Texas Conservation Project

Our vision for the Texas project is to see healthy watersheds and healthy human communities enjoying the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of connecting with and caring for nature.

Austin, Texas

Our Challenges

The Bull Creek watershed is locally known as “the Galapagos of Texas.” But expanding urban development, land disturbances, and invasive species threaten unique Texas treasures like the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Also, digital culture, urban sprawl, and socioeconomic inequities are driving the growing disconnect between humans and the rest of creation. In particular, surveys of Hispanic families in this area highlight safety concerns, lack of time and financial resources, and limited access to information in Spanish as major obstacles preventing them from spending more time in nature.

Our Focus Areas

Restoring riparian forests and meadows

In partnership with the Bull Creek Foundation, we are restoring the Stenis tract, a 62-acre parcel of Water Quality Protection Land in the Bull Creek watershed, located in North Austin. We are mapping, removing, and managing invasive plant species that threaten the health of the riparian forest, the wooded area adjacent to Bull Creek, and meadows.

Fostering connections with nature by facilitating equitable access

Our program, Picnics en el Arroyo, offers free, safe, and supported access to parks for underserved Hispanic families in the Austin area and helps them connect with nature. We explore the biodiversity of natural areas with access to water through games, hikes, and hands-on activities. Families have positive experiences in nature, build community, and are empowered to spend more time outdoors.

Training and mentoring young professionals

We provide leadership and service opportunities for young professionals serving as bilingual Environmental Educators in our Picnics en el Arroyo program. We also host interns from our Conservation Internship Program who contribute to our efforts while receiving training and mentorship on integrating their faith with science and career goals.

Our Results

Endangered species protected

Our work at the Stenis tract is resulting in a healthier habitat to sustain threatened and endangered species, like the Golden-cheeked Warbler. Hundreds of other native species will benefit from the recovery of the riparian forest and meadow.

Habitat restored

We have removed and treated invasive Glossy privet trees and saplings and are restoring the meadow with the help of volunteers. Understory native plants are growing in the forest and native flowers and grasses are thriving without the competition of invasive grasses.

Relationships healed

We started Picnics en el Arroyo events in 2022, serving primarily Spanish-speaking families. Feedback tells us that they experience a healing relationship with nature and greater well-being and community by participating in Picnics.

Young leaders developed

A Rocha USA has been a safe haven for young Christians who have often not found supportive spaces to integrate their environmental passions with their faith convictions. In Central Texas, young Christian college graduates will be equipped to lead in their chosen vocational path.
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Invasive trees removed
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m2 of meadow restored
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volunteers
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Picnics en el Arroyo events
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unique participants
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young leaders

Our Partners

We collaborate with local groups and organizations to accomplish our shared vision of restoring healthy Texas watersheds and communities, including Texas Parks and Wildlife, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, San Marcos Discovery Center, Zilker Botanical Garden, Pease Park, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, and more. 

We are honored to partner with the following organizations to accomplish our shared vision of healthy Texas communities: 

Get Connected

Join the Texas group in Love Your Place to find out about volunteer opportunities and events.

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