From West Austin to Wimberley the Hill Country is the most rapidly developing region in the country. The springs, aquifers, and endangered and threatened species that call it home need urgent protection.
Some projects we supported in 2018 in the Hill Country region ranged from outdoor service learning based water quality education for school students in Austin, to land acquisition strike funding for protecting the Edwards Aquifer and creating the Great Springs Trail system.
One Austin program we funded in 2018 and are excited to tell you more about is the Clean Creek Campus program offered through Keep Austin Beautiful. We granted $8,000 to support local creek and watershed cleanup field trips to city parks with thousands of local students in the Austin area. Students on these trips learn about the connection between litter and water pollution and the ways they can individually impact Austin’s water quality on a daily basis. Projects generally include planting native wildflower seeds through the making of seed balls. Sometimes students are trained to use weed wrenches to remove invasive plants and on every trip remove litter from the watershed and creek. Additionally students receive in classroom lessons on litter, watershed science, and ways that human impacts can degrade water quality in their neighborhood. Topics covered include runoff of pet waste, litter, sediment from construction sites, cars leaking oil, and lawn and garden products like chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Some of the largest threats to the Hill Country region include rapid development on sensitive watersheds in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and all the added runoff that come from that development. For this reason we are in full support of Keep Austin Beautiful and other groups doing outreach and education in the Hill Country by engaging citizens in volunteer work and service learning. To learn more about Keep Austin Beautiful and the Clean Creek Campus program visit their website: www.keepaustinbeautiful.org
Groups we funded in 2018 serving the Hill Country region:
Clean Water Fund
Comal County Conservation Alliance
Families in Nature
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Hill Country Alliance
Keep Austin Beautiful
San Marcos River Foundation
Save Our Springs Alliance
Sentinel Peak Preserve
Trinity Edwards Spring Protection Association
Wimberley Valley Watershed Association