100 Acres of Nature
The Great Springs Project is a 100-mile nature trail from San Antonio to Austin, Texas. The project launched in 2018. The Great Springs Project will create a hiking and biking trail that joins the Texas Capitol to San Antonio. Barton Springs, the San Marcos River, the Comal River, and San Antonio Springs along the way will all be connected by the trail.
Researchers are hopeful that springs in the hill country will become more sustainable because of the project. Oftentimes, nature routes can act as corridors of protected lands over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and that is the project goal. The Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone feeds and sustains all four of the significant hill country waterways. So, “board president and co-founder, Deborah Morin, had the idea and vision 25 years ago. Around 2017, she realized that with the area growing so fast and things getting so much more expensive, we needed to act now.” says the organization’s chief development officer Emma Lindrose-Siegel.
Connecting Residents to Nature
“People come to the Hill Country to connect with nature. We have a mission to use market-based transactions to protect the four major springs between San Antonio and Austin and connect those springs with a network of trails,” says CEO Garry Merritt. Whole Foods founder John Mackey and San Antonio architect Ted Flato are members of the board because of the vision. The board will also partner with other nonprofits, city and county government, and Edwards Aquifer authorities.
Because of the board’s hard work, The National Parks Service has awarded a grant to The Great Springs Project. Officials are hopeful that the grant will help in community planning and technical assistance. Plans moving forward will be made with input from local groups. Such groups are Meadows Center for Water, the Environment in San Marcos, and Barton Springs managers. Data from these organizations will help identify properties for future projects. Because of this, they’ll also assist in creating ways to protect and conserve the land. The ambitious project should be finished by the year 2036.
For a list of fun things to do in nature and elsewhere around the San Antonio area remember to keep checking our Things To Do This Weekend guide.