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Austin Water's Wildland Conservation Division manages land for groundwater and endangered species through two programs: the Water Quality Protection Lands and the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.
Austin Water's Wildland Conservation Division manages two programs: The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and the Water Quality Protection Lands.
The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, managed in partnership with Travis County and other public and private partners, is a 31,000-acre system of preserves that mitigates for the development of endangered species habitat in western Travis County. It is home to 7 endangered species and 27 species of concern. The BCP includes some of Austin's favorite natural spaces, including Mt. Bonnell, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Emma Long Park, Hamilton Pool, and Wild Basin. Volunteers help with habitat restoration, conduct animal and plant surveys, and lead guided hikes on areas of the preserve that may only be open to the public through volunteer events and guided hikes.
The Water Quality Protection Lands includes 28,000 acres of land managed to produce the optimum level of clean, high quality water to recharge the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. The WQPL includes the Slaughter Creek Trail and many acres of land that are only accessible to the public through volunteer events and guided hikes. Volunteers help with native grassland restoration, invasive species removal, and lead guided hikes.