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City funds Bowie Cave restoration project—summer dig planned

March 10, 2015

The city has just renewed a one-year agreement with the Austin Independent School District and has allocated $15,000 in funds for the Bowie Cave project. These funds will also cover excavation at additional caves located in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Although the Bowie High School cave excavation project began approximately two decades ago, progress has been intermittently stalled due to lack of funding and legal agreements.

Austin might be known more for star-bound musicians and startups than caves, but unbeknownst to many, the latter is just as common—and important. This is especially true in Oak Hill, where there are around 200 caves in an ecologically sensitive area in the aquifer recharge zone.

In fact, the hundreds of unseen caves in Austin form a crucial part of the city’s past and present ecological heritage. Not only do they house a variety of minerals, but they also help regulate the way groundwater is stored through aquifers, control flooding, and provide a natural habitat to rare species, including the city’s famous bat population.

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