Hays County announced Jan. 11 that it has partnered with the Hill Country Conservancy and La Cima to acquire Purgatory Creek Nature Preserve, an easement that will protect and preserve the 1,068 acres of land from future development as growth within the county and throughout the region continues. The land is located next to Purgatory Creek Natural Area and the Hays County Regional Habitat Conservation Plan adjacent to and within La Cima.

The easement was proposed by the Hill Country Conservancy and is funded through the Hays 2020 Parks and Open Spaces bond.

The Purgatory Creek Nature Preserve will join a network of other protected conservation land in the area for a total of more than 3,200 acres that includes canyons, caves, natural springs and other Edwards Aquifer-related habitats.

The Hays County Commissioners Court approved an additional $9.6 million in September for the easement acquisition.

“HCC values the protection of natural areas that conserve critical natural resources and wildlife habitat,” HCC CEO Kathy Miller said. “This easement is just one example of how we do this: planning for growth while ensuring we preserve our most precious natural lands and habitats. We are thrilled to work with Hays County and La Cima to help provide public access to this beautiful Hill Country site.”