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Hays County gets greenprint for sustainable growth

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Representatives from the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) and Envision Central Texas (ECT) presented the Central Texas Greenprint for Growth to the Hays County Commissioners on Tuesday. The so-called “greenprint” is a dynamic mapping tool designed to balance conservation goals with infrastructure needs.

 

The greenprint uses a series of Geographic Information System (GIS) maps that display various data, such as water resources and land ownership, and combines that with a set of defined community conservation goals. The Trust for Public Land, which helped develop the Central Texas Greenprint, created this mapping method, which is meant to be a tool to identify areas that have the highest conservation benefits in a given region.

 

To get all that data about community values and environmental goals means going through an extensive public-engagement process. The report presented Tuesday is the result of community meetings held in Hays, Caldwell, and Bastrop counties between May 2008 and June 2009.

 

During that time, residents defined six major conservation goals: protect water quality and quantity, protect sensitive ecological areas, preserve farm and ranch lands, enhance recreational opportunities, protect cultural resources and historic sites, and protect scenic corridors.

 

According to CAPCOG’s Director of Regional Planning, Sean Moran, who led the presentation Tuesday, the Federal Highway Administration contributed $115,000 to the project, which had a budget of about $250,000.

 

The report also incorporates data from a separate greenprinting study of Travis County completed in 2006, meaning the Central Texas Greenprint includes Travis, Hays, Caldwell, and Bastrop counties.

 

Interactive digital maps, along with a 47-page report, will be released today and made available to the public at www.capcog.org.

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