Hays County joined Dahlstrom Family members in officially breaking ground today at the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve, a 340.1 acre part of the Dahlstrom Family Ranch that will be available for passive nature activities when opened to the public later in 2018.
“We are honored that the Dahlstrom Family is placing their trust in Hays County and our Parks Department to manage and develop the Preserve so that the public for years to come can enjoy nature in this beautiful setting,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said. “The Dahlstrom vision of repurposing part of their ranch as a place for environmental education and nature experiences is a testimony to their love for the land.”
The Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve Groundbreaking marks approximately 10 years of cooperation and planning among the Dahlstrom Family, Hays County, Hill Country Conservancy, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and the City of Austin. In 2010, Hays County, with participation from these third parties, purchased three conservation easements to preserve the entire 2,254-acre Dahlstrom Ranch.
“Gay Ruby Dahlstrom had a vision of providing a place for her community to convene with nature,” Cecilia Dahlstrom Barrentine said. “To carry out this grand vision, the Dahlstrom Family partnered with Hays County to provide a 20-year lease for limited public access to 384.1 acres of their Ranch. When finished, the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve will offer more than three miles of walking trails of which .75 miles are ADA-compliant. Nature tours and educational programs will be offered at the Preserve, which will provide a unique opportunity to teach our kids about the value of conservation and the importance of protecting our natural resources.”
The County expects to open the Preserve, located approximately 1.8 miles north of FM 2770 on FM 967 in Buda, in late summer 2018, and will limit the number of persons on the land at any one time to minimize human impact. There will also be an entrance fee to help maintain the Preserve which will be determined at a later date.
Members of the Dahlstrom Family joined elected officials and partner agencies to break ground at the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve on the Dahlstrom Family Ranch on March 29. Few, if any, conservation easements in Texas are designed to allow part of the land to be accessible to the public. In keeping with the late Gay Ruby Dahlstrom’s wishes for the public to enjoy and appreciate natural settings, the Dahlstrom Family will allow limited public access to nearly 400 acres of the Dahlstrom Ranch. The Preserve is expected to open in late summer 2018 under the management of the Hays County Parks Department.