St. Anthony – The Great Springs Project has released a plan for its proposed 100-mile hiking trail that will connect Austin and San Antonio.
The proposed project known as the “Green Corridor” will connect Burton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comel Springs and San Antonio Springs.
According to a trail plan from the Great Springs project, certain parts of the trail are already built like the Violet Crown Trail in Austin and the Dante Trail in the natural area of Purgatory Creek of San Marcos in San Marcos.
However, the trail plan is a living document, meaning it will be updated frequently until the trail’s estimated completion date sometime in 2036. Alta Planning + Design helps assist with trail planning.
Great Springs Project CEO Gary Merritt calls the trail plan “the letters of the trail building from Elmo to the Capitol.”
A press release from the Great Spring Project notes that in some places trail alignment has been planned by local communities and in other areas alignment still needs to be determined.
Getting private landowners to agree on public access to their properties, especially along this large strip of land, is a massive and historically difficult task.
Project leaders are relying on tax cuts for landowners to help push the project forward in terms of land security.
Parts of the trail will likely be built in stages, with the order of stages depending on key factors such as funding, negotiations with landowners, right-of-way construction, permits, planning and construction, Great Springs project organizers said in a Facebook post.
“Community, connectivity and conservation are at the heart of the Great Springs Project,” said Texas CEO of Parks and Wildlife Carter Smith. The famous Kant of Texas. “
A previous press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior states that the goal of the large springs project is to add an additional 50,000 acres of protected land over the loading of Aquifer Edwards and donor areas between the dense urban areas of Austin and San Antonio.
“As the Central Texas area grows together, the Great Springs Project is certainly the best hope for a permanent, unifying and vital green space that demonstrates our respect for our land, our natural resources, our history, our external spirit and our commitment to our country. The common good,” said Sen. Former Antonio, Henry Cisneros.
As for how the project is funded, Great Springs leaders say large philanthropic donations, in addition to federal money, will be necessary to complete the vision.
Ultimately, the large springs project hopes to unite existing local efforts while addressing critical water, soil, wildlife and public health challenges facing the central Texas area, the project’s website said.
In 2020, the project went through several political milestones even with the demise of Prop A and Prop B in Travis County, which helped secure the change of Austin’s transportation structure, and ensure safe mobility for Texans.
Props A was also transferred to Hayes County, which helps ensure protection of rivers, streams and springs in the area as well as allocate funds for the construction of new parks, protection of open spaces and conservation of natural areas.
“A single overall cost estimate for a GSP trail network is not recommended at this stage in the process. There are many variables and details related to feasibility, design and construction that will need to be determined for individual sections of the trail before reasonably reliable data can be generated,” according to the trail plan.
One of the top goals of the Great Springs Project is to develop a safe, equitable and accessible trail network for people of all ages and abilities.
“Nature has created the great springs; the Texans are breaking through the trail,” said Great Springs Project Board member Tim McClure.
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