May TALB Meeting
Date(s) - 05/25/2016
11:15 am - 1:00 pm
Pecan Street Brewing & Restaurant
In 1969 J. David Bamberger sought to buy the worst piece of ranchland he could find in the Hill Country with the specific intention of restoring it back to functional health. Over the last 45 years the 5,500 acre ranch in Blanco County has become one of the largest habitat restoration projects in the state, winning numerous awards (Soil and Water Conservation Service, Texas Forest Service, National Arbor Day Foundation, the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas Wildlife Association, Leopold Conservation Award, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Land Steward, National Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award, to name a few).
With the removal of Ashe juniper and the replanting of native grasses, long absent springs are now constantly flowing. The major spring produces an average of 3 gallons per minute (4,320 gallons/day) and furnishes all the water used by the ranch and the center, three households as well as for agricultural use. Overflow from this spring along with other smaller springs and seeps produce the headwaters of Miller Creek which flows into the Pedernales River, which then flows into the Colorado River, the surface supply for the City of Austin 60 miles away.
Colleen Gardner has been on staff since 1999. She has a Masters of Arts in Geography with a focus in Resource and Environmental Studies from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.
Prior to employment at the ranch, she served over two years in the United States Peace Corps in Niger, Africa as a nutritionist. Colleen’s current responsibilities with the preserve are designing and implementing educational programs, as well as office managerial duties that include budgets, accounts payable/receivable and all public communications. When she is not managing the office, she also spends a lot of the time out on the ranch as the staff beekeeper!
J. David Bamberger named Colleen Executive Director in March of 2008, and she welcomed an invitation to serve on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Private Lands Advisory Committee in 2011.