November 2016: Giving Thanks –
Just like that, Fall is in full swing in the Hill Country and the gorgeous cooler weather reminds us the holidays will soon be here. November is a month for giving thanks, and I appreciate the opportunity to share with all of you a few of the incredible things I am grateful for this year.
- Passionate, hardworking staff. The work of the Hill Country Alliance was recently summarized by the editor of the Fredericksburg Standard as ‘gentle advocacy,’ and I could not be more thankful for the team of thoughtful and dedicated individuals that are leading conversations about the future of our region. Cliff Kaplan is bringing together volunteers and community leaders passionate about starry night skies. Charlie Flatten is a respected voice for smart water policies and the conservation of our water resources. Shannon and Sheila are daily creating the face of HCA through our events, social media, newsletters and website. Our staff is working harder than ever to lay out a vision for the Hill Country we hand on to future generations. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to any of us if we can be of help to you!
- Rainwater, and catching it! There is no better way to start a month than with several inches of rainfall. In the Llano River we’ve seen more than two inches of widespread rain over the last two weeks. In the Pedernales River near Austin, we saw as much as eight inches since the start of the month. The Guadalupe River at Kerrville saw more than three inches. And on November 5th in Dripping Springs, HCA’s annual Rainwater Revival celebrated the ancient art of rainwater harvesting. We had more than 50 vendors and speakers, 500 in attendance, and our first ever Rainwater Raffle raised more than $4,400 for rainwater harvesting at Hill Country schools—money that will turn into thousands of gallons of future water supply and immeasurable inspiration for our future generations. We couldn’t be happier—and have the photos prove it!
- A broad, dedicated network of partners. A recent Stanford Review article identified more than 160 organizations at work to protect the wildlife, land and waters of the Texas Hill Country, with the Hill Country Alliance as an important hub. Those groups are starting to work together more collaboratively, and the Hill Country Alliance recently joined several partners to apply for the MacArthur Foundation’s “100 and Change” grant. Check out the 90-second video we created for that grant application here.
- The Hill Country. Every morning we are blessed to wake up and go to work protecting this slice of heaven right here in Texas. The wide open spaces, the crystal clear flowing waters (see bullet point two), and the starry night skies are enough to inspire and revive us—even when the momentum of growth and development in our region seems insurmountable. If you haven’t done so recently, please go “get your hands in the dirt and your toes in the creek,” as our good friends and partners at Cibolo Nature Center like to say. Find time to #getoutside this fall and enjoy all that this special region has to offer.
With the Holidays just around the corner comes several easy ways to support the Hill Country Alliance: order a few copies of the 2017 Hill Country Calendar to give as gifts to your friends, coworkers and family. Give them as a way to say thanks, but also to start a conversation. The beauty of the Hill Country is easy to appreciate, but how will we ensure that it is here for future generations?
Thinking about doing some Cyber Monday shopping? Visit www.smile.amazon.com and choose the Hill Country Alliance to be the recipient of .5% of eligible purchases. You’ll get the same Amazon deals, and HCA will receive a donation whenever you shop.
And of course, consider becoming a sustaining supporter of HCA by setting up a recurring monthly donation. You can find out more and give easily by visiting our ‘donate’ page.
Thank you for all you do for the Hill Country!