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Bright Leaf Preserve, a 216-acre nature preserve in west Austin, is a unique Central Texas resource and a thriving ecosystem for numerous plants and animals. Located south of 2222 and Mesa Drive, Bright Leaf Preserve is under the ownership and management of Austin Community Foundation.

History of Bright Leaf

Bright Leaf is the legacy of native Austinite Georgia B. Lucas. She acquired the property over her lifetime to preserve the land so others could appreciate it and benefit from its beauty. She envisioned a place for visitors to take guided hikes to learn about the land’s geology, biology and ecology.

In 2006, the ownership and management of the preserve transferred to Austin Community Foundation. As part of the transfer, the Foundation was charged, per Lucas’ will, with finding a permanent owner for Bright Leaf.

Guided Hikes

Bright Leaf Preserve welcomes 1,500 visitors each year for scheduled hikes led by trained guides. School children, families, educators, botanists and geologists benefit from this protected wooded refuge and its maze of creeks and spectacular views of Lake Austin and the Hill Country. Guided hikes are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Protection and Preservation

The Foundation takes the preservation and management of this protected wooded refuge seriously. Staff and volunteers, in coordination with the Austin Fire Department, conduct regular wildfire prevention efforts. Staff and volunteers also patrol the property routinely surveying for trespassers, potential fire risks and other hazards. Download the fact sheet for more information.