Travis County commissioners plan to add about 1,500 acres to the county’s wilderness parklands, protecting the pristine land from development and setting it up as a future destination for hikers and bicyclists.

The descendants of Austin tech titan George Kozmetsky and his wife, Ronya, who created Austin's RGK Foundation, are selling a big swath of undeveloped land west of Austin to Travis County at a steep discount.

RGK Ranch, a 1,507-acre former cattle ranch more than four times the size of Zilker Park, will then be turned into a Travis County Park, according to a May 14th announcement.

The $90 million deal to purchase a privately-owned ranch in southwest Travis County was made possible by voters passing a bond proposition last November and landowners willing to sell at a discounted price.

George and Ronya Kozmetsky, who died in 2003 and 2011, respectively, purchased the ranch in 1970 and later transitioned it to natural land using forestry management practices under stewardship of the Texas Forest Service at Texas A&M University. The property was used as a recreational retreat by the family through the years and was later inherited by the couple's daughter Nadya Scott, son Gregory Kozmetsky, and their respective children.

Through the years, the Scott family said, developers have repeatedly offered to buy the land, which is bordered by State Highway 71 to the north and is along a popular route though the Hill Country just south of the West Cypress Hills neighborhood. The offers went as high as $130 million.

But members of the Scott family said they wanted the land to remain undeveloped to allow for wildlife conservation and the protection of the Trinity Aquifer that lies beneath it. So they're selling the land and development rights to Travis County for $90 million — about 30% below some of the offers they had seen.

A map shows the RGK Ranch property in relation to Milton Reimers Ranch Park and Hamilton Pool in western Travis County.

Courtesy Of Travis County Parks
Courtesy Of Travis County Parks

The Scott family said the long-term plan was intended to keep the land undeveloped, which is why they worked with the Nature Conservancy to get it turned into parkland.

The Scott family's decision to conserve the land by selling it to the county ensures that Kozmetsky's legacy of philanthropy will continue to live on.

 The park is expected to open to the public in late 2025.

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