HCC has officially announced that it has expanded its focus area to include six counties within the greater Texas Hill Country region. The newly expanded area includes Travis, Hays, Llano, Blanco, Burnet and San Saba counties, an area selected in order to ensure an even greater conservation impact in future years.
This expansion comes into effect as we begin the second half of a three-year Capital Campaign – its most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. The campaign goal of $13.125 million includes funds for land conservation and stewardship in the expanded focus area as well as funds for the continued development of the Violet Crown Trail. As of February 2, 2016, HCC has reached its mid-campaign goal of $10 million. The campaign is scheduled to end May 1, 2017.
“We’ve had great success in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer, but new opportunities for conservation were dwindling as much of the area became transformed by development and fragmentation,” said Carlotta McLean, who chairs the Capital Campaign for HCC.
This announcement also comes at a time when Texas experienced an exceptional drought – the second worst in the history of the state, and although there has been recent relief, residents are learning that they can’t rely on regular rainfall. Worse yet, scientists have warned that frequent droughts may become a permanent part of Texans’ lives.
As recent events have shown, drought isn’t the only issue we face when it comes to our water. Severe floods can quickly destroy homes and businesses, devastating families and disrupting lives.
“Living with water shortages or damaging floods brings to light how connected we all are to the natural world around us. Our health suffers without clean water and fresh air. Our families’ quality of life suffers without safe places to spend time together outdoors,” said George Cofer, executive director of HCC.
Preventing critical lands from being fragmented and developed ensures that more of the little water that falls has the ability to soak into the ground and local aquifers, replenishing the water supply and reducing the chance of serious flooding.