San Marcos Wilderness Park Growing

Purgatory Creek Natural Area will gain 89 acres of habitat

November 11, 2014

The fastest growing city in America is also gaining new parkland. The Purgatory Creek Natural Area in San Marcos, Texas, will gain an additional 89 acres of open space and habitat to increase public access to nature in the city’s biggest park. The Trust for Public Land secured the property for conveyance later this week to the City of San Marcos, as a critical addition to the natural area.

The natural area expands to 752-acres and offers a network of trails and vistas along meadows, canyon bluffs, and the creek bed. Juniper, oaks, and other habitat support endangered birds such as golden-cheeked warblers. The additional land is the proposed site of a trailhead, public access point, and potential nature education center.

“The City of San Marcos is committed to growing in ways that honor our community, our history, and our unique natural resources,” said Rodney Cobb, Community Services director, City of San Marcos. “We've nearly doubled the size of the Purgatory Creek Natural Area over the past few years, with a broad base of financial and community support. This latest addition, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, offers new points of community access for recreation, education, and connection to nature.”

The property will also add to the network of protected lands within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, which is key to water quality and quantity in the region.

“The Trust for Public Land has a long history protecting water resources and habitat, and providing appropriate public access to natural areas throughout the Edwards Aquifer, and this addition to the Purgatory Creek Natural Area is a win-win for a growing San Marcos,” said Scott Parker, The Trust for Public Land’s Texas director.

Funding for this $1,295,500 purchase comes from a combination of Hays County and City of San Marcos funds, and donations from Taylor Morrison and McKee Foods, through their Outdoor Happiness Movement.

The Trust for Public Land previously acquired and conveyed 199 acres of land along Purgatory Creek to the City of San Marcos as additions to the Purgatory Creek Natural Area.