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Hays County Partners with Hill Country Conservancy and La Cima to Acquire Purgatory Creek Nature Preserve as Conservation Land

Hays County has acquired Purgatory Creek Nature Preserve, a 1,068-acre conservation easement that will permanently protect and preserve the land from future development. This easement was proposed and sponsored by the Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) to be funded through the 2020 Hays County Parks and Open Space Bond. The property is located next to the Purgatory Creek Natural Area, the La Cima Parkland, and the La Cima Regional Habitat Conservation Plan Preserve. 

The combined area will protect more than 3,200 acres of uniquely biodiverse habitat including significant Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat, natural springs, canyons, caves, and other karst features that carry water directly into the Edwards Aquifer. The preserve will be part of the network of protected conservation lands in the area, creating one of the State’s largest unbroken blocks of urban wilderness, open space, and water quality protection lands.  

In September 2022, the Hays County Commissioners Court approved approximately $9.6M for the Purgatory Creek Nature Preserve conservation easement. With this land being highly desirable for both conservation and development, Hays County and La Cima built upon their existing partnership to work with the HCC to identify a solution that would be an asset to both current and future Hays County residents. 

“HCC values the protection of natural areas that conserve critical natural resources and wildlife habitat,” said Kathy Miller, CEO of Hill Country Conservancy. “This easement is just one example of how we do this – planning for growth while ensuring we preserve our most precious natural lands and habitats. We are thrilled to work with Hays County and La Cima to help provide public access to this beautiful Hill Country site.”  

She added that this preserve is a great example of a private and public partnership that can balance the need to plan for future growth while preserving the surrounding ecosystem and the community’s access to nature.  

“This project is a wonderful accomplishment for Hays County and its partners,” Commissioner Lon Shell, Pct. 3, said. “Hays County is one of the fastest growing areas in Central Texas and in the nation. With growth at this rate, we work to identify and improve upon partnerships that help make our community a welcoming and equitable place for all.” 

About the Parks Bond 

The 2020 Parks & Open Space Bond called for the issuance of $75 million to establish parks, open spaces, conservation lands, and other recreational opportunities in Hays County. In November 2021, the Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission (POSAC) provided funding recommendations to the Hays County Commissioners Court. To learn more and sign up for bond updates, visit or email  

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Hays County