As the last cool days of winter seem to be fading from memory, it is a good time to reflect on how 2017 is shaping up in Texas. Spring arrived early this year, and one of the warmest winters on record has our highways popping with color before the first of March.
At the Hill Country Alliance, this spring has us focused on the future. How do we steward our ample winter rains for future droughts? How do we plan for the Hill Country we hand on to our children and grandchildren, while addressing the pressing needs of today? Balancing rapid growth with sound protections for our natural and cultural resources is difficult work, but HCA is reaching across traditional boundaries to ensure a bright future for the Hill Country.  Check out HCA in the news with this interview from the Texas Tribune’s Trib+Water!
We are now 49 days into the 85th Legislative Session; the next 91 will be the ones to watch. With that in mind, we’ll be tracking activities at the Texas Legislature to ensure that the future of the Hill Country and its residents is protected. Check out our legislative priorities document here.
The future of Hill Country will depend on forward-thinking decision making at the local, regional and statewide levels.  In that thread, HCA hosted several events in February to provide tools and resources to both elected officials and landowners interested in planning for the future of our region:

  • Planning for Growth in Comal County, New Braunfels: A 2-day conference was held earlier this month to engage members of the public and community leaders in Comal County. Expert presenters explored topics including open space preservation, stewardship of water resources, and county-wide collaboration. Learn more.
  • Conservation Easement Workshop, near Kerrville: In partnership with Stowers Ranch, Bowman Consulting, The Nature Conservancy, the Hill Country Land Trust and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, we convened landowners to provide information about conservation easements, a tool for protecting family ranch lands. More than 60 landowners came out for this February 10th session at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area. Learn more.
  • The Tx Water Symposium, Texas State University in San Marcos: Just last week on February 23rd, HCA joined forces with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and our partners at Texas Public Radio to host an inspiring evening of conversations about watershed planning in the state of Texas. Learn more

Looking ahead, we would love to see you at some of our upcoming events this spring:
We’ll be in Dripping Springs on March 18th for the Texas Night Sky Festival to celebrate the Hill Country’s place at the edge of night. Stop by our table to say hello!
As always, please consider scheduling a recurring donation to HCA. We so appreciate your involvement and support for the critical work we do to preserve our 17-county Hill Country paradise!
Thank you, and happy Spring!

Hill Country CE Workshop, February 10th at Kerr Wildlife Management Area


Texas Water Symposium, February 23 at Texas State University in San Marcos


Spring has sprung! February 25th on the Barton Creek Greenbelt.