donating to the Hill Country Alliance or signing up as a volunteer!
Partner Spotlight: Our friends at the Texas Living Waters Project will host a river celebration TODAY, Thursday, October 19 at the Patagonia store in Austin. Share your #MyTexasRiver story and learn from others’ stories with a drink in hand as you enjoy the Living Waters short film directed by filmmaker Ben Masters, a Q&A fireside with river specialists and a special river-themed song by Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow. Learn more at http://bit.ly/2g9eeB1.
Executive Director, Hill Country Alliance