by Annalisa Peace, Executive Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
According to a recent report in the San Antonio Express News, the City of New Braunfels will be built out by 2035.
Already, growth is leapfrogging out into the unincorporated areas of Comal and consuming huge swathes of land. All of this activity lends immediacy to the idea of preserving land for parks, open spaces, and to provide ecosystem services such as recharging the Edwards and Trinity aquifers with clean water to keep the springs and rivers flowing.
So, we are delighted that Comal County is crafting a master plan for parks, open space and natural areas. While it may seem that Comal County has plenty of scenic vistas and wide-open spaces, imagine the prospect of all the privately owned land in the county transformed into new neighborhoods.
The county is putting together a Master Parks and Open Space plan that will help county officials draft budgets and plan short-term and long-term projects as the region continues to grow. In order to inform these efforts, they want to hear from you.
Please take a minute to fill out this on-line survey at surveymonkey.com/r/ComalParksPlan. And, please pass this survey around to all of your friends and neighbors.
If you are wondering why your input matters, take a look at this clip from a recent Comal County Commissioners court meeting.
“I like open spaces, and I like park spaces, but I don’t want the county to have to fund this,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Scott Haag. He encouraged the county to rely on nonprofits and state agencies like Texas Parks and Wildlife that could fund land acquisitions or big park projects.
Don’t hold your breath waiting on the state to step in.
Comal is the only county in the Edwards region that is content with the prospect that the state will pick up the tab for additional land acquisitions.
As shown in this presentation that I made recently to the City of New Braunfels Parks Board, San Antonio, Austin, Kendall, Hays, and Travis counties have all committed to funding preservation of open space. If Comal is to have any chance at all in preserving some of the scenic beauty and opportunities for recreation that make it such a wonderful place to live, now is the time to speak up.
Take the survey and let your Comal County commissioners know that you value open spaces and clean water.
About the GEAA
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes effective broad-based advocacy for protection and preservation of the Edwards Aquifer, its springs, watersheds, and the Texas Hill Country that sustains it.
The Edwards Aquifer is the source of the largest springs in Texas and the sole source of drinking water for more than 1.5 million Central Texas residents.