Thursday, July 17, 2014

Neighbor to Neighbor - News and Events July 16, 2014

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July 16, 2014

Hill Country News

HCA's Certified Interpretive Guide Training Workshop Returns October 14-17 in San Antonio
Do you want to create meaningful experiences that last a lifetime? HCA is offering an Interpretive Guide Training workshop that will help you connect the minds and hearts of your audience to the beauty of nature and the mysteries of history. Register now, class size limited. Details
Proposed Truck Stop along the Llano River draws concerns
Hill Country conservationists, including HCA, have expressed concerns over a proposed Pilot Flying J truck stop to be constructed close to the North Llano River in Junction. “South Llano Watershed Alliance (SLWA) is a non-profit organization of landowners and interested stakeholders whose mission is to preserve and enhance the South Llano River and adjoining watersheds by encouraging land and water stewardship through collaboration, education, and community participation. Since our inception in 2009, SLWA has partnered with other local, state, and federal agencies and organizations to develop and participate in programs that to date have brought in nearly $3 million in research and restoration efforts in the local community.” Read the SLWA letter of concern urging for more time for due diligence.

AgriLife Extension sets Living Waters Conference for August 19 in Junction

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct the Living Waters Conference beginning at 8 am, August 19 at the Texas Tech Junction Center, 254 Red Raider Lane in Junction. “This is a well-rounded program that centers on topics relating to watersheds, riparian areas and best management practices for managing cattle, horses and feral hogs along these fragile environmental areas.” Details

Plans for Texas 45 Southwest bring quest to document historical sites
"Environmentalists eye the proposed road’s path over the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Fans of the tollway note how it would provide an alternative to congested roadways. History enthusiasts, though, see what’s not on the map. They see land that the Spanish first traveled in the late 1600s, that stagecoaches traversed beginning in the mid-1800s, and they worry that the proposed tollway — and the additional development it would likely bring — would erase that rich past. That little-heard concern about growth has prompted the Travis County Historical Commission to begin a survey of properties in Southwest Travis County.” Read more from Andra Lim at here.

How to Inspire Millions More Americans to Ride Bicycles
“Over the past five years we’re seeing an infrastructure revolution, a rethinking of our streets to accommodate more users — busways, public plazas, space for pedestrians and, of course, bike lanes,” said David Vega-Barachowitz of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “More protected bike lanes is one of the most important parts of this.” Read the full story from the Rivard Report here.

LCRA and PEC Award $25,000 to Old Blanco County Courthouse for Masonry Repair
The Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society will be able to repair masonry and stone on the building’s exterior, thanks to a $25,000 community development grant. The Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative provided the grant to repair and replace mortar and stone in critical areas of the old courthouse on Blanco’s downtown square. Details

Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One

After Texans overwhelmingly approved spending $2 billion in public funds on new water infrastructure projects last November, Republicans and Democrats alike hailed the state’s ability to solve its water woes in the wake of explosive growth and debilitating drought. But as state water planners prepare to spend that money and address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, they are only planning for a bigger Texas — not a hotter one. More from the Texas Tribune.

Travis County attempts to guide surging growth in unincorporated areas
"One difficulty is that the county has little say in what ultimately gets built on unincorporated land." This issue is felt in Bexar, Kendall, Comal, Hays, Burnet, Bandera and all of the rapidly expanding counties throughout the Hill Country.  Read the full story in the Austin American Statesman. Learn more about the County Authority issue here.

Texas Tribune Q&A with Karen Ford
“There are two schools of thought. One is we are not going to build our way out of this, and I’ve heard other people say we’re not going to conserve our way out of this. I have to take issue. I think we really are going to have to adopt as a citizenry a new water ethic in the way we think about and use water. And the way we look at our landscapes. And the way we value our large landscapes and understanding the role that they play in our water supply.” Read More

Upcoming Events


July 17 in Dripping Springs - Texas Watershed Steward Workshop - Presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Details

July 19 in Kerrville - Water Conservation: Best Practices at the Riverside Nature Center - Details
July 23 in Spring Branch - Comal County Land & Water Expo - Hosted by the Central Texas Conservation Partnership - Details

August 15 in Dripping Springs - Better Lights for Better Nights - Details

August 19 in Junction - Texas Living Waters Conference - Details
August 26 in Austin - Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council & Lone Star Rail District Discussion on the Future of Transportation & Reception with State Representative Larry Phillips - Details

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Webinar Invitation: Join us for "Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers"

Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers

Join us for a Webinar on April 30

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

"Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers" is a free three-part webinar series designed to inform interested persons about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries.

Drawing on practical experience from here in Texas and around the world, speakers will discuss innovative approaches for ensuring that rivers, bays and estuaries continue to get the flow needed to protect water quality and support healthy fish and wildlife populations. Without affirmative strategies to protect flows, the natural heritage embodied in Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries is at risk.

The first webinar will provide an international perspective from Brian Richter on the state of rivers and what is being done to protect and/or restore these vital resources.  Texas water policy experts Myron Hess and Andy Sansom will highlight why this issue is important in Texas, what is at stake, and what types of approaches might be taken to keep Texas rivers flowing all the water to the coast.  

Myron Hess, National Wildlife Federation
Brian Richter, The Nature Conservancy
Andy Sansom, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

This webinar series is presented by the Sierra Club - Lone Star Chapter, National Wildlife Federation and The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.
Title: Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers
Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grand Opening of Jacob's Well Natural Area, Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 Grand Opening Set for Jacob’s Well Natural Area

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Jacob’s Well Natural Area, the first Hays County-owned nature preserve, will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 221 Woodacre Drive, Wimberley. The public is invited to save the date -- special events, tours and family fun are being planned.
Jacob’s Well is a perpetual artesian spring and is the main source for Cypress Creek, which forms the Blue Hole swimming area downstream and then flows through Wimberley into the Blanco River. The County purchased the property in 2010 with voter-approved park bond funds to preserve the natural area and protect it from future development. Now, the public is invited to experience this natural wonder and learn more about the importance of preserving it for future generations.
“This preserve is a good investment by the taxpayers of Hays County,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley. “It’s a wonderful recreational area for families to enjoy some of our natural assets. It serves as an educational facility for current and future generations to learn about the Wimberley Valley ecosystem and the importance of our natural resources. And, it helps our business climate by encouraging tourism which is our area’s largest economic asset.”
The County has completed several restoration projects on the 81.5-acre preserve. In May 2013 the former Woodcreek North Property Owners Association building and eight condo units were demolished and removed from the floodplain, a new cedar post fence installed at the main entrance and remnants – asphalt streets, utilities and concrete pads – of a mobile home park were removed.
A new interpretive garden at the Nature Center has been planted with the help of Hays County Master Naturalists, who volunteer their time to educate the public through free tours offered each Saturday at 10 a.m. The Nature Center building is being updated to provide a more enjoyable meeting space. Trails have been added to allow the public access to 40-plus acres in the upland areas for additional recreational activities such as hiking, birding and geocaching.
The Natural Area is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, free of charge. Come out, learn more and enjoy the preserve!
For information about grand opening events or the Natural Area, please contact the Hays County Parks Department at 512-847-2140 or look for updates on

Friday, April 11, 2014

Invitation to the Texas Desal 2014 Best Practices & Emerging Technology

SAVE THE DATE. Or better yet, register now!

Please join us for the 2nd annual Texas Desalination Association conference as we continue to move desal forward as a water supply solution for today -- and for the future of Texas.

WHEN: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Friday, September 12, 2014
WHERE: Hilton Austin Airport
WHAT: View Event Summary
HOW MUCH: View Event Fees
BE A SPONSOR: View Sponsor Info or Contact WaterPR.

Please respond by clicking one of the options below:
Texas Desal 2014 is an annual conference event of the
Texas Desalination Association.
Produced by WaterPR
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