CEMEX Balcones Dry Comal Creek Wildlife Habitat Center
About CEMEX Construction Materials South
CEMEX Construction Materials South, LLC (CEMEX) owns and operates the Balcones Quarry located in New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas, which consists of approximately 3,000 acres within two ecological zones, the Edwards Plateau and the Blackland Prairie. The operations include the largest stone producing quarry in the U.S. per the U.S. Geological Survey, a cement manufacturing plant and the CEMEX Balcones Dry Comal Creek Wildlife Habitat Center (CEMEX Nature Center). The CEMEX Nature Center, a 20-acre dedicated open space, was established to increase the site’s biodiversity, promote environmental stewardship, and provide educational opportunities to employees and stakeholders, including school students, with a focus on conservation initiatives.
Project Description & History
Hundreds of students, educators, and other guests use CEMEX’s Nature Center for hands-on learning. The CEMEX Nature Center features a Pollinator Garden, Restored Prairie, 10-acre natural savannah, and an education center.
The Pollinator Garden is situated on 0.50 acres, that includes a 0.25-acre fenced garden with an abundance and variety of native plant species, including eight different milkweed species, a small pond, educational signage, butterfly benches and a walking path; and a small fenced pollinator garden featuring a Texas Road Cut and a Bar Ditch with various native and seasonal species for educational observations. As a Monarch Waystation site, the native plant selection considers the needs of the monarch and other butterflies in all the stages of their life cycle and during their yearly migration. The gardens are fenced so that the plant species can thrive without deer or critter interference.
The Restored Prairie is situated on 10 acres that have been planted with a variety of native grasses and wildflowers to attract butterflies and birds. The Prairie includes two apiaries housing 26 honey bee hives and 4 purple martin hotels. A fenced vegetable garden is also included that was planted specifically for a United Way PEACE project where special needs adults can garden and collect their vegetables from the handicapped accessible and raised garden beds.
The 10-acre natural savannah includes a pond, creek and riparian areas, employee-built nature trail, and numerous bird and duck nesting boxes. Enhancements along the trail path include the plantings of numerous native plant species, including a variety of trees. Seasonal bird surveys are led by a professional birding specialist to maintain a current list of birds that occupy the Nature Center area for conservation education purposes.
The centerpiece of CEMEX’s Nature Center is the conference center that provides an alternative meeting and learning space for internal and external stakeholders.
CEMEX Balcones Dry Comal Creek Wildlife Habitat Center is projected to impact over 1,500 employees and community members in Comal County. Ecosystem services (i.e. pollination, erosion control, clean water, etc.) promotes open space conservation in Comal County; and provides a vegetable garden for special needs adults to learn and share the vegetables with the community. The Nature Center also positively impacts wildlife and plant species such as monarchs, queens, swallowtails and other butterfly species; Purple Martin and Eastern Blue Bird Conservation; hummingbirds; and various native grasses and wildflowers planted in the restored prairie.
CEMEX’s Balcones Nature Center is one of several conservation projects owned by the company
CEMEX also owns El Carmen Land and Conservation Company, a 2018 Conservation Wrangler
Operationally, CEMEX invests in conservation-focused procedures such as water recycling, which benefit the environment and their overall business costs
Acres of Wildlife Habitat Center.
Wildlife and plant species impacted are monarchs, queens, swallowtails and other butterfly species; Purple Martin and Eastern Blue Bird Conservation; hummingbirds; and various native grasses and wildflowers planted in the restored prairie.