Dear Hill Country Neighbors,
I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for our Hill Country community after joining the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) family as a volunteer member of the Night Sky team. During my time volunteering with the night skies team, I educated various audiences about night-sky friendly lighting. In doing so, I had the privilege of inspiring others to become advocates and educators for something I was already passionate about (good lighting and starry night skies).
After stepping onto the HCA Board, I’ve witnessed community members from across the region become passionate about a particular conservation issue, then serve as an advocate, educator, and a voice for their community. Whether the concern is night skies, pipelines, direct discharge, or asphalt plants, it is these hyper-local volunteers who know and understand the unique challenges of their locality, and who form the “tip of the spear” in protecting what we love about the Hill Country. It is remarkable to see how these volunteers do not just remain lone voices “yelling into the void,” but how they inspire others around them to join the cause.
I feel a strong sense of pride when I see HCA empower these individuals and local organizations. HCA’s knowledgeable staff, well-developed strategic plan and deep network of advisors strive to weave these voices together with our own to create a stronger fabric of advocacy for our region. With the creation of the Hill Country Conservation Network, a formal network of conservation non-profits created to jointly tackle growth in Hill Country, this fabric is stronger than ever.
If you are finding yourself “yelling into the void” about a particular issue in your region, I strongly encourage you to start your research on HCA’s website and reach out to us at And as always, I’d like to encourage all of our partners to connect with me as we work together to deepen our community engagement. You may also reach out directly to HCA’s wonderful Executive Director Katherine Romans,
With great appreciation for all of those who donate their time and money to protect our favorite place on Earth,

Matt Lara,
Board President, Hill Country Alliance

Looking to deepen your ties to the conservation in the Hill Country? Register now for our Leadership Summit, happening September 26 at Camp Lucy!