JOHNSON CITY – The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is rolling out preliminary plans for its new Pedernales River Nature Park and seeking feedback from the local community.
LCRA will host open houses on Saturday, August 28, from 9 a.m. to noon, and Monday, August 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., to present a conceptual design of the park and take public questions and comments. Both open houses will take place at the Pedernales River Nature Park Pavilion, at 404 U.S. Highway 281 North in Johnson City.
At the open houses, LCRA staff will make brief presentations at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on August 28, and at 5:30 p.m. on August 30. Following the presentations, the public will be able to visit with staff and look at the preliminary design. LCRA staff also will be available to show visitors around the property in small groups. Coffee and donuts will be served.
Visitors will have the opportunity to tell the staff about the outdoor recreation facilities and activities they would like to see added to the park. The property is centrally located, easily accessible to all residents in Blanco County, and features a picnic shelter, picnic tables and portable toilets during its first year of partial operation.
LCRA closed on the sale of the 222-acre tract of riverfront, known locally as the Rainbow Ranch Trout Farm, on November 7, 2008. Pedernales River Nature Park in Blanco County, LCRA’s newest park, is located on U.S. Highway 281 at the northern edge of Johnson City.
Thanks to community assistance from Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the city of Johnson City, and Blanco County, LCRA opened the park for limited use on May 23 from dawn to dusk. Site cleanup of the property included clearing utility rights of way and removing old electric poles with obsolete equipment, mowing large acreage, and tree trimming to create more of a park setting.
Typical LCRA access and facility use fees will be temporarily waived until the park is fully developed. During the expected 24-month planning, design and development phases, the park will continue to offer limited day-use options like fishing and picnicking. As with other LCRA nature parks, admission fees will be charged and rental fees collected for facility use once the new recreational facilities are constructed and available to the public.
“We are excited about the Pedernales River Nature Park and how it will provide new recreational opportunities for area residents and tourists alike,” said Fran Irwin, LCRA manager of Community Development and Natural Resources. “We want to share our initial ideas for the park with community residents and get their feedback on them. We also will continue to keep the community informed of the park’s progress.”
Blanco and San Saba counties are the last of LCRA’s 10 statutory counties to get LCRA parks. LCRA owns 42 parks along the Colorado River Trail, which runs 600 river miles from the Texas Hill Country to Matagorda Bay. More than 1 million people have access to the Colorado River and Highland Lakes annually through LCRA’s parks and recreation areas.
For more information about the Pedernales River Nature Park, visit www.lcra.org/parks or send an e-mail to email@example.com.