Join us for TLC's First Day Hike in 2024Posted by Whole Earth | 12.06.2023
Join us for TLC's First Day Hike in 2024
How are you planning to spend January 1st? We have an idea! Join us for Texas Land Conservancy's First Day Hike! We're giving away two tickets for the event plus some Whole Earth swag including a Whole Earth canvas tote, two Nalgene water bottles, two Texas Land Conservancy t-shirts, a $25 Whole Earth gift card, assorted stickers, and two Texas Land Conservancy ornaments! You can enter on Instagram starting December 7th at 9 am through December 14th.
Texas Land Conservancy's First Day Hike is limited to 25 participants. The event will be at Los Madrones Ranch near Dripping Springs from 1 to 3 pm. It will be a moderate-level hike and include some uneven terrain, so be sure to wear proper shoes! If you don't want to take a chance on winning tickets, you can purchase tickets here.
The Los Madrones Ranch has been in the Murphy family since the 1960s. For a time, the ranch was home to cattle but in 2000 the family converted the property to be wildlife-centric and began helping the land recover from years of overgrazing. They worked on controlling feral animals, seeding native grasses and forbs, removing junipers, and preventing soil erosion.
Inspired by the neighboring Shield Ranch, the family applied for a conservation easement and became a part of Texas Land Conservancy in 2018. Los Madrones owner Mike Murphy is "thrilled to know the land will remain much as we’ve always enjoyed it; and it won’t change substantially in years to come. Even as the city of Austin steadily encroaches in our area, Los Madrones will remain an undeveloped oasis with open grasslands and protected habitat for wildlife."
The Texas Land Conservancy or TLC was founded in 1982 by Ned Fritz, known as the father of Texas conservation. Responding to the encroachment of development on natural areas in Texas, Fritz decided there was a need for a land trust that would take on the preservation of small but important properties that were not large enough to be saved by other organizations. Using conservation easements TLC has preserved the physical and ecological integrity of wildlife habitat, native plant communities and scenic landscapes across the state.
TLC focuses on conserving land in six major watersheds: the Llano, Pedernales, Brazos, Trinity, Neches, and the Medina rivers. These watersheds are under the highest threat of over-development, water pollution, and water consumption. The Texas Land Conservancy is protecting our state’s land and water – from where the first drop of rain falls, through our rivers, and onto the Gulf of Mexico.
Most of the over 154,455 acres of property protected by the Texas Land Conservancy is not open to the public. Conservation easements limit development and provide for restoration and land management, but the land still remains in private hands. However, TLC has four preserves that are open to the public. Two are in or near major Texas cities: Oak Cliff Nature Preserve in Dallas, Cibolo Creek Preserve near San Antonio, Banita Creek Preserve in Nacogdoches, and Kachina Prairie near Ennis. Throughout the year, some of the other protected properties are open to the public with guided hikes, like the First Day Hike of 2024. You can learn about these special days by signing up for the group’s emails or social media posts on their website.
We hope you'll join us on the First Day Hike of 2024 and get the year off to a great start!