Barton Creek Map
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The Nature Conservancy of Texas and the City of Austin announced today the conservation purchase of 13 key acres within the Barton Creek Wilderness Park in Southwest Austin that were slated for extensive commercial development.
The property is in close proximity to Barton Creek, situated on the upland area in the vicinity of two favorite swimming holes, Twin Falls and Sculptured Falls. The site was designated for development that included 300,000 square feet of office space and parking.
Under terms negotiated by the Conservancy, the City will purchase the property from Barton Creek Ventures for $5.5 million using funds raised through open space bonds approved by City of Austin voters in November of 2006, as well as funds held by the City for the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.
"The Nature Conservancy and the City of Austin have consistently worked together to protect Austin's natural resources, Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. “The partnership between the Nature Conservancy and the City of Austin will continue to provide protection for our natural resources and maintain our quality of life."
Barton Creek Wilderness Park is a 1,058-acre expanse of wooded hiking and mountain biking trails, swimming holes and habitat for endangered songbirds, beloved by Austinites and visitors alike.
The City began assembling the land for the park in the 1980s with assistance from The Trust for Public Land. In addition to recreational uses, Barton Creek Wilderness Park benefits larger conservation efforts that protect the creek, its springs and an abundance of plants and animals including species found nowhere else on Earth—that depend upon them.
“The ecological integrity of Barton Creek and Barton Springs is directly linked to the Barton Creek Wilderness Park,” said Laura Huffman, State Director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas. “The Nature Conservancy is proud to assist the City in protecting this significant property within one of Austin’s favorite parks, while helping fulfill the wishes of city voters who overwhelming approved public funding for conservation.”
This transaction will mark the latest step in a fruitful, two-decades-long partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the City of Austin that has resulted in the protection of approximately 35,000 acres of land and water.
About Barton Creek Wilderness Park
Barton Creek Wilderness Park is an expansive park surrounding the west end of Barton Creek Greenbelt features miles of heavily wooded hike and bike trails. It is popular with day hikers, runners, bikers, and dog lovers. This beautiful area is also accented by great swimming holes and private hideaways among the rocky cliffs. ______________________________________________________________________________
The Nature Conservancy of Texas maintains more than 30 ecologically important preserves and conservation projects statewide. In addition to a dozen initiatives benefiting Texas rivers and streams, the Conservancy also works with private landowners and municipalities, such as the cities of San Antonio, Austin and San Marcos, to protect critical freshwater resources like the Edwards and Trinity aquifers. Over the past 45 years, the Conservancy has worked with state and federal agencies to create and expand beloved public areas, including Enchanted Rock State Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. The organization has also led significant marine habitat restoration efforts along the Gulf of Mexico that benefit terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and help protect human communities from hurricanes and tropical storms.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.