Wimberley finalizes nature preserve, trail master plan

By Nathalie Cohetero

Wimberley City Council voted to adopt a final draft of the Cypress Creek Nature Preserve and Trail Master Plan at their recent meeting.

In partnership with the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA), the city of Wimberley approved a master plan addressing challenges regarding the preserve’s location in town, its ongoing ecological restoration and the sustainability of the preserve’s trail system.

Daniel Alvarado, an environmental planning consultant, presented the plan with reassurance of a continued conservation easement.

“Community engagement was extensive,” Alvarado said. “Although public access to the preserve was an overwhelmingly important aspect of the plan, the redesigned trails will address people getting off trail or too close to the water, as well as erosion damage.”

After six months of design, the master plan aims to maintain the preserve’s history while integrating the community’s voiced wants and needs, Alvarado said. New additions include trailheads, a sidewalk along Old Kyle Road, a bird observation station, naturalistic fencing along off-limit areas, improved signages, and updated stormwater management drains.

Councilman Craig Fore voted against the final draft’s adoption due to his concerns with a realigned public trail too close to the creek.

“I’m concerned about the public following the rules (of the preserve),” he said. “When you open something like this to the public, history will tell you that they don’t typically take care of  things that don’t belong to them. They could take it as an opportunity to get into the creek. So, if we don’t have someone down there to keep a close eye on them, I’m afraid it’s going to get torn up.”

Fore suggested the plan be tabled for another month of review but the council voted 3-to-1 to begin implementing the master plan. According to Alvarado, work on the preserve could last from five to 10 years.

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