Sink Creek project awarded U.S. Forest Service grant

Sink+Creek+surrounding+location+photo+courtesy+of+the+City+of+San+Marcos.
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Sink Creek project awarded U.S. Forest Service grant

Sink Creek surrounding location photo courtesy of the City of San Marcos.

Sink Creek surrounding location photo courtesy of the City of San Marcos.

Sink Creek surrounding location photo courtesy of the City of San Marcos.

Sink Creek surrounding location photo courtesy of the City of San Marcos.

Jakob Rodriguez, Editor in Chief

The City of San Marcos will receive a $423,500 grant from the United States Forest Service to fund the land purchase of the Sink Creek Community Forest Tract, according to city officials who announced the grant funding in a press release June 30.

This marks the first Community Forest and Open Space Program grant awarded to a project in Texas.

The City purchased the 102-acre tract through a three-year lease with The Trust for Public Land in 2017 for a total purchase price of $1.27 million. According to city officials, City Council approved the lease-purchase agreement with the expectation that external funding sources would be sought to match the commitment of public funds.

The effort to secure funding for this project stems from an effort to conserve key areas to act as “buffers” for development, City of San Marcos Urban Forester Kelly Eby said.

“The city targeted this property for conservation so it can serve as a buffer from development in a particularly sensitive area,” Eby said. “By awarding these funds to the City, the U.S. Forest Service is joining our efforts to achieve strategic environmental planning.”

The federal financial assistance granted through the Community Forest and Open Space Program of the U.S. Forest Service will be applied towards this year’s third and final installment payment for the Sink Creek property acquisition.

The land is located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed and Sink Creek connects to the sensitive headwaters of the San Marcos River. According to a press release from the city, the area includes limestone cliffs, ancient live oak trees and plentiful wildlife. The land will remain open space, where it will help protect the water quality of the river, foster the native ecosystem and mitigate some of the urban heat island effects as the city expands.

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