Environmental Groups – Parks & Preserves
Austin Parks Foundation
507 Calles Street, Suite 116
Austin, TX 78702
Bill Stout (512) 387-3021
FAX: (512) 477-1586
Purpose: Austin Parks Foundation improves the quality of life for people in Austin and Travis County by filling the city’s funding and resource gap needed to develop, maintain and enhance the area’s parks, trails, and green spaces.
Projects/Activities: Austin Parks Foundation supports and empowers individuals, volunteer groups and park adopters across the city to maintain and improve their parks and trails through our Austin City Limits Music Festival Grants program, tool warehouse, financial services and through volunteer projects on “It’s My Park Day” and throughout the year. APF also engages people in their parks through their “Movies in the Park” and “Fitness in the Park” programs.
It’s My Park Day – 1st Saturday of March and November; city-wide.
Party for the Parks – Wednesday before the 1st weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Volunteer Opportunities: Please see austinparks.givepulse.com to learn about upcoming opportunities.
Newsletters/Publications: Monthly e-newsletter; regular blog posts.
Dues: To donate, see Web site.
Hill Country Conservancy
5524 Bee Caves Road, Suite G4
Austin, TX 78746
Kylie Rush (512) 328-2481
Purpose: Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) is a non-profit land trust that works to ensure a healthy environment and economy in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer and the Central Texas Hill Country by permanently preserving natural areas and rural Texas heritage. The Board of Directors is composed of members of the area’s business, real estate, and conservation communities.
Projects/Activities: The Conservancy’s goal is to permanently conserve open space in a six-county region. Since incorporation in 2000, HCC has worked with the City of Austin and other partners to conserve over 44,000 acres.
In addition, HCC created a vision in 1999 for the first regional trail system in Central Texas, now called the “Violet Crown Trail” (VCT). The first six-mile segment is now open. Users will be able to experience wildlife, clean streams, and the breathtaking views of land preserved by HCC and its partners.
Volunteer Opportunities: National Public Lands Day, National Trails Day, plus regular cleanups on the Violet Crown Trail. Visit our Web site to sign up and to find out about upcoming opportunities.
Newsletters/Publications: See our Blog under “About Us” section of Web site.
Dues: $25 – $1,000 for memberships.
Trust for Public Land
2579 Western Trails Boulevard, Suite 130
Austin, TX 78745
Scott Parker (415) 269-4231
Purpose: The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization working nationwide to conserve land for people. Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance, and land conservation techniques to protect land for public use and enjoyment. Working with private landowners, community groups, and government agencies, The Trust for Public Land has helped protect thousands of special places nationwide for people to enjoy as parks, playgrounds, community gardens, historic landmarks, and wilderness lands. TPL has helped protect 32,000 acres in Texas since 1979.
Projects/Activities: TPL’s Central Texas office is currently working on water conservation and habitat protection projects in San Marcos and the Balcones National Wildlife Refuge. TPL’s Coastal Texas office is currently working on the Columbia Bottomlands and barrier island protection. TPL’s North Texas office is working on green infrastructure, climate smart implementation, and social benefits of parks with the City of Dallas.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact nearest TPL office.
Lady Bird Johnson
4801 La Crosse Avenue
Purpose: The mission of the Wildflower Center at UT Austin is to inspire the conservation of native plants and landscapes.
Projects/Activities: The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, as well as South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora. Our online Native Plant Information Network is a database of more than 8,000 native species visited by millions annually about native plants and vendors across North America.
The Center regularly hosts walks and talks and holds annual family nights, native plant sales (spring and fall), and other inspiring and educational activities.
Volunteer Opportunities: Numerous! Call or e-mail for more information.
Newsletters/Publications: Wildflower, members’ magazine; brochures; online educational materials for all ages; online database (Native Plant Information Network).
Dues: Starting at $45/year.
Visiting Arrangements: Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM; or daily 9 AM – 5 PM from mid-March to end of May. Free for members. Admission fees vary depending on student status and age.
24814 Hamilton Pool Road
Round Mountain, TX 78663
Paul Vickery (830) 825-3442
Purpose: Westcave Preserve is an ecological community of exceptional beauty located on a 75-acre preserve in the Texas Hill Country. Its uniqueness stems from a semi-tropical grotto cut deep within its sheltered canyon by perennially falling water. Orchids and cypress trees share the cool, moist, terrarium-like setting while cactus and juniper grow in the hot, dry habitat above the canyon rim.
Projects/Activities: Weekend tours at 10 AM, Noon, 2 PM, and 4 PM, weather permitting. Weekday tours for organized groups can be prearranged. In 2012, we integrated the “Children in Nature Collaborative” of Austin and launched a campaign to reconnect children to nature.
Volunteer Opportunities: Projects, docent activities, internships for credit, and more.
Newsletters/Publications: e-newsletter – westcave.org/resources/newsletters.
Dues: From $3-$25, depending on age and program. See Web site to join.
805 N. Capital of Texas Hwy.
Austin, TX 78746
Joy Hernandez (512) 327-7622
Purpose: Initially protected in the late 1970s in response to increasing development and habitat decline in west Austin, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve continues as a legacy for urban wilderness and environmental education in Texas. Through collaborations with St. Edward’s University and Travis County, Wild Basin serves as a local gateway to the larger Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) system since its inception in 1996, promoting the protection of eight endangered species, as well as 27 species of concern.
Existing as one of few public preserves prior to the founding of the BCP, Wild Basin’s three-miles of trails remain open to the public, sun-up to sun-down, every day of the year. The Wild Basin Creative Research Center, with its information and welcome hub, is open weekdays from 9 AM until 4 PM.
We ask that you respect the natural beauty of this hill-country landscape by staying ‘on-trail’ and leaving ‘no-trace’ during your visit. Bikes, pets, smoking and picnics are all prohibited within the preserve.
Volunteer Opportunities: Trail Guides, office assistants, Land Management/Trail Maintenance, Invasive Species Removal.
Dues: Suggested donation of $3/person. Additional gifts may be submitted online.
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