2023 NAPPC Electric Power Award- Runner Up

Headwaters at the Comal

The mission of the Headwaters at the Comal (the Headwaters) is to strengthen the relationship between the community and nature by showcasing the significance of the Comal Springs. The Comal River is the heart and soul of the New Braunfels area, and for thousands of years it has been an important gathering place for people. The River and the springs that feed it are core to the identity of the New Braunfels community and are a critical natural resource for the region. To ensure the conservation of this natural resource, the New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) established the Headwaters at the Comal in 2017, and together, work to inspire the lifelong practice of experiencing, enjoying, and stewarding the cultural, ecological, and community resources that have made New Braunfels and the Hill Country region a special place to live. In partnership with NBU, and with strong support from the community, the Headwaters is leading a grand metamorphosis; the complete transformation of a 16-acre site from an old utility facilities property that sits at the headwaters of the Comal River into the Hill Country’s premier education and community center. The Headwaters engages the hearts and minds of thousands of central Texas youth, business leaders, and community members in the conservation and stewardship of our beloved springs and rivers through programs that stretch across our four organizational pillars: education and demonstration, research, conservation, and community placemaking. To monitor the native plant and pollinator species in the area, the Headwaters at the Comal participates in the Texas Butterfly Monitoring Network and organizers created the Headwaters at the Comal iNaturalist Project in which volunteers collects all plant, animal, insect, fungi, etc. observations through the iNaturalist app.