Happy Earth Day: County to purchase Sentinel Park Preserve

By Megan Wehring

HAYS COUNTY — Just a few days after celebrating Earth Day, Hays County will close on its purchase of the Sentinel Peak Preserve by April 29.

This is the first project funded under the 2020 Hays County Parks and Open Space Bond.

Located just west of Wimberley, the 530-acre property will serve as a Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat preserve — a federally listed endangered species included in the Hays County Regional Habitat Conservation Plan. It will also feature a riverfront park along an approximately one-mile stretch of a pristine segment of the Blanco River, which will include low-impact swimming recreation and other activities.

courtesy photo

In 2019, Hays County partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Texas to acquire the Sentinel Peak Preserve. The Nature Conservancy will continue to hold the conservation easement after the county acquires the land.

“The Nature Conservancy was very happy to partner with Hays County to protect this property that is not only significant for its conservation value but has also been so important to so many people over the years,” said Jeff Francell of the Nature Conservancy. “We are excited to see how it develops as a public park and natural area.”

As the park plan is implemented, the county will provide reservation-based, low-impact public access along the river and trails. This project will also preserve the condition of water quality and quantity for the Blanco River, San Marcos Springs and River and the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers.

The bond identified $6 million for the purchase of the Sentinel Peak Preserve, which will be combined with $7 million from the 2016 voter-approved Transportation Bond set specifically for environmental mitigation.

“This couldn’t have happened without the voters of Hays County,” said Lon Shell, Hays County Commissioner. “It’s a great thing when residents across the county understand the need for and importance of conserving the beautiful hill country land and wildlife. It’s something we’re doing for the future generations of our community, and this is only the beginning.”

Comment on this Article

About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

Comments are closed.