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Inspiring Oaks Ranch

Inspiring Oaks Ranch is rich with karst features, sinks, and caves, which allow the 4.8 miles of creeks and streams found on the land to recharge into another important aquifer, the Middle Trinity Aquifer. Water from the Middle Trinity Aquifer bubbles back to the surface in two significant springs – Pleasant Valley Spring and the famous swimming hole, Jacob’s Well. …

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Keeping the Stars at Night Big and Bright

The artist Vincent van Gogh once said, “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” If Van Gogh were alive now, would he feel the same way? Today, manmade lighting results in urban night skies that are hundreds of times brighter than they were in 1889 when the twinkling Milky Way inspired Van Gogh to paint The Starry Night. Today, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the overabundance of artificial light prevents eighty percent of Americans and one third of humanity from even being able to see the Milky Way.

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HCC Welcomes Scott Parker to the Team

Hill Country Conservancy is pleased to welcome Scott Parker as HCC’s Director of Land Conservation. His incredible talent, extensive experience, and life-long dedication to conservation will be valuable contributions towards HCC’s efforts to keep the Hill Country— here forever. Scott’s long and impressive career in conservation began in 1987 at The Trust for Public Land (TPL) in California. There, he …

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Living in Flash Flood Alley

This past month the City of Austin was placed under a boil water notice for the first time in its history. Flood waters of tremendous proportions from the Llano River barreled through the Highland Lakes’ system of dams before making their way, eventually, into Lakes Travis and Buchanan– the region’s water supply reservoirs. Copious amounts of silt and debris from …

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Fire Wise

This wildfire season, the Texas A&M Forest Service has responded to 780 fires throughout 359,077 acres. Four of those fires took place in the last week of July and all were located in Central Texas. This has been a rough fire year so far, and researchers say that it may get worse. The Texas Drought Monitor reports that Central Texas …

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HCC continues education & outreach

Spring was an extremely busy time for the Hill Country Conservancy’s land team. We conducted annual monitoring visits on five of our conservation easements, we significantly advanced four prospective conservation projects, and we worked tirelessly to strengthen collaborative efforts with conservation partners throughout Texas.

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Deer Park Trailhead officially opened on National Trails Day

Because of you – our supporters, partner organizations, volunteers, and the Deer Park Neighborhood Association – the Deer Park Trailhead of the Violet Crown Trail (VCT) is now open! Meanwhile our National Trails Day volunteers braved the heat to plant a new butterfly garden and remove invasive species along the route. Hanna Holt made the world a more colorful place …

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Conservation more important than ever

Within the last five years, 88% of Texas experienced an exceptional drought. The drought of 2010-2015 was the second worst in the history of our state, and although we received relief in the spring, we are learning that we can’t rely on regular rainfall. Worse yet, scientists have warned us that frequent droughts may become a permanent part of our lives. Nothing is more important for our lives – and livelihoods – than having clean water to drink.

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Nature Day on Lake Austin

Spend the day in nature at Hill Country Conservancy’s Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. This “choose-your-own-adventure” style event features two nature hikes, canoeing and swimming in Lake Austin, yard games, a BYO picnic, and more. Beer, water, and snacks will be provided.