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Our Mission

Spring Lake Hall


Inspiring research and leadership that ensures clean, abundant water for the environment and all humanity.


A world where all people understand and embrace the value of water and environmental stewardship.

Our Four Pillars

The Meadows Center fulfills its mission by integrating activities across four pillars of action in powerful ways. Our work in each of these pillars begins at Spring Lake – one of the largest artesian springs in the world – and ripples outward across Texas and beyond.

Research: Conducting Solutions-Focused Research

Faculty, staff, and students at the Meadows Center conduct applied research to address real-world problems. Our researchers provide multi-disciplinary expertise to advance science-based solutions for the most pressing water resource challenges facing Texas and the world beyond.

The Meadows Center's location on historic Spring Lake provides a living laboratory where researchers promote sustainable management of water systems and seek to increase the understanding of complex water and natural resource topics. The Meadows Center actively works to communicate research to wide audiences to inform decision-making and inspire stewardship practices.


Education: Encouraging life-long learning

The Meadows Center's educational programs encourage life-long learning about the environment—and people’s relationship to the environment. The multitude of activities offered at Spring Lake, including recreational opportunities, connect children and their families to nature and engage new stakeholders in water and environmental stewardship. We provide hands-on opportunities for Texas State University students, inspiring future careers and studies in natural resource related fields.

The Meadows Center also publishes numerous books and educational materials that serve as trusted sources of information on water and environmental topics. One of the Meadows Center’s greatest responsibilities is preparing the next generation of conservation leaders. 


Stewardship: Cultivating a stewardship ethic

One of the greatest privileges of the Meadows Center is the stewardship and management of Spring Lake and its habitat, endangered species, and cultural resources. The Meadows Center is active in the San Marcos community and beyond and strives to strengthen those ties by connecting stewardship of water and natural resources to quality of life. The Meadows Center cultivates a stewardship ethic and practice through the community-driven management of Spring Lake as well as local watershed activities across Texas.


Leadership: Transforming Knowledge into Action

The Meadows Center is a leader in water and environment management and policy topics in Texas, the U.S. and internationally. The Meadows Center supports responsible natural resource and water policy in Texas and convenes stakeholders to address critical water and natural resource concerns and the grand challenges that we will face in the decades to come. Staff share the Meadows Center culture of service with communities and organizations and often serve in voluntary leadership roles in diverse contexts. The Meadows Center also lends its expertise to build the capacity of local communities so that they can protect and manage their own water and natural resources.