The Watershed Association purchased Coleman’s Canyon in 2019 from a developer planning to build 1600 high-density residential lots within the critical recharge zone of Jacob’s Well. Today, The Watershed Association’s Coleman’s Canyon Preserve is a land conservation and restoration project contiguous to Jacob’s Well Natural Area and proposed to be transferred to the County through the Parks and Open Spaces initiative. The property contains significant karst features that recharge Jacob’s Well Spring including the iconic Wimberley Bat Cave and over 100 acres of Golden Cheeked Warbler habitat. Preserving and enhancing this land helps protect groundwater supplies, water quality, Jacob’s Well spring flow, and Cypress Creek flow.
The Watershed Association’s stewardship projects include karst feature mapping, flora and fauna surveys through an iNaturalist Coleman’s Canyon project, habitat restoration, recharge enhancement, and green fielding and recycling of derelict buildings and materials. These projects are made possible through collaboration with many partners including the Hays County Master Naturalists & Restoration Rangers, Underground Texas Grotto, Salvaging the Hill Country – Centex Decon, Zara Environmental, Hays County, Texas Parks and Wildlife, scientists, and state and local agencies.
Hays County Parks and Open Spaces Project Information
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the strong support Hays County voters showed for Prop A.
This commitment to conserve land and preserve irreplaceable natural resources will serve many generations and provide for outdoor recreation and better health. The Watershed Association is excited to share Coleman’s Canyon Preserve and the Wimberley Bat Cave, working with the County to permanently set aside its critical source waters and scenic habitat for Cypress Creek and everyone who lives in or visits the Wimberley Valley.
Many thanks go to all of the partners, officials, and voters who raised their voices and cast their votes for the Hays County Parks & Open Space bond.”
– David Baker, The Watershed Association Executive Director
A robust project plan was presented to the Hays County Parks and Open Spaces Commission to more than double the size of the Jacob’s Well Natural Area and protect critical recharge areas within the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone.
The Coleman’s Canyon Preserve project would diversify the County’s recreational experiences and expands trails, scenic vistas, greenways, and preserves. The preserve has 117 acres of beautiful Hill Country canyon vistas, is adjacent to the Jacob’s Well Natural Area, and is within the recently established Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone.
This project offers significant environmental benefits that include protecting sensitive recharge caves and karst features, improving the quality of groundwater recharge vital to keeping Jacob’s Well and Cypress Creek flowing, preserving high-quality critical wildlife habitat, and could lessen flooding potential through strategically located green infrastructure projects.
To help inform groundwater monitoring efforts, The Watershed Association collaborated with the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, Edwards Aquifer Authority, and Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District to get downhole video, geophysical logs, and water level measurements at one of the wells on Coleman’s Canyon Preserve. It is our hope that this information will help better monitor aquifer dynamics in the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone.
Blue House Well
JW GMZ Multiport Monitor Well
The Multiport Monitor well is 535 feet deep and has 10 independent monitoring zones that can measure water quality and water pressure (water level) at each zone. Two of these zones were completed in the Lower Trinity Aquifer (Sligo and Hosston formations). Three zones were completed in the Cow Creek limestone. And three zones were completed in the Lower Glen Rose limestone. An additional two zones were completed in the confining Hammett and Hensel formations.
The Watershed Association has set up an iNaturalist project to catalog flora and fauna at Coleman’s Canyon. Master Naturalists, area biologists, and Texas Parks and Wildlife staff are helping with the project.
Research and Studies
- Natural Area Expansion Project: Land Preservation at the Headwaters of Cypress Creek (Conservation Consultancy, 2016)
News and Links:
- Recycling, Upcycling, and Greenfielding at Coleman’s Canyon Preserve, The Watershed Association, 5/20/2021
- Hays County Prop A Passes, The Watershed Association, 11/12/2020
- The Watershed Association’s Parks and Open Space Recommendations
- Hays County Bond Information
- Hays County Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission report
- 2012 Hays County Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan