Unpave the parking lot and create paradise: A story of Headwaters at the Comal River

Remember the Joni Mitchell song “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”?  Well, imagine you are on the Governing Board of the New Braunfels Utility and the staff proposes a plan to parcel off sections of a valuable 16 acres tract of land – once the fleet, facility and operations center for the growing utility – for development.  The mostly asphalt-paved property could bring in a significant amount of short-term funding redeveloped for commercial purposes, however, it also happens to have the neglected and long-forgotten original water source for the New Braunfels community.  What would you recommend? Keep that paved parking lot and make a little short-term money or create a paradise on a long-time eyesore? Could you commit to the long-term vision of preservation and conservation of a significant environmental and cultural resource?

Fortunately for the citizens of New Braunfels, Texas, and the greater region, the Board of Trustees of New Braunfels Utilities in keeping with a longstanding commitment to the environment and the community chose to restore and redevelop the 16 acre tract of land into a natural haven. Situated on the banks of the Comal River’s headwaters springs and Blieders Creek, the project now known as The Headwaters at the Comal, will highlight the hydrological, environmental and cultural history of the region. The property will also be a demonstration of water management best practices for the local community, the Texas Hill Country region and the nation.

Read more from Nancy Pappas, Managing Director of New Braunfels Utilities’ Headwaters at the Comal, on The Texas Living Waters Project here.