A Texas family’s decision to sell their land has provided a huge boost to local wildlife, even though they could potentially miss out on millions of dollars, according to Texas Monthly.
Ronnie and Terry Urbanczyk’s gradual expansion of their property over a 30-year period saw them accumulate 750 acres of gorgeous woodland in Hill Country.
Originally, the plan was to build a subdivision in the area, which would have provided 2,400 homes for families who showed interest in living in the rural paradise.
The project would have made the Urbanczyk family $125 million, but it was met with opposition from the community and local environmental groups.
When the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offered $25 million to buy 515 acres with the aim of turning the area known as Honey Creek into a state park, the Urbanczyks knew it was a perfect deal.
Now, the sparklingly clear stream water, the throng of cypress trees, and the various protected species at Honey Creek will be carefully maintained for years.
“We’ve had a lot of fantastic memories out there, and now the people in Texas are gonna get to really enjoy it for the next thousand years,” Ronnie Urbanczyk, who owns a concrete company, told Texas Monthly.
“It really did make me feel 100 percent better,” Terry Urbanczyk said of the deal and the plans for the land they love so much.
Among the creatures found at Honey Creek are at-risk animals like golden-cheeked warblers, black-capped vireos, and Comal blind salamanders. It is also home to a number of invertebrates in the land’s cave systems.
In a statement, Texas State Parks director Rodney Franklin said: “Together with the adjacent Guadalupe River State Park, these protected lands encompass nearly 5,000 acres of habitat that sustain plants and wildlife, benefit water quality and provide opportunities for people to spend time in nature.”
In addition to making the land publicly accessible, events could eventually be hosted at Honey Creek, providing a stunning setting for special gatherings. Most importantly, it puts an essential ecosystem into the hands of local experts who will look after it for the long term — and it will also ensure important green spaces will not see any harmful construction in the future.
“I couldn’t be more delighted,” Annalisa Peace of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance told Texas Monthly. “I am just very grateful to the Urbanczyk family for making that decision.”
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