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Green


Sustainability at The Cedars Ranch

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

source: The World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987

Being eco-conscious, climate aware, and mindful in how we use our natural resources simply feels like the right thing to do here at The Cedars Ranch. Running our new Texas Hill Country wedding venue and wellness retreat in an eco-friendly and socially-responsible manner is a great opportunity for us to put our key values into practice. 

We are committed to best practice strategies within the key environmental areas of energy, water and materials, and are dedicated to sustainable stewardship of this precious 20 acres of Hill Country land. We are also committed to social sustainability by supporting our local community; providing a space for people to come and celebrate, learn, vision, heal, and grow; and creating an environment focused on wellness and inclusivity.

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Energy

Energy Efficient Design

Wanting both incredibly beautiful and sustainable design, owners Marilyn and Bill hired award-winning green architects, The Acre, to create the vision of an eco-friendly wedding venue and wellness retreat. The master plan has been organized such that our main building, the great hall, faces south in order to maximize passive solar gain, and to align with predominant wind patterns for passive cooling. The great hall is a beautiful modern event space, with open-air wall features allowing the structure to cool naturally, while helping guests feel immersed in the nature surrounding them.

Renewable Energy - Solar Power

Solar Photovoltaics (PV), is a low-carbon technology, harnessing renewable energy from the sun via the use of solar panels. This technology converts sunlight directly into electric power, without the climate change causing carbon emissions or resulting environmental degradation produced by non-renewable sources of energy. Our great hall's 30 degree pitched roof is designed to optimize the annual solar power harvest, as well as designed to showcase the renewable energy generation feature. The merging of both beautiful and sustainable design!

Our great hall's roof is sized in accord with the facility energy demands over the course of the year. While we do have the ability to generate the electric power we need by renewable means, we are also still connected to the electricity grid via our local energy provider Pedernales Electric Cooperative. With our grid-tied system, any excess energy that we generate via our solar panels can be sent to the grid, while our connection to the grid allows us to pull electricity from it if we have generation shortfalls. In this way, our campus will be “net zero energy”, meaning the total amount of energy used by the buildings on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. 

We received a grant from the USDA to cover part of the installation of our solar photovoltaic system. To find out more about available grants and incentives, visit our Green Resources webpage.

Water



Water Conscious Landscaping

Another key opportunity to operate sustainably and in balance with our environment, is in relation to water. We are committed to water conservation, particularly water conscious landscaping in this arid Texas climate. Read more in our "Ecosystem" section below, about how we worked with a permaculture team to develop a native and flourishing ecosystem on our ranch, which optimizes water conservation and increases biodiversity. 

Rainwater Harvesting

With water being such a precious natural resource, especially here in Texas, we’re maximizing our potential for rainwater harvesting. Our great hall collects rainwater for use onsite. Pictured above is our reception pavilion, which will be constructed in phase 2 of our project. The unique form of the reception pavilion’s butterfly roof is designed to optimize the capture of rainwater that will be stored on site and filtered into drinking water.

Materials

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle

Here are a few things we are doing to help reduce our impact on the earth’s natural resources, particularly in relation to minimizing waste: By living simply, we minimize the use of materials and energy; We reuse and re-purpose as much as we can; We compost onsite; We minimize printed promotional material for The Cedars Ranch, but if we do produce leaflets, brochures or business cards, they are printed on recycled paper; We separate and recycle all materials that we can’t otherwise use; We use eco-friendly cleaning products. Also, as part of our contract agreements with vendors, we insist that catering and clean up staff working at The Cedars Ranch segregate all waste streams, and recycle and compost onsite. 

Visit our Green Resources page for some tips on living in balance with our environment:

Green Resources

Ecosystem

Sustainable Landscaping - Permaculture

Permaculture is defined as “the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.” Here at The Cedars Ranch we are committed to water conscious landscaping and developing a native and flourishing ecosystem on our land. To help us achieve this aim, we worked with a permaculture team who helped us create a healthy and thriving garden and landscape in balance with nature. 

In order to maintain optimum soil moisture and biodiversity in this often arid landscape of the Texas Hill Country, berms and swales were constructed along designated contour lines on our land. Swales, essentially small ditches located along a slope, retain moisture on the land by capturing the run-off downslope. By planting fruit trees and native species on the berms (the raised part of the swale and berm system), we cultivate further soil richness and biodiversity.

Native Species

Planting and supporting native species at The Cedars Ranch is an important part of being good custodians of the land. Native plants provide the right food supply for beneficial insects, pollinators, butterflies and birds, and hence ensure a thriving natural ecosystem. These plant species have adapted to the ecological conditions of their region and therefore need less watering intervention. In Texas where droughts happen easily and where the summers are hot and dry, this means that native plants are better able to survive both the heat and the drier soil conditions.

The use of native plants also means a reduced need for pesticides and poisons because the plants are more adapted and able to resist attacks from local pests - both insect and disease. Since the plants have adapted to local soil conditions they also need fewer soil amendments. Bluebonnets, for example, Texas’ state flower, grow better in poor soil conditions.

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Green Vendors Collaborative

Being a new green wedding venue and wellness retreat in the Texas Hill Country, we are passionate about connecting and collaborating with like-minded wedding and event vendors in our area. As we continue to develop relationships with vendors and add to our Vendor List, we prioritize working with vendors that share a dedication to environmental principles (whether they use locally sourced materials, have good waste management policies, provide organic products etc.). 

We have created a Green Vendors Collaborative Facebook group to  bring together eco-minded vendors in the Texas Hill Country, Austin and San Antonio areas, that are demonstrating a commitment to sustainable practices. Let's get to know each other, support each other, and collaborate on a variety of future events! If you are a green vendor, join our group:

Green Vendors Collaborative FB Group

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Green Wedding Guide

It is estimated that each of the 2.5 million weddings that take place in the US every year, produces 62 tons of carbon dioxide (that’s more than a single person emits in a full year) and 400 – 600 pounds of garbage (source: Huffington Post, 2017). We’ve created a green wedding guide to help couples plan their eco-friendly celebration, and ensure that their dream wedding can also be a green wedding. To read more and download a free green wedding checklist, visit our our webpage:

Green Wedding Guide

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Are you looking for a unique Texas Hill Country venue to host your wedding, special event, or corporate or personal wellness retreat, that respects your values around environmentalism? 

REACH OUT TO US TODAY

Triple Bottom Line

Our business model here at The Cedars Ranch is based on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic, otherwise known as the "Triple Bottom Line."

"The Cedars Ranch provides a stellar natural setting, with inspiring modern architecture, creating physical and emotional space for celebration, personal growth and community building, while committed to environmental, social and economic sustainability." 

The Cedars Ranch Mission Statement

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"People" - Social Sustainability

The Cedars Ranch is about creating community, and providing a space for people to come and celebrate, learn, vision, heal, and grow. For individuals, it is a place to focus on well-being, to develop skills (whether personal or business), or just get away and relax in a supportive natural environment. As a couple, Bill and Marilyn value high participation in the community and The Cedars Ranch will participate in local community building events. The Cedars Ranch promotes inclusivity at all levels, and is LGBTQ-friendly.

"Planet" - Environmental Sustainability

At a recent World Economic Forum, leaders in business, government, academia, and civil society named climate change and water supply as two of the top five global risks facing companies today. 

"Companies who get a handle on environmental risks can talk about sustainability as a means of cutting costs and driving profits. In doing so, they protect their bottom lines—and the planet—for current and future generations." 

source: World Resources Institute, 2013

Being eco-conscious, climate responsible, and efficient in how we use natural resources is a central value for us, is crucial for the continued thriving of our species, and makes great business sense too. The Cedars Ranch runs on renewable energy in the form of solar power. It is a net-zero campus, meaning the total amount of energy used from the grid by the campus on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created. Solar Photovoltaics (PV), is a low-carbon technology which provides The Cedars Ranch with it's own source of clean and reliable energy, with minimum environmental impact. 

"Two million additional residents (to the Texas Hill Country) pose a real threat to the region’s most essential and valuable resource, water, which sustains all life and environmental characteristics of the Hill Country."

source: The University of Texas, Community and Regional Planning, 2015

At The Cedars Ranch we implement best practice in relation to water management by harvesting our own rainwater on-site, landscaping in a water conscious manner, and developing a native and flourishing ecosystem that retains on-site water and assists in aquifer maintenance. 

"Prosperity" - Economic Sustainability

The Cedars Ranch is an economically sustainable and viable business, growing from strength to strength each year. We are answering a large market demand for wedding venues and retreat spaces in the Texas Hill Country, while offering something unique in terms of our beautiful contemporary architecture and ecological focus.

The success of The Cedars Ranch generates employment, promotes local businesses and boosts the local economy in the Wimberley and surrounding area. Our events draw from the rich resources in the local area for speakers, wellness professionals and vendor services, creating a win-win scenario for everyone.

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Are you looking for a beautiful green venue to host your wedding, special event, or corporate or personal wellness retreat

Reach out to us today: