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December 10, 2021
Dear Hill Country Neighbors,

As HCA prepares to close the books on 2021, we have a lot of good momentum to continue to grow in the new year. We have a few fabulous new resources in this edition of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor newsletter and some of the highlights include an op-ed on the future of our region’s water infrastructure, a new upland hillside stewardship guide for landowners, and a video about mountain cedars in the Hill Country. 

If you’re like me and haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, look no further! Beautiful Hill Country maps, t-shirts, stickers, calendars, and totes for sale in the HCA store, with the added benefit of knowing your dollars are helping a good cause. 
We are always grateful for your support - especially during this time of year. 
Onward for the Hill Country,

Katherine Romans
Recent Hill Country News
HCA IN THE NEWS: Out of excuses: Secure Hill Country's fragile water
Here’s something we don’t get to say very often: It’s been a promising month for water in the Hill Country. With record sprawl pushing ever westward from I-35 and climate change threatening an age of Texan megadroughts, the water future of the Hill Country has looked increasingly fragile. Learn more
NIGHT SKIES: Lyndon B. Johnson National Park dubbed International Dark Sky Park
The Lyndon B. Johnson National Park, a historical park and ranch in Texas, received praise for its stunning Hill Country night skies by earning an International Dark Sky Park certification. Read more
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT: Too much of a good thing – Dripping Springs extends moratorium on new development
The city of Dripping Springs has extended its moratorium on new development until late February amid concerns about rapid growth and insufficient infrastructure. Learn more
LAND STEWARDSHIP: How cattle ranchers can combat climate change
Texas relies on the multibillion-dollar cattle industry for economic success and the conservation of our iconic landscape — the two are not mutually exclusive. Ranchers have a devotion to the land that sustains their livelihood, as it did for generations before them. Read more

More News

Environmental justice in urban development: the problem of green gentrification
Read More →

New evidence COVID-19 is widespread in deer
Read More →
Wimberley Trail
project receives state funds.
Read More →

Expert says a $3 billion infusion won't solve the state's water infrastructure problems -- 'but it's a good start'
Read More →
Clemente Guzman's celebration of river life selected for 2021 Texas Book Festival poster art
Read More →

Is it 2021 or 1961 at America's DOTs?
Read More →
Southwest states facing tough choices about water as Colorado River diminishes
Read More →

Nature can reduce costs, extend life of infrastructure projects
Read More →
Watershed Association Purchases 74 acres of Dry Cypress for Recharge Protection
Read More →
Water worries in Texas, worldwide as weather extremes multiply
Read More →
Highlights and Resources
Featured Photo: Red Beauty - Robin Carter, 2020 Photo Contest

Mountain Cedar: Untold Stories from the Hill Country

This video dispels some of the myths around Ashe juniper and provides important considerations for Hill Country land stewards. Land Program Manager Daniel Oppenheimer talks with author, Elizabeth McGreevy, about her new book as they explore and share observations in the field.

Watch and learn more

Group photo of the recent Texas Water Leaders graduates holding their certificates

Congratulations to HCA’s Water Program Manager, Sydney Beckner, on joining the latest class of Texas Water Leaders!

This Texas Water Foundation program offers emerging leaders the opportunity to grow their leadership skills and become a part of an exclusive network of professionals stepping into leadership positions across a diverse water sector.

Click here to learn more

New report on Texas Groundwater Supplies 

Texas groundwater supplies are in danger of running dry, according to recent reports from The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and from the Environmental Defense Fund. Statewide, Texas is losing water at twice the maximum sustained rate for aquifers.

Learn more here

Photo of a red Texas Longhorn
Social Media Spotlight

Announcing the 2021 Hill Country Alliance Photo Contest 1st Place WINNER!

The Texas Longhorn has always been a famous symbol of Texan resilience and perseverance. Congratulations to @alicia.r.paparo, the photographer who submitted this image of a very stoic steer - titled “Red Longhorn” - to the 2021 Hill Country Photo Contest.

Get your copy of the 2022 Hill Country Calendar featuring this beautiful shot at the link in our bio 📸

Follow us on Instagram
Strong Towns logo

Parking Reform Map from Strong Towns

It's 2021. Does your city still have mandatory parking minimums?
Strong Towns is relaunching their crowd-sourced map of cities in the U.S. and Canada that have ended or sharply curtailed their parking requirements. More North American communities than ever are doing away with this destructive policy, which imposes huge costs on cities in lost space, affordability, accessibility, and quality of life.

Explore this resource from Strong Towns

Explore more HCA resources on our website
New Hillside Stewardship Resource
Effective hillside stewardship balances healthy plant communities and soils with the landowner’s goals for long-term land management. When landowners can slow and sink water into the land, this physical process provides a variety of benefits, including reduced erosion, increased soil moisture and grass production, flood mitigation, groundwater replenishment, habitat enhancement, and increasing the flow of spring-fed creeks. Used in concert with long-term management, these site-specific structures can be quite effective. This guide provides a few simple methods and additional resources for landowners looking to improve our stewardship of hillside land across the Hill Country.
Upcoming Events
Due to ongoing concerns regarding Covid-19, events are subject to change or cancellation. Please verify with original event hosts before attending in-person events. 
December 16  |  Merry Mixer with Rural Leaders
Online @ 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Featured Way to Support HCA
Looking for last minute gift inspiration? Support HCA when you shop for the holidays! Our store features a limited edition t-shirt, a gorgeous map of the Texas Hill Country, our 2022 Texas Hill Country calendar, and more! All proceeds support the Hill Country Alliance.
"All my life I have drawn sustenance from the rivers and from the hills of my native state... I want no less for all the children of America than what I was privileged to have as a boy." 
- Lyndon B. Johnson
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Copyright © 2021 - All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 151675  |  Austin, TX 78715 |

Contact us at: 
(512) 894-2214  |
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The HCA Neighbor to Neighbor Newsletter is sent out twice monthly and covers recent news, upcoming events, and great resources for Hill Country friends and neighbors. If you have information for possible inclusion in the Neighbor to Neighbor Newsletter, please contact Leah Cuddeback at All submissions may be edited for grammar and style.