Junction ISD Students learn how to preserve our night skies

Junction ISD elementary, middle and high school students gathered recently at South Llano River State Park for a full day of assemblies about night sky issues. Bill Wren of the MacDonald Observatory joined the staff of the South Llano River State Park to discuss the effects of light pollution on nocturnal species and simple ways to help preserve our night skies. For many of the more than 600 students attended the event, this was a first opportunity to learn about light…

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Twinkle twinkle little Star Party

Steven Santana | Castroville News Bulletin | Clear skies and a starry night at the Castroville Regional Park presents an opportunity to educate families on the preservation of the night skies. Budding and experienced stargazers gathered in the park soccer fields last Saturday night for the Star Party organized by Helen Delavan with Friends of the Castroville Regional Park in collaboration with the Hill Country Alliance (HCA). While the event was set up to provide families and hobbyists the chance to share their interests in the astronomy, program manager Cliff Kaplan with the HCA said that it was also an opportunity…

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Meet the former first lady who helped make Austin, Texas, one of the most popular cities in the US

Meet the former first lady who helped make Austin, Texas, one of the most popular cities in the US

Austin, Texas is the place to be. US News & World Report rated the Texas capital as the best place to live this year. It’s also a great spot if you’re looking for a job or seeking a high quality of life. It’s clear that life is pretty good in ATX. This is largely thanks to a former First Lady. Lady Bird Johnson championed beautifying America and preserving nature as First Lady… Read more from Business Insider

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Fredericksburg applies for International Dark Sky Community designation

On May 15th, the Fredericksburg City Council passed a resolution affirming its support for the City’s application to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) for a Dark Sky Community designation. The resolution, proposed to Council by Kate Peake of the Hill Country Land Trust, recognizes the cultural, natural, and economic value of the night sky in Fredericksburg as well as the steps that the City has already taken to preserve the night skies and promote good lighting in the City. Application…

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Texas parks boosters approach lawmakers once again for more money

Texas parks boosters approach lawmakers once again for more money

Two years ago, George Bristol, perhaps Texas’ chief booster for state parks, thought he had scored a coup when lawmakers passed a measure that appeared to ensure that nearly all the tax revenue raised through the sale of tennis rackets, soccer balls, kayaks and other sporting goods would go to the state Parks and Wildlife Department. In theory, the Legislature had long declared that money should go to parks, but lawmakers had been siphoning much of that money for other uses, including…

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Reimagined Alamo Plaza Design Ignores 1871 Deed by Enclosing Plaza

Reimagined Alamo Plaza Design Ignores 1871 Deed by Enclosing Plaza

In 1871, the Catholic Bishop of the State of Texas, Claude Marie Dubuis, sold the galera, an Americanism for “shed” referring to the rectangular structure that included the Alamo barracks, south gate, and jail, to the City of San Antonio for $2,500. The deed included the following following restriction: “And it being understood that the property hereby conveyed is as conveyed on condition that it shall be dedicated to the public use as an open space, and be made a part…

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Could landowners switch groundwater districts?

Could landowners switch groundwater districts?

As House Bill (HB) 4122 passed the Texas House of Representatives on third and final reading, State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) said he is afraid the bill will “set a bad precedent” for groundwater protection in the future. Isaac said the controversial bill, which passed by a 112-30 vote in the Texas House May 8, would allow large landowners with more than 1,000 acres that straddle more than one groundwater conservation district to switch over to just one district.…

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TPWD launches new “Texas Rivers” Conservation License Plate

Texans can help the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department keep the state’s rivers healthy and flowing through their purchase of the new Texas Rivers conservation license plate, available now at www.ConservationPlate.org/Rivers. “The new plate design features a Texas river cascading over boulders and past cypress trees while gently carrying a kayaker downstream past a fly fisherman casting into a yellow sunset,” said Janis Johnson, the Conservation License Plate program manager at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We expect this…

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Rainwater Revival Calls for Grant Applications from Hill Country Schools

Rainwater Revival Calls for Grant Applications from Hill Country Schools

For the seventh consecutive year, the Hill Country Alliance’s Rainwater Revival offers funds to help students learn about rainwater catchment and water conservation. As Texas Hill Country residents and businesses look for ways to conserve water, the Hill Country Alliance’s Rainwater Revival School Grant Program lends a helping hand to schools throughout the 17-county region. HCA is now taking applications from schools that want to implement or enhance rainwater collection and water conservation programs on their campuses. So far our…

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May 8 hearing to consider Amicus brief on eminent domain

May 8 hearing to consider Amicus brief on eminent domain

Folks in Texas interested in the effects eminent domain might have on farms, ranches and private property in general may want to attend a hearing May 8 in Hondo, Texas, at the Medina County courthouse. The hearing will consider a request by Southwest Gulf Railroad to condemn property on which they intend to construct a rail spur to connect a privately owned quarry to an existing rail line. Opponents of the request say condemnation should not be allowed because the…

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