This Texas treasure called Blue Hole is at the center of a multi-million capital campaign to develop 126 acres of parkland in the heart of the Wimberley Valley.
Dreams of acquiring Blue Hole became a reality in May 2005 when the City of Wimberley purchased the land for restoration and development into a Regional Park.
To date, this project has been awarded $1.9 million from the National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund administered through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, $700,000 from Hays County Parks Department bond fund, and $200,000 from the Lower Colorado River Authority. A loan of $143,000 from the Trust for Public Land made an earlier date for land acquisition possible; this loan has been repaid. In addition, approximately $700,000 in private donations and pledges have been raised from individuals, private foundations, and other entities interested in preserving this Texas treasure for public use.
In the heart of Central Texas, Blue Hole has long been a destination in the Texas Hill Country for swimming, camping, and enjoying nature along spring-fed Cypress Creek, often being named one of Texas’ top ten swimming holes.
Early records show John R. Dobie owned 500 acres along the crystal clear Cypress Creek, near the mill that gave the village its name. Local legend tells tales of pioneers, wagons, and land for 10 cents an acre!
Thirty years ago, the Dobie estate conveyed what is now known as the Blue Hole property to an Austin partnership group. This private group continued to allow limited swimming in Cypress Creek and primitive camping, and built a small wastewater plant to service a nearby nursing home center. Plans were under way for residential development.
Soon after the municipal government was formed in May 2000, the Village of Wimberley elected officials heard citizens’ needs for parkland with water access and for a wastewater treatment plant. Centrally located, this unique property offered these possibilities, as well as other public uses.
In 2003, the Village of Wimberley completed negotiations to acquire the property for public use development with the generosity of local landowner and part-time resident Peter Way who held the property at no profit while acquisition funding was obtained by the municipal government.