Friday, November 7, 2014
CARDtalk - Save Old Baldy
Save Old Baldy
As it says on CARD's website, "Our region's true wealth lies in its unique character and natural beauty." Protecting those virtues is a major part of CARD's mission.
One of the unique characteristics of the Wimberley area is "Old Baldy," that charming and knobby hill that rises above the northwest corner of town. Generations of Wimberley and Woodcreek folks, especially the young and the young-thinking, have hiked up its steep sides to look out over the valley and the town below. Some have gone up just to go, some to look, some to picnic and explore and even to hear music and to dance. We know a youthful senior who regularly climbs its steep stairs for exercise. And no doubt many a local person had a first kiss at Old Baldy's summit. Go to www.saveoldbaldy.org to read nostalgic stories and see some great old family photos.
So it should be no surprise that CARD supports the efforts to Save Old Baldy. In fact, we are proud to point out that several members of the CARD Steering Committee volunteered for the hurriedly-formed Save Old Baldy Foundation.
Now that saving Old Baldy is so close, we encourage everyone to pitch in and make it a reality. Go to the website to learn how to contribute. Get the details on the Baldyfest music celebration, noon-8 p.m. Saturday Nov. 8 in the party area behind the Cypress Creek Café, 320 Wimberley Square.
You may have gotten the impression that Old Baldy was already saved. Not yet. When the previous owners put the cherished hill up for sale, a local couple with decades of Wimberley and Old Baldy connections, Andrew and Lin Weber, feared the iconic landmark would be sold to - well, to who knows what? It could be lost forever to those who enjoy climbing those 218 steep limestone steps to the top, and to those who just like knowing it's there, safe and unspoiled.
Save Old Baldy Foundation, which borrowed $170,000 and bought the property. They hoped others who shared their love of Wimberley would join in. And to a great degree, they have. The Save Old Baldy Foundation so far has raised $43,000.
The Mayor and City Council of Wimberley quickly agreed to buy Old Baldy, but the city could afford less than half the cost.
"The city has a six-month lease," says Mayor Steve Thurber. "At the end of that lease, we have given an offer to buy it for $75,000." The mayor says the city plans only minor improvements, and will keep Old Baldy the quiet little adventure it has been for decades, available for folks to discover and explore.
But time is running out. The six-month lease ends early in 2015. In order for the City to buy Old Baldy, the Foundation must raise the additional $52,000 before the end of January. What can you do? Visit www.saveoldbaldy.org, go enjoy Baldyfest this Saturday, climb the hill, and chip in with a few dollars. Let's make sure Old Baldy continues to belong to all of Wimberley Valley for decades to come.