Instead of Taking Millions for Their Land, Texas Family Makes a Park Instead

In a significant win for conservation, the Kozmetsky family has chosen to sell their historic RGK Ranch in Travis County, Texas, to be transformed into a public park, rather than accepting a far more lucrative offer from developers. Situated just 30 minutes from Austin’s bustling tech sector and cultural hotspots, the 1,507-acre ranch was sold for $90 million, a stark $40 million less than what developers were willing to pay. The property, which had permits for extensive residential and commercial development, is now preserved for public use, ensuring that the natural beauty and biodiversity of the Hill Country remain intact. This decision was greatly influenced by the family’s deep-rooted connection to the land and their desire to honor the legacy of George Kozmetsky, who had made significant entrepreneurial and philanthropic contributions to the region.

The RGK Ranch, once slated to become a dense urban development, will now join the ranks of Hamilton Pool Preserve and Reimers Ranch Park, creating a contiguous protected area of 5,430 acres in the heart of the rapidly growing Travis County. This effort is part of a broader initiative, facilitated by the Nature Conservancy and supported by the Proposition B Parks Bond Measure passed by Austin voters, to safeguard the region’s unique ecosystems and recreational spaces. With plans to expand the protected areas to a combined total of 8,600 acres, the new park will provide critical wildlife corridors and hiking trails, enhancing the public’s access to nature while preserving the environmental integrity of the Hill Country. The Kozmetsky family retains 90 acres of the original ranch, maintaining personal ties to the land, and the county holds first-refusal rights for any future sale, ensuring the long-term preservation of this cherished landscape.

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