Using regional conservation for economic development strategies

At the annual meeting of the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) Board of Directors on October 20, the GSMP Board of Directors approved a new financial commitment to Vision 2025, the community-based, community-driven economic development strategy. on the consensus of our region.

This commitment provides funds for the first phase of a supporting data mapping tool, which is essential to the achievement of one of the key strategic actions of Vision 2025: the development of a regional growth development plan. conservation.

This decision to proactively identify geographic areas in our region that should or should not be developed is rare in economic development. However, this is an intentional part of our region’s strategy, as the GSMP and our community as a whole believe it is essential to preserve the region’s natural resources. These resources include our river systems, aquifers and the natural beauty of the Hill Country, all of which must be protected as we strategically plan for the inevitable growth and development of our community.

When fully completed, the Conservation and Development Mapping Tool will provide the newly formed Texas Innovation Corridor (TxIC) Future Development Committee with an invaluable resource for identifying conservation lands, recreation areas, floodplains, the impermeable cover by watershed, the projected population by census sector and more.

Led by Co-Chairs Megan McCoy Jones of McCoy’s Building Supply, Commissioner Lon Shell of Hays County and Jeff Nydegger of Winstead PC, TxIC’s Future Development Committee will lead the creation of the regional conservation development growth plan. With its 29 members, the committee will provide an in-depth analysis of conservation, development and equity issues in our region, protecting our natural resources, improving the attractiveness of our region and attracting the quality employers needed. to the growth of our economy in Hays and Caldwell Counties.

The GSMP, in collaboration with other key stakeholders, will provide the necessary resources, including financial and administrative support. Many thanks to Watershed Partners who will also provide essential financial resources through which Siglo Group will be the project manager for the implementation of the tools, providing data, GIS and planning expertise throughout the multi-phased process.

I am proud to say that this is just one of the results of our community working together to improve the quality of life in our region. Other highlights of the first year of Vision 2025 include the execution of several offers to help small businesses and entrepreneurs, the launch of several regional task forces to address transportation and workforce issues. , and new ways for our region to support downtown vitality.

I would like to thank all of the volunteers and task force leaders who made the first year a success with this strategy. We anticipate many more successes in the second year of this economic development strategy through their continued work and leadership. Stay in touch with this column as we reveal some of these Year 2 expectations over the next few months.

If you want to be part of these community collaborations, I strongly encourage your involvement! Please contact me at [email protected] or one of our GSMP staff. We look forward to your participation as we all together elevate the quality of life here in the Texas Innovation Corridor.

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