Conservation & Recreation

Become a Texas Master Naturalist

Apply for the Hill Country Chapter Class of 2018.

Flowers are blooming and Birds are nesting

Spring has sprung in all the parks.

Red Crossbills @ JKRB

image by Ken Butler at JKRB


The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of wildlife and of natural resources such as forests, soil, and water.

KCPP champions conservation. We establish and maintain successful conservation projects in our parks.


JKRB brush pile   Wildlife Brush Piles

We create and maintain wildlife habitat brush piles to provide cover, nesting sites, and food for birds, insects, small mammals, and herps. Brush piles present opportunities to observe many species of wildlife, especially birds and lizards. Our "critter condos" are especially helpful at James Kiehl River Bend Park (JKRB) where shrubby understory cover is lacking. Bring a camera - critter condos are great places for photography, too.    Learn how to build Wildlife Habitat Brush Piles ››

JKRB tower #1   Chimney Swift Towers

We constructed chimney swift towers at James Kiehl River Bend Park, Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area (KCNA), and Joshua Springs Park and Preserve (JSPP) with help from the parks department. KCPP's bluebird nesting trails are successful, and we belive similar success can be achieved for chimney swifts. Towers are relatively easy to construct, so providing nesting sites for swifts is not difficult. Our towers are 14 inches in diameter and 12 feet high. Chimney swifts arrive in the Texas Hill Country from Peru during mid March. We monitor the towers during spring breeding season.

first bluebird eggs   Bluebird Trails

KCPP monitors 42 bluebird nest boxes. We have one trail of six boxes at JKRB, three trails of six each at KCNA, and another 18 boxes at JSPP. Eastern bluebirds have nested every year since we placed the boxes in 2007. We report nesting data to Cornell's NestWatch. Plenty of native species, including Bewick's wrens, also make the boxes their homes. 

  • Bluebird habitat sign  See our Bluebird Habitat signs. Habitat signs are placed at each
    of our four bluebird trails. These fun educational signs were funded by the Master
    Naturalist, Hill Country Chapter.
  • JKRN BB house #1  Bluebird boxes with poles may be purchased from Cibolo Nature
    Center (CNC). CNC's boxes are expertly crafted by Texas Master Naturalist Lars Nielsen.


Garry's little gem   




JKRB logjam by Garry Speir   Park Ecosystems and Habitats

The parks are ecosystems! Within each park you will find diverse and dynamic ecosystems and their habitats.

ecosystem diagramAn ecosystem is the type of place where an organism lives, like a river, grassland, or woodland. Habitats occur within each ecosystem. Habitats are the specific part of the ecosystem that meets the organism's needs. A river ecosystem has three habitats: riparian zone (the bank), in-stream (plants, rock, and dirt of the bed),and the stream (water).

Learn more about park ecosystems and habitats ››


Visit again to learn about our Wild Bird Feeding Habitats and Education Initiatives ››
Click here for suet recipes from some of the area's best birders ››

Read about Texas Leafcutter Ant conservation››        Grassland Restoration››




Refreshment of one's mind and/or body after work through activity that renews one's health and spirits by enjoyment and relaxation; play.


The goals of the original Parks and Open Space Master Plan were specific: Provide river and stream recreation, including hiking, biking, fishing, and paddling, while preserving and enhancing the unique environmental attributes and historical character of the county. Today, recreation opportunities abound in the parks. JKRB and KCNA each offer approximately 1.700 feet of access to the Guadalupe River and more than five miles of trails. Little Joshua and Allen Creeks flow through the heart of JSPP and a range of multiuse trails loop through the park.

The parks are perfect places to experience nature,exercise,relax,observe,learn,and play. KCPP helps develop recreational opportunities in our parks - it's our mission.  You can help! ››

Recreation Review

KCNA hiking   KCPP members and friends are always out and about, and always have a story to tell about their adventures. Take a look at these articles to learn about ways to be active and fun things to do in and around the parks.

Kristen's cycling title  Cycling from James Kiehl River Bend Park by Kristen Scheller ››

kristie's gpsr  Let's Go Geocaching by Kristie Denbow ››

Chaparal blind  Birding - The #1 Sport in the Country. Our parks are birding hot spots!


River Recreation

jspp kayak

Paddlers may put-in or take-out on the Guadalupe River from James Kiehl River Bend Park and Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area. Public access down stream from the parks is limited. Be aware of mileage and paddle time to the next public access. KCPP has compiled a chart of Guadalupe Paddling Distances.  Please read it, and check river conditons and crossing closures before planning a trip.

Guadalupe River Paddling Distances ››       Stay Safe on the River ››