The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) closed on three tracts of land in San Saba on February 2nd. Known tentatively as Mill Creek Nature Park, the approximately 38.77-acre property will be the first LCRA-owned park in San Saba County.
The properties are located east of downtown San Saba and include extensive frontage on the San Saba River and historic, spring-fed Mill Creek. These tracts are unique because they are adjacent to two existing city parks — Mill Pond Park to the south and Risien Park to the east. Combining these tracts with these city-owned parks will create about a 120-acre park in the San Saba city limits.
San Saba officials approved a resolution in January to assist with the development of park facilities on the properties and assume the financial responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the park once it is opened for public use. The City will contribute labor and equipment to the development of the park and will apply, with LCRA assistance, for a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grant.
LCRA staff anticipates that master planning for the property could begin as early as fall 2009. At that time, community input will be sought from residents about the types of outdoor recreation facilities and activities they would like to see developed in their county. The park land is centrally located in San Saba, and will help meet the city’s community needs for additional opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
The purchase was funded by LCRA’s Public Recreation and Conservation Land Acquisition Fund, which was created primarily from the sale of non-essential, non-utility lands owned by LCRA. LCRA established the PRCLA Fund to pay for the acquisition of park and conservation lands and for the development of projects in LCRA’s Park, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.
LCRA owns 42 public parks along the Colorado River Trail that runs 600 river miles from the Texas Hill Country to Matagorda Bay. More than 1 million people have access to the Colorado River and Highland Lakes annually through LCRA’s parks and recreation areas. The LCRA Colorado River Trail Master Plan, developed in 1991, envisions an LCRA park providing access to the river, lakes or a major tributary of the Colorado River in each of LCRA’s 10 statutory counties. The trail was intended to help conserve natural resources and provide recreational opportunities in the region.