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Lyndon B. Johnson National Park Dubbed International Dark Sky Park

Lyndon B. Johnson National Park dubbed International Dark Sky Park

The Lyndon B. Johnson National Park, a historical park and ranch in Texas, received praise for its stunning Hill Country night skies by earning an International Dark Sky Park certification. The award recognizes the exceptional quality of the park's night skies and provides added opportunities to enhance visitor experiences through astronomy-based interpretive programming.   Read more from Priscilla Aguirre with My SA here.

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Out Of Excuses; Secure Hill Country’s Fragile Water

Out of excuses; Secure Hill Country’s fragile water

Here’s something we don’t get to say very often: It’s been a promising month for water in the Hill Country. With record sprawl pushing ever westward from I-35 and climate change threatening an age of Texan megadroughts, the water future of the Hill Country has looked increasingly fragile. Yet this month’s passage of a bipartisan infrastructure package with $55 billion directed toward the water sector — combined with the development of major new water reuse planning resources directed specifically at…

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2021 Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced & 2022 Calendar For Sale!

2021 Hill Country photo contest winners announced & 2022 Calendar for sale!

The Texas Hill Country is a unique region filled with diverse wildlife, clear springs, sprawling rural landscapes, historic towns, and some of the starriest night skies in the country. With a rapidly growing population and increasing development coming into the region, many of these special qualities are at risk of being lost forever. Each year the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) holds a photo contest encouraging photographers to capture images of the Texas Hill Country they would like to protect forever.…

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Texas Is Watering Down Federal Infrastructure Funds

Texas is watering down federal infrastructure funds

A ticking time bomb lies at the bottom of the Llano River, near a small town called Junction. In 2018, major flooding across the watershed overwhelmed the region’s water infrastructure as high waters brought with them silt, dirt and debris. Nearly three years later, the exposed sewer lines under the river still haven’t been buried properly. When the next flood rips through the Hill Country, those lines could rupture, an expert says, causing millions of gallons of raw sewage to…

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2021 Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced & 2022 Calendar For Sale!

2021 Hill Country photo contest winners announced & 2022 Calendar for sale!

This past year has continued to challenge us as a region, a state, and a country in ways that no one could have anticipated, from once-in-a-lifetime snowstorms to an unusually rainy summer. Through it all the Texas Hill Country has given us a steady stream of comfort, resilience, and inspiration. Those of us who have the privilege of calling this place home found that in moments of great difficulty, our spirits could find peace beside a spring-fed creek, if only…

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Dripping Springs Proclaims October As Hill Country Night Sky Month

Dripping Springs proclaims October as Hill Country Night Sky Month

At a recent City Council meeting, the Council proclaimed October as Hill Country Night Sky Month in Dripping Springs. Dripping Springs joins The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) and many other communities in our area that are dedicated to the preservation of the region’s night skies. October will be the second annual Hill Country Night Sky Month and will be a celebration of the star-filled night sky — one of our region’s most dazzling features — and the many ways that…

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Hill Country Communities Can Pursue Dark Sky Designation Following New State Law

Hill Country communities can pursue Dark Sky designation following new state law

Across the more remote pockets of Hill Country, several communities are looking to attract tourism dollars and increase the quality of life for residents by utilizing a precious, shrinking natural resource—darkness—or rather, the absence of artificial light. With the authorization of a recent state bill, Senate Bill 1090, cities across Texas can again apply for a designation of a Dark Sky Community from the International Dark-Sky Association. In order to attain that title, a town must enact certain restrictive lighting…

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Comal County Seeks Grants For Conservation Purchases

Comal County seeks grants for conservation purchases

Preserving Comal County’s wide-open spaces hasn’t been at the top of the county’s to-do list, but commissioners took steps in that direction last week. Last Thursday, they selected Moriarty & Associates LLC to pursue funding for county land acquisitions for wildlife conservation and water source protection. It approved $4,500 for the firm to prepare county applications for grants through the Texas Water Development Board’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). “Behind the scenes, I’ve been working for years to find…

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AgriLife, Hill Country Alliance, And Gillespie County Partners Host Kolaches And Conservation Event

AgriLife, Hill Country Alliance, and Gillespie County partners host Kolaches and Conservation event

(August 20, 2021) — On Tuesday, September 14th, the Gillespie County AgriLife Extension and partners will host the annual “Kolaches and Conservation” event at the Extension Office from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. This informal event encourages landowners who have questions about wildlife habitat, trees, riparian management, soil health, farming, ranching, and controlling non-native, invasive plants to stop by and talk with officials from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Forest Service, the Gillespie County Soil & Water Conservation District, Texas…

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County To Turn Off Lights In Summer And Fall To Protect Songbirds

County to turn off lights in summer and fall to protect songbirds

The Travis County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Tuesday that will mandate county buildings to turn off all nonessential lights from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. during key migration periods for migrating songbirds. The Lights Off initiative will be in effect annually from March 1-June 15 and from Aug. 15-Nov. 30.   Read more from Seth Smalley with the Austin Monitor here.

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