Key Watershed Land Added to Gvt. Canyon (TX)

July 18, 2002

SAN ANTONIO, TX - On 7/18/02: The Trust for Public Land (TPL) acquired 1,161 acres of prime Edwards Aquifer recharge land, and conveyed it to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). At the same time, the non-profit land conservation organization conveyed a water quality conservation easement to the city of San Antonio. TPL's transfer of this critical habitat and open space to TPWD will serve to protect the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone near San Antonio. The Edwards Aquifer is the sole supply of drinking water for the City of San Antonio.

In an unprecedented funding partnership, TPL structured the acquisition and preservation of the Kallison Ranch with the State of Texas and the city of San Antonio. Funding for this acquisition was provided by the Texas Parks And Wildlife Department through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and by the city of San Antonio, through the May 2000 sales tax initiative for the purchase of aquifer parks. This strategic watershed tract becomes part of the 7,043-acre Government Canyon State Natural Area, bringing the total acreage of this preserved rugged hill country terrain to 8,204 acres. Government Canyon is the single largest piece of protected Edwards Aquifer recharge land in Bexar County and provides critical water quality and quantity benefits, as well as many passive public recreation opportunities for the citizens of San Antonio.

According to Jeff Francell, director of land acquisition for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, "The Kallison acquisition wouldn't have happened without the city of San Antonio and the Trust for Public Land. This was a critical tract that Texas Parks and Wildlife wouldn't have been able to add to the park without leveraging Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars with the City of San Antonio's Proposition 3 program, and it took TPL to put all the pieces of this fairly complicated transaction together."

"I am so very pleased to be a part of the partnership approach to conservation between the Trust for Public Land, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the City of San Antonio" said City Councilwoman Bonnie Conner. "We have added 1,161 acres of additional land to Government Canyon. The park now has a total of 8,204 acres of pristine hill country that will serve as a beautiful recreation area. It will be a place of serenity for citizens to view wildlife, enjoy the myriad wildflowers in the spring, and hike along spring-fed creeks in addition to protecting the Edward's Aquifer, San Antonio's sole source of water. The citizens of San Antonio were very wise to vote on Proposition 3, which is the source of dollars for this and other land purchases."

This latest acquisition continues TPL's long standing partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to create and preserve Government Canyon State Natural Area, as well as with the city of San Antonio to help protect critical Edwards Aquifer recharge land for the citizens of San Antonio. "The Trust for Public Land is proud to have assisted the city and TPW in this very unique partnership," said Valarie Bristol, Texas state director for the Trust for Public Land. "Our mission, as a national land conservation organization, is to use our skills and resources to assist public agencies in achieving their land conservation goals. We have been working since 1993 to safeguard San Antonio's supply of drinking water by protecting critical Edwards Aquifer recharge lands in Bexar County, and we appreciate the vision and commitment of the leadership at the city of San Antonio as well as the state, in helping bring this latest critical acreage to the people of San Antonio."

The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 to conserve land for people. TPL's land conservation projects range from community gardens and playgrounds to regional parks, historic landmarks, and wilderness areas. During its 30 years of operations, TPL has added more than 1,400,000 acres of land valued at more than $2.32 billion to our nation's common wealth of public open space.