New report highlights alarming loss of land in North Texas

Rooftops2 copySocial investing in land conservation via Connemara is an investment in our region’s economy, drinking water and quality of life for the sake of ourselves and those who will live after us.

The third edition of Texas Land Trends provides information to public and private decision-makers with timely information to support the conservation of Texas working lands. It is published by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources every five years, following the availability of the USDA NASS Census of Agriculture data.  This year it includes an interactive website that illustrates where Texas is losing land at an alarming rate.

Would you be surprised to hear that every county that borders Tarrant County and Dallas County lost significant amounts of land due to rapid growth?  Frisco ranked 2nd as the city in Texas to lose the most to development.

The bottom line is this:  no land = no food, no quality drinking water, no quality of life in North Texas.  Connemara is here to protect those basic needs of daily survival by working with landowners on smart land use options right here in North Texas.  It’s not a matter of “will development happen.”  It’s a matter of how it’s done.

Visit www.txlandtrends.org to read more about the dramatic loss of land and its impact on all of us.

 

Another local government doing development right

OpenspaceA few weeks ago we highlighted a couple of forward thinking cities that are making protection of open space a part of their development strategy. Now we’d like to recognize another.

The Town of Prosper has received three major grants that will translate into additional park space as the region plans for the development heading north.

Under the Collin County Parks and Open Space Strategic Plan, the county sets aside funding for parkland acquisition projects that meet certain criteria. Cities and towns apply for these funds by proposing to use the funds for specific parks, trails and open spaces that will be used for the common good.

Prosper requested funding for the acquisition of more than 18 acres of land adjacent to the as-yet-undeveloped Cockrell Park on the Town’s northeast side.

Local officials recognized  the value of increasing the existing park by more than twice its current size and, as a result, the county agreed to award $450,000 toward the purchase of the land. Since the grant represents a little less than half the total cost of the tract, bond funds and other sources will make up the difference.

According to Hulon Webb, Prosper’s Executive Director of Development and Community Services, “The land is virtually pristine. There is a running creek within the acreage and it remains essentially in its natural state. There is still some wildlife residing in it and native plants flourish throughout the space.”

Plans for the parkland are still being developed, but a connection to Cockrell Park as well as a trail leading to Whitley Place are already envisioned.

Hopefully other communities will take Prosper’s lead in recognizing the importance of protecting open space in the face of development so their citizens can enjoy a better quality of life.

 

 

Richardson project is example of “everyone wins!”

The recent decision by the City of Richardson to double the size of the Spring Creek Nature Area in order to protect a valuable ecosystem and preserve a site with a rich history dating back to the early pioneers is an example of how local governments, developers and conservation organizations such as Connemara can all work together to meet the needs of a growing community.

Instead of building thousands of multifamily units on the property as planned, the developer is selling the land to the city in exchange for the right to develop the units on land near a light-rail station. Everyone wins!

Click here to read the story, including Connemara Conservation Director R.J. Taylor’s comments on the project.

Site last updated November 3, 2020 @ 7:50 pm