The City of San Marcos will receive a $423,500 grant from the United States Forest Service to fund the land purchase of the Sink Creek Community Forest Tract. This is the first Community Forest and Open Space Program grant awarded to a project in Texas.
The City purchased the 102-acre tract through a three-year lease with The Trust for Public Land in 2017 for a total purchase price of $1.27 million. City Council approved the lease-purchase agreement with the expectation that external funding sources would be sought to match the commitment of public funds.
“The city targeted this property for conservation so it can serve as a buffer from development in a particularly sensitive area,” said City of San Marcos Urban Forester Kelly Eby. “By awarding these funds to the City, the U.S. Forest Service is joining our efforts to achieve strategic environmental planning.”
The federal financial assistance granted through the Community Forest and Open Space Program of the U.S. Forest Service will be applied towards this year's third and final installment payment for the Sink Creek property.
The land is located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed and Sink Creek connects to the sensitive headwaters of the San Marcos River.
The area includes limestone cliffs, ancient live oak trees and plentiful wildlife. The land will remain open space, where it will help protect the water quality of the river, foster the native ecosystem and mitigate some of the urban heat island effect as the city expands.
The City would like to thank the following partners and programs for their roles in securing this tract: Texas State University, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, The Trust for Public Land, The Meadows Center, San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance, San Marcos River Foundation, and the San Marcos Habitat Conservation Plan.
For more information, contact Drew Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.