NATURE’S WAY

The Nature Conservancy Texas Celebrates With 50 Anniversary Events

By Jake Gaines
Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SCENE: The 50th anniversary of groundbreaking conservation was highlighted recently at events celebrating the game-changing accomplishments of 
The Nature Conservancy of Texas.

THE VIBE: The Pearl Stable and Pete and Lyn Selig’s garden served as the venues for the event. A discussion about how to help communities weather the changes ahead is more important now than ever served as the focus. The main event’s panel included Giulio Boccaletti, managing director for global freshwater; David Banks, managing director of the Conservancy’s Africa program; and Laura Huffman, state director for Texas and the Conservancy’s Urban Strategy Initiative for North America, while Evan Smith, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune moderated.

THE CAUSE: Pete and Lyn Selig served as this year’s event chairs and the 50th anniversary honoree was The Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation. The Nature Conservancy’s work consistently rises above the traditional scope of conservation, tackling the planet’s toughest environmental challenges. With world population growing at record speed and most of this growth concentrated in urban areas, cities like San Antonio are facing new challenges every day. More than 838,000 protected acres across Texas, including iconic destinations such as Big Bend, Enchanted Rock and North and South Padre Islands, as well as more than 200 miles of stream and river habitat within five of Texas’ most critical springs.

A discussion about how to help communities weather the changes ahead is more important now than ever. Hence, The Main Event’s panel will include Giulio Boccaletti, managing director for global freshwater; David Banks, managing director of the Conservancy’s Africa program; and Laura Huffman, state director for Texas and the Conservancy’s Urban Strategy Initiative for North America. Evan Smith, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune will moderate.

This event will also celebrate The Nature Conservancy’s conservation legacy over the last half century.

Highlights of The Nature Conservancy’s work in the San Antonio area and Texas

The Nature Conservancy has also helped protect critical habitat in San Antonio, including:

  • Cibolo Bluffs, a 1,244 acre reserve established to protect the golden-cheeked warbler habitat and safeguard the land over the Edwards Aquifer.
  • A partnership with the U.S. Army resulted in the protection of nearly 4,500 acres of crucial habitat for the endangered golden cheek warbler, and enabled the Army to expand critical training facilities at Camp Bullis.
  • Love Creek Preserveprotects a representation of one of the most diverse habitats in the nation and some of the most scenic land in Texas.  There is also evidence that prehistoric people inhabited this area.
  • The Nature Conservancy and its partners, through the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program, have protected 110,000 acres above the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio’s primary drinking water source.

Statewide partnerships have resulted in:

  • More than 838,000 protected acres across Texas, including iconic destinations such as Big Bend, Enchanted Rock and North and South Padre Islands, as well as more than 200 miles of stream and river habitat within five of Texas’ most critical springs.
  • Projects benefit nearly a dozen different waterways around the state, including the Brazos, Devils, Blanco, Frio, Guadalupe, Nueces, Sabinal and Pedernales rivers and safeguard nearly 250,000 acres of Texas’ coastline.

Laura Huffman will bring home the importance of Texas leading the charge for responsible and proactive urban conservation, emphasizing how positive change can be when managing it while ahead of the game!

“The Nature Conservancy is the go-to for strong, smart conservation in Texas and around the globe because we are fully invested in making the world a better place to live, work and play. We don’t just talk about challenges, we work to find and implement solutions,” says Huffman. “We know a healthy environment isn’t just a nice thing to have, but a critical part of human health and well-being. Our work is additive – one project will build on another, and another will build on those. Our goal is to keep moving forward, building, adding, transforming, until we fully protect the most important water resources and most beloved lands both in Texas and around the world.”

For more information about the luncheon or to express interest in being a sponsor, parties can register online or contact Matt Lopez at rmlopez@tnc.org. Press will be allowed to arrange private interviews and photo ops with any or all of our special guests in advance of this event by reaching out to Andris Media Group. In depth story coverage highlighting the Conservancy’s 50th year are welcome and can be facilitated with images included.

50th Anniversary Honorees: The Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation

2014 Event Chairs: Mr. and Mrs. Pete and Lyn Selig

The following people and companies are event sponsors:

Mary Kay, Mr. and Mrs. Pete and Lyn Selig, Mr. and Mrs. Karen and Tim Hixon, Mr. and Mrs. Craig and Elise 
Boyan, Mr. and Mrs. Chico and Ann Newman, Valero, HEB, Mr. and Mrs. Katy and Ted Flato, Mr. and Mrs. Connie and 
Sandy McNab, Mr. Don Thomas, Ms. Cina Forgason, and Mr. and Mrs. Nick and Liecie Hollis.

Gallery:

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