Note: This article was originally written while Central Texas was still in drought, and CenTex GeoAscent had just been established, under a different name, as a purely community-oriented initiative (no original business focus). At that time, CenTex GeoAscent (under its previous name) was still “head-quartered” in Llano, TX and was exclusively focused on the Greater CenTex Colorado River Water Catchment EcoRegion. This exclusiveness is no longer the case.
Rivers are a principal source of physical life. They flow with the power to bring communities together in unity around a shared and often threatened treasure. Restorative river work offers an exceptional opportunity for reintegrating those members of the community most in need of regenerative communion. Web Technologies, Mobile Apps, Social Media and GIS/GPS Technology, combined with Cooperative Business Models, Local-vesting and Crowdfunding, are excellent tools for this purpose.
The interest here is not in technology as an end in itself, but in applying technology to
present community-generated content that both inspires and organizes bio-regional initiatives that are themselves intended to realize such a river-based, regenerative culture. CenTex GeoAscent’s focus is not only on the interweb and in the ethers of cyberspace, but also on the ground and in the currents of the rivers.
The Central Texas Colorado River provides the water for much of Central Texas. The initial emphasis of CenTex GeoAscent is on the Greater CenTex Colorado River Basin EcoRegion. The term “Greater” is used here to indicate the inclusion of the sub-region watersheds of the Central Texas river and creek tributaries to the Colorado River — with a particular focus on the Llano Uplift and also on the Balcones Canyonlands and Blackland Prairie / Post-Oak Savannah areas of the Greater Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Llano Uplift is the true geologic central core of Texas, while Austin is the geographic middle of all that is typically considered “Central Texas”. Greater Austin and the Llano Uplift are in a special and ecologically unique relationship. CenTex GeoAscent recognizes Enchanted Rock as the eco-geological center of the Llano Uplift and Barton Springs as the eco-geological center of Austin — the reason Austin formed where it did. These are two of the most important natural features of Central Texas and they are directly and physically connected via water, specifically the waters of the CenTex Colorado River.
In a sense, Sandy Creek’s headwaters originate atop Enchanted Rock, and then flow eastward into the Colorado River at Lake LBJ. These waters then flow downstream to Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Water from the Edwards Aquifer emerges from Barton Springs into Barton Creek and flows northward to Lady Bird Lake. Thus, water from Barton Springs merges with water that originated atop Enchanted Rock. This interflow happens in the Colorado River at Lady Bird Lake in Austin.
For this fact to remain always true, Sandy Creek needs to again flow and not be allowed to dry-up. The health of the Colorado River needs to be restored. The Edwards Aquifer needs to be recharged to ensure that Barton Creek never stops flowing. The symbolic nature of maintaining and increasing this direct physical connection between Enchanted Rock and Barton Springs, can serve as a potent metaphor to galvanize the EcoRegion toward the realization of a Communal Regenerative River Culture.
CenTex GeoAscent (under a different name) was established for the initial purpose of helping facilitate the strengthening of the connection between Enchanted Rock and Barton Springs, by participating in the realization of a Communal Regenerative River Culture in the Greater CenTex Colorado River Basin EcoRegion, through the creative application of technology that inspires and organizes on-the-ground work involving the broadest cross-section of community members.
Through the realization of a Communal Regenerative River Culture, we truly are receiving Water from Rock — and we’re grateful.