Dear Hill Country Neighbors,
It finally feels like we’re reaching the light at the end of a long tunnel. Summer in the Hill Country, particularly when fueled by abundant spring rains, is a season for slowing down—appreciating the shade of an ancient oak tree, the cold waters of a spring-fed creek, or the sweet taste of a Hill Country peach. And as we return to a new form of normal, we’re increasingly reconnecting in person with the neighbors, partners, landowners and friends we’ve missed over the past year.
During this season of travel and renewal, I’m writing today to ask that you take your support to the next level by signing up as a Sustaining Neighbor of HCA. Sustaining Neighbors give a set donation every month to help sustain our programs and operations. Recurring gifts can easily be auto-drafted from your credit card or bank account and can be adjusted or ended anytime. This critical support provides the fertile soil in which our organization is rooted.
As a special thank you, when you contribute $15 per month or more, we will send you a limited-edition bag printed with a beautiful hand-drawn Hill Country scene. Designed by Hill Country Artist Olivia Gray, this one-of-a-kind tote is perfect for carrying the essentials as you head out on your adventures. In addition to receiving the special tote bag, Sustaining Neighbors are invited to our end-of-year VIP event—a special gathering you won’t want to miss!
Want to learn more about the work our Sustaining Neighbors support? At the Hill Country Alliance (HCA), our team convenes and collaborates with more than 75 nonprofit and agency partners to ensure long-term, lasting protection of the land, water, night skies and communities of the Texas Hill Country. Read on for some of the highlights of our work so far this year.
Summer 2021 Program Updates
We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Hill Country Runs on Water campaign. Our campaign is one of three pilot markets to test the Texas Runs on Water campaign, a statewide effort initiated by the Texas Water Foundationand designed by the same architects of the Don’t Mess with Texas program. In addition, HCA is working with partners to provide input into the statewide water plan and the Desired Future Condition process this summer, to ensure that we are planning for the long-term resilience of our water resources.
In March and April, HCA convened elected officials, local advocates, and key staff in a workshop series titled Championing Land Conservation. Hosted in partnership with the Land Trust Alliance and the Trust for Public Land, the series generated greater interest and momentum in accelerating public investment in land conservation in our region. HCA also co-led partners in submitting a preliminary application for a Sentinel Landscape Designation around Camp Bullis, to open new sources of funding for private land conservation and stewardship.
Momentum continues to build around our Friends of the Night Sky groups, sprouting up all over the Hill Country! HCA is particularly proud of the local volunteers who are leading the charge in raising awareness of the need to protect our view of the stars at night. In April, we convened the Eclipse Roundtable for officials interested in planning for the April 2024 total solar eclipse that will pass directly over the Hill Country. The numerous economic, logistical and educational opportunities presented by this event demand advance planning!
This spring, HCA worked with our partners in Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) to advocate for sensible regulation of aggregate mines in the state. While legislative efforts did not advance this session, our coalition contains more than 15 member organizations. Our Leading in the Rural Hill Country series, hosted in partnership with the H. E. Butt Foundation, has morphed into a quarterly gathering called Lunch with Leaders that features inspiring and informative conversations for rural community leaders.
Texas Hill Country Conservation Network
HCA continues to strengthen our collaborations across the Hill Country through the Network. In the past year, we leveraged our collective fundraising through the Water Funder Initiative to secure just over $1.2 million of new matching funds for our collaborative work. We are building new relationships with organizations that serve communities of color, and we will be working with a consultant this year to advance that inclusive focus in all we do. This summer we will be releasing a new report on Trends in the Hill Country, which will provide a deep dive on the state of development and conservation across the region.
If you want to support HCA in these and many more efforts for long-term Hill Country Conservation, please join us as a Sustaining Neighbor. By signing up to donate on a recurring monthly basis, your gift will ensure that we continue to bring together and elevate numerous conservation efforts for the Hill Country.
To become a Sustaining Neighbor simply go to our donations page, enter your donation amount, and select “Make this a recurring donation.” Thank you for considering a sustaining gift this season!
Grateful for your continued support,
Executive Director, Hill Country Alliance