SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — More than 500 acres of land near Guadalupe State Park that is home to a number of endangered species is safe from redevelopment.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department voted last week to acquire the land and build a protected park on the roughly 515-acre tract of land south of Honey Creek State Natural Area during a commissioner’s meeting.
Honey Creek Ranch, who currently owns the land, had plans to sell it to be developed into a 1,600-home subdivision. The decision has been a hot topic of discussion between residents and conservation groups alike since the plans were made public in 2019.
The tract of land is adjacent to and sits immediately upstream of the 2,300-acre Honey Creek State Natural Area, which is only 25 miles north of San Antonio.
Environmental groups said the potential home development could have led to the pollution of Honey Creek and the Guadalupe River in addition to threatening the habitats of endangered wildlife like the Golden Cheeked Warbler, Guadalupe Bass and Texas Salamander.
“This south end park access will result in the opportunity for some significant recreational development that we just simply haven’t had in that portion in that state natural area complex,” Ted Hollingsworth, a land conservation branch manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife, told the Express-News. “The tract is also going to be critical for the long-term protection of the water quality and quantity in Honey Creek.”
Express-News is reporting the deal was made possible through a partnership with the Nature Conservancy and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The land is reportedly being sold for a “bargain price” and the groups are reportedly working with other partners to gather the donations needed for the acquisition.
The motion to acquire the land was passed unanimously.