February 26, 2024

100-mile natural trail to connect San Antonio to Austin moves forward

The vision to connect the city of San Antonio to the Capitol of Austin has now got the green light to move forward in the Great Springs Project. The project was launched in 2018 and will create a corridor of a trail through the protected lands over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, a zone that feeds all four springs in Barton, San Marcos, Comal and San Antonio.

“Our board president and co-founder, Deborah Morin, had the idea and vision 25 years ago,” says Emma Lindrose-Siegel, the organization’s chief development officer. “Around 2017, she realized that with the area growing so fast and things getting so much more expensive, we needed to act now.”

Behind this group, includes Whole Foods founder John Mackey and Ted Flato who are board members of the project. They aim to partner with other area non-profit organizations, city and county government along with the authorities at the Edwards Aquifer.

Alta Planning + Design was brought in to create a master trail plan for the project that is scheduled to be completed in the summer or early fall of 2021. Alta has the experience of creating trails with projects completed in Oregon, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, and New York.
The project funding is backed by a grant that the organization received by the National Parks Service to assist with the planning and technical assistance for the master planning process.
“Outdoor recreation spaces are vital to communities and the need for access is greater than ever,” CEO Gary Merritt says. “People see parks and greenway projects as important parts of a community. When you ask people what they want in their community, having access to the outdoors is always one of the top two or three things. People want parks, open space and trails.” If all goes according to plan, by 2036, they’ll have 100 more miles of it.


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