Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jacob’s Well Natural Area Swim Season Ends, Park Remains Open for Nature Activities

Hays County, Texas for Countywide Emergency Info
Information for the News Media
Aug. 21, 2014  UPDATED

Jacob’s Well Natural Area Swim Season Ends, Park Remains Open for Nature Activities

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Jacobs Well Natural Area will close to swimmers for the winter following the Labor Day weekend so that park employees can work on restoration activities.

Beginning Tuesday, September 2, park hours will change to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and be open for hiking, bird- watching, picnicking and the popular 10 a.m. Saturday tours led by Hays County Master Naturalists.

Weve had an amazingly active swim season following local and national media exposure,” said Clint Garza, Director of Development and Community Services for Hays County. “Our park employees can now focus on major projects such as trail building, updating park amenities and other infrastructure improvements. We expect to offer our visitors an even better experience once these improvements are made and to allow swimming again, on a limited basis, during the 2015 swim season. We will continue to restore the Jacobs Well Natural Area to protect our natural resources while sharing it with our visitors in the coming seasons,” Garza said.

There may be times due to heavy construction that the entire park will be closed. Visitors are encouraged to call the Parks Information Line for updates at 512-847-2140 before heading out to Jacobs Well Natural Area. For more information about Hays County Parks, visit and choose Parks from the Office dropdown tab.

GEAA publishes Manual for Edwards Aquifer region

Dear GEAA members and friends,

I am delighted to announce the completion of GEAA’s latest publication, Watershed Stewardship for the Edwards Aquifer Region, a Low Impact Development Manual.  This project has been in the works for years, and we are so happy to have finally sent it off to the printers!  You can access the full publication on-line here.

This manual was designed for developers, landscape architects, and all of those who live on, or are planning to build over our fragile aquifer recharge areas.  Information about techniques that encourage infiltration of clean stormwater on site, and how plantings and landscaping can be used to mitigate stormwater pollution are outlined in the Manual, which also includes a beautifully illustrated compendium of native and drought tolerant plants appropriate for use in our area.  Please take a look and tell us what you think.
We are extremely grateful to all who contributed to the creation of this publication – especially to karst expert, George Veni, and graphic artist, Janet Thome for their considerable expertise and artistry.

Full color print copies will be available for sale in mid-September through the GEAA store on our web site, and in our office at 1809 Blanco Road in San Antonio.  On line access is available from the "Publications" section on our web site.

Again, thank you to everyone who made this possible! 
Annalisa Peace, Exective Director,
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance

You can always keep up with interesting water news on GEAA's Face Book page
and, you can mail contributions to support GEAA to PO Box 15618, San Antonio, Texas 78212

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...Hill Country News...August 27, 2014


Truck Stop in Hill Country Threatens Llano River

Hill Country preservationists are calling on state officials to act after Pilot Flying J, the nation’s largest truck stop operator and diesel fuel retailer, broke ground on an environmentally sensitive site in Junction only a few hundred yards from the banks of the North Fork of the Llano River. Read more from the Rivard Report.
Workshop Will Feature Discussion of Proposed Blumenthal Substation and Transmission Line
A landowner workshop has been planned for all interested in, or potentially impacted by, the proposed substation and transmission line planned for the Blumenthal area, September 6 near Fredericksburg. Learn more

Texans Speak Up for Beautiful Highways: TxDOT withdraws proposal for taller billboards
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has withdrawn its June 2014 proposed rule change that would have allowed billboards along federal highways to be taller. After receiving public comments from more than 900 Texans and 15 organizations in opposition to taller billboards, the agency advised today it is removing the item from consideration on the August 28 Texas Transportation Commission agenda. Learn more

The City of Fredericksburg takes steps to protect the night sky
Efforts to limit the nighttime glow in and around Fredericksburg were buoyed this month as the council approved an outdoor lighting standards ordinance, which will primarily affect new residential and commercial development. A complete draft of the ordinance can be found on the city’s website, Learn about Hill Country attorney-astronomer, HCA Night Sky team member Ken Kattner who records skies from home observatory and advocates for proper lighting in the Hill Country here.

SAWS proposing Burleson County pipeline – questions raised

SAWS presented plans for a 142 mile pipeline from Burleson County to San Antonio at a recent community forum at UTSA. Learn more and watch a video from SAWS news here. While the plan promises 50,000 acre feet of non-Edwards water annually, a Texas Public Radio segment points out that perhaps not enough questions have been raised. Are there consequences related to costs to the community and impacts on San Antonio’s conservation ethic worth exploring? Click here to read and listen to “The Source: Some Critique On A SAWS, Vista Ridge Deal." Decisions will be made by SAWS in September and SA City Council could take this up in October.

The City of Dripping Springs is planning for a “World Class Trail”
“The routes will connect destinations beyond Dripping Springs and will take advantage of opportunities to reach the proposed Violet Crown Trail and other regional trails and parks planned for Central Texas.” Read more and get involved. The City of Dripping Springs is soliciting input.

Rainwater Revival Returns to Dripping Springs on October 25
Look to the sky for your water supply—and learn how to capture and use it at the fifth annual Rainwater Revival, which returns to Dripping Springs on October 25. The popular and free edu-fest event is put on by the Hill Country Alliance. “We began our part-educational, part-fun fest in Dripping Springs in 2010, and after two years there we took the event on the road to other parts of the Hill Country,” said Event Chair Karen Ford. “We’re happy to be coming ‘home’ to share the latest information about rainwater conservation and harvesting at Dripping Springs Ranch Park. Learn more

NPSOT Native Landscape Certification Program - Register Now for 2014 Fall Classes
The Native Plant Society of Texas Native Landscape Certification Program is a series of courses that teaches best practices for native plant landscape and habitat preservation. Targeted audiences are homeowners, native plant enthusiasts, landscape architects, architects, landscape designers and nurserymen, Master Naturalists, teachers, citizens, Master Gardeners, engineers, and more. Learn more and register.

San Antonio Mulls $3 Billion Water Supply Project
Depending on whom you ask, San Antonio might either be on the cusp of securing its water future at a relatively low cost, or it is pinning most of its hopes on a multibillion-dollar boondoggle that could diminish the water supply for fast-growing Central Texas and wouldn’t deliver what San Antonio expects. Read more from the Texas Tribune.

Interested in getting more actively involved in HCA?
Join HCA leaders and volunteers as well as invited elected officials, GCD board members, landowners and conservationists for a day dedicated to vibrant towns, healthy landscapes, protected natural water systems and people making a difference in our Hill Country.  HCA Leadership Summit, September 25th at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg. Learn more and register today.

Upcoming Events


September 6 in Fredericksburg - HCA Landowner Workshop: Discussion of the Blumenthal Substation and Transmission Line - Details
Sepbember 8-12 in Austin - 6th International Workshop on Catchment Hydrological Modeling and Data Assimilation - Details
September 9 in Kerrville - “Drought Impact in Kerr County & How to Improve Our River’s Health” by Tara Bushnoe, UGRA’s Natural Resource Coordinator, at the Riverside Nature Center - Details
September 11 in Wimberley - Community Water Meeting, hosted by CARD - Details
September 12 in Kendalia - 2014 New Landowner Series: Wildlife and Range Management, Brush Work and Sculpting - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

September 22 in Kerrville - Monthly meeting of the Texas Master Naturalists - Topic: Hill Country Land Trusts, Speaker: Bill Lindemann, Vice President of Hill Country Land Trust - Details
September 26-28 in Belton - Renewable Energy Roundup - Details

September 27-28 in Boerne - Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop - Details
September 28 in Austin - 7th Annual Celebration of Children in Nature - Hosted by The Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin and the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center - Details
*Save the date for the October 8th Water Forum: Securing our Water Future
“Innovative Strategies and Hard Choices for a Secure Future” will be moderated by Robert Rivard and hosted at the Historic Pearl Stable in San Antonio. A stellar line-up of speakers includes: Berto Guerra, Bill West, Andy Sansom and Karen Guz. Learn more and mark your calendar today.