Saturday, August 22, 2009

Headwater's Coalition creates master plan to protect remaining undeveloped headwaters of San Antonio River

The Headwaters Coalition has completed a master plan to guide further development of the headwaters of the San Antonio River which was put into the protection of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word by San Antonio philanthropist George W. Brackenridge .

From the executive summary of the plan:
This master plan focuses on physical aspects of sanctuary stewardship (ecological restoration and visitor infrastructure). As such, it represents the beginning of strategic planning for the Headwaters project and will be followed with collaborations that target the equally important areas of education and scholarship, spiritual exploration, and cultural heritage (see Goals, below).

While thetHeadwaters Coalition views its mission holistically, we recognize the need to divide a large planning project into stages; this sanctuary master plan is the first piece of a larger whole. Within this document we attempt to outline the process by which we will restore and maintain the ecological integrity of the sanctuary land and facilitate public access.
Goals for the plan include (from the master plan):
1. Ecological Restoration: Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of the sanctuary to the degree possible, and allow for natural variation over time.

2. Cultural Heritage Preservation and Spiritual Exploration: Protect and celebrate the cultural heritage associated with the Headwaters, through education and through the continuance of cultural uses. Support spiritual exploration through understanding historical spiritual use, engaging in spiritual experiences, and bringing forth the sacred nature of the land.

3. Education and Scholarship: Use the sanctuary as a platform for educational programs covering such topics as ecology, environmental sustainability, human history with the land, nature and spirituality.

4. Sanctuary Visitation. Provide a restorative, broadening and safe environment for humans, while always respecting and protecting the natural community.
You can find a pdf of the Master Plan executive summary here.

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