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AMD Conservation Grants Preserve Critical Open Space

AUSTIN, TX --AMD and Austin leaders Mayor Will Wynn and Council Member Lee Leffingwell today announced AMD’s $1.5 million contribution to protect open space Central Texas. This contribution is the first half of a total commitment of $3 million AMD has pledged to protect environmentally sensitive land in the Barton Springs segment of the Edward’s Aquifer and Central Texas.

“With soaring land costs, public-private partnerships like this one will be the way we preserve open space now and in the future,” said Austin Mayor Will Wynn. “AMD’s generous contribution will allow us to work in collaboration with conservation groups, leveraging federal dollars that would otherwise be out of reach. As a result, we’ll be able to take important steps toward preserving land, protecting water quality, providing recreation opportunities and enhancing our quality of life.”

The $1.5 million contribution consists of two initiatives: an $800,000 contribution to Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) designed to conserve large tracts of land with ecological and historical significance, and create a regional trail system; and a $700,000 contribution to The Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) Texas Heritage Land Fund designed to permanently preserve environmentally sensitive land in the Edward’s Aquifer recharge zone and to support TPL’s Parks for People program in Central Texas.

AMD’s contribution to HCC will be leveraged to secure $3.6 million in additional private and government matching funds from the City of Austin and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These additional funds cannot be accessed without local, private investment and were made available to this project as a result of AMD’s participation. HCC plans to use these funds to purchase a conservation easement for the Ragsdale Tract, conserving 497 acres of environmentally and historically significant property along Onion Creek.

AMD’s contribution to TPL will partially fund the Texas Heritage Land Fund. The fund secures tracts of land with bridge agreements while purchase funds are raised, creating a perpetual conservation vehicle through a revolving capital fund. TPL will first leverage AMD’s donation to option a Hill Country parcel critical for water quality protection and open space preservation. Once purchased, AMD’s contribution will be rolled back into the Texas Heritage Land Fund and used to preserve other critical tracts in Central Texas. AMD’s TPL donation will also support the Parks for People Initiative in Central Texas, which sets a vision for the area, land conservation funding, and transactional services to create a sustainable and accessible parks and open space system in the region.

Earlier this year, AMD provided a $50,000 grant to TPL’s Travis County Greenprint for Growth Initiative, a collaborative effort with the City of Austin, Travis County, and the University Of Texas School Of Architecture. The greenprint, a community-driven open space needs assessment, uses Geographic Information System (GIS) software to analyze community-based data in order to create a roadmap to help guide growth-management and conservation efforts. Along with the scientific data on existing watershed protection, parks and conservation tracts, greenprinting uses a comprehensive stakeholder process to establish a consensus on future priorities and needs. The priorities identified by the Greenprint for Growth formed the foundation for AMD’s preservation strategy leading to these grants.

Lunes, 23 Octubre, 2006 - 10:51
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