By: Kaitie Moore Underwood | REALTOR®, Blue Collar Commercial Group


Amidst the rolling hills and clear waterways of the Texas Hill Country lies an urgent call to action. The region’s natural beauty, treasured by residents and visitors alike, is at a crossroads. The relentless march of development threatens to encroach upon the pristine wilderness that defines this unique landscape. However, there is hope. The recent Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit opened my eyes to a visionary solution—the Land, Water, Sky, and Natural Infrastructure Plan. As a commercial real estate agent concerned with responsible development, I was deeply moved by this initiative. It embodies a comprehensive strategy to protect the very heart of the Texas Hill Country. Katherine Romans, whose wisdom resonated at the Summit, suggested that socializing this plan offers an impactful way to advance conservation in our beloved region.


As I delved into the 110-page document, I was struck by its depth and the collective wisdom it represents. It’s a call to action, a blueprint for the preservation of the Texas Hill Country’s natural infrastructure. This plan is not a mandate for restrictions or a threat to property rights but, rather, a shared vision that recognizes the dynamism and diversity of this region. It provides adaptable tools and a starting point for ongoing collaboration, ensuring that the Texas Hill Country can continue to flourish even as it grows and evolves.


Natural Infrastructure Plan Is And Isnts

(Source: Texas Hill Country Conservation Network)


The urgency of conservation is evident. Development in the Texas Hill Country has surged, with nearly 115,000 acres of land transformed in just three short years between 2016 and 2019. Without strategic investments in conservation and the protection of natural infrastructure, we risk losing the very essence that makes the Hill Country so special. This plan offers a path forward, a way to harmonize development with the preservation of our natural treasures.


What sets this plan apart is its unwavering commitment to shared values and goals. It encompasses the voices and perspectives of thousands of Texans, from farmers and ranchers to elected officials, river enthusiasts, city dwellers, business owners, and stargazers. It’s a testament to the deep love that Central Texans hold for the Hill Country and the intrinsic value they place on preserving its natural infrastructure.


Beyond its shared vision, this plan offers practical resources. It includes maps highlighting potential natural infrastructure priorities, providing local communities with a solid foundation for their conservation efforts. Moreover, county-level summaries, found in the Plan’s appendix, offer valuable support to localized initiatives, ensuring that every corner of the Texas Hill Country can benefit from this comprehensive strategy. These resources could be instrumental in guiding and shaping responsible commercial real estate projects in the region.


The significance of conservation, from an economic and ecological standpoint, cannot be overstated. The data is consistent and compelling, illustrating the substantial returns that investments in conservation provide. For every dollar invested in conservation, there is a return of four to eleven dollars in the form of natural goods and services, including clean air, clean water, and reduced flood risks. This not only has a positive impact on the environment but also enhances the appeal and value of real estate. Conservation also plays a significant role in reducing the cost of water infrastructure, translating to savings of six dollars for every dollar invested in land conservation for water protection. These figures highlight the potential financial benefits of conservation and responsible development measures in the Hill Country.


The economic advantages are not the sole benefit of conservation. Outdoor recreation generated a staggering $37.5 billion in Texas in 2021, reflecting the cultural and recreational value of the natural infrastructure. It provides opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting, and a range of other activities that drive local economies. Additionally, close-to-home access to green spaces is essential for maintaining physical and mental health, thereby reducing healthcare costs.


At the heart of this entire effort is a profound connection with nature. Survey respondents emphasize that the primary reason for seeking access to parks, trails, waterways, and open spaces is to connect with the natural world. This connection fulfills a fundamental human need, offering solace and inspiration. The shared love for the Texas Hill Country’s natural beauty underscores the significance of the Land, Water, Sky, and Natural Infrastructure Plan.


Benefits Of Investing In Natural Infrastructure

(Source: Texas Hill Country Conservation Network)


The ultimate vision is a Texas Hill Country where all communities are resilient in the face of extreme weather. It’s a vision where everyone has sustainable access to clean water and the opportunity to connect with nature, thanks to robust and protected natural infrastructure systems. The Plan is a roadmap to this future, a future where we can ensure that the Land, Water, Sky, and Natural Infrastructure of the Texas Hill Country remain intact for generations to come. In the face of rapid development, this plan represents a path forward, where we can formally safeguard the enduring beauty and ecological vitality of this cherished region.


For the full Land, Water, Sky, and Natural Infrastructure Plan, click here.


(Source: Texas Hill Country Conservation Network)

Your Partners in Commercial Real Estate Success

At Blue Collar Commercial Group, we don’t just work in the Texas Hill Country commercial market—we live here. Our deep-rooted understanding of this unique market, combined with our unmatched expertise in commercial real estate, positions us as your ideal partner for navigating the complexities of office space selection.

From identifying your perfect office space to closing the deal with confidence and ease, our team of seasoned commercial real estate professionals is dedicated to guiding you every step of the way.

Ready to make your mark in the Texas Hill Country commercial real estate landscape?

Contact Blue Collar Commercial Group today. Let us empower you with the insights, resources, and personalized support needed to turn your commercial real estate aspirations into reality.

Reach out to us now and embark on your journey toward commercial real estate excellence in Texas Hill Country.

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About the Author: Kaitie Moore Underwood

Kaitie Moore Underwood
Kaitie Moore Underwood's roots in competitive rodeo in Texas intertwined with her academic pursuits at the University of Houston, where she met her husband, Hank. Their move to the Hill Country in 2021 marked the beginning of both their family and Kaitie's successful career in real estate, assisting 18 families in her first year. With a background in the hospitality industry, recognized for her service excellence by the Starwood Hotel Sales Organization, Kaitie has honed her skills in financial analysis, strategy, and marketing. Now, as a pivotal member of the Blue Collar Commercial Group, she continues her professional ascent, consistently exceeding expectations through her dedication to relationships and solutions.

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