SAN ANTONIO — Connecting San Antonio to Austin is the dream for one Texas man.
The goal of the Great Springs Project is to connect San Antonio to Austin by trail. While still in the planning stages, the proposed path will run through some of the fastest developing counties in Texas. The project would be a 100 mile trail that will run through Travis, Hays, Comal, and Bexar Counties.
"For me personally this is the work of my lifetime," said Garry Merritt, CEO of the Great Springs Project.
The small town Leakey, Texas, native has been a real estate lawyer, elected county attorney, and elected county judge, but he says being CEO of the Great Springs Project is his biggest role yet.
"This is something people are going to be talking about for generations," said Merritt.
The path would cross part of the Edwards Aquifer which provides clean drinking water to 2 million people. This project promises to protect 50,000 of those acres.
"Using a creek way like this for a place for people to be outside, but also for flood migration and water quality protection because that's what the community needs," said Merritt.
☀️ Trails are packed this afternoon! Working on a GREAT story about a possible trail from San Antonio to Austin. Are you interested?! pic.twitter.com/wHx1KB3lDA— Lauren Due (@LDueWeather) January 18, 2021
Merritt said the project needs landowner support to fill-in the gaps.
"We work with landowners that understand being part of this project is a legacy for everyone," said Merritt.
Merrit hopes to break ground by the end of the year and the project is expected to be completed in 2036, the same year as the bicentennial of Texas independence.
The National Park Service committed to community planning and technical assistance, but it's up to the public to help. Merritt knows it's possible.
"Being outside, connecting with nature and having a place to go be with your family and friends, it's part of the quality of life," he said.