Content & Context worked with design studio fd2s to create a program of interpretive exhibits for New Braunsfels Utilities’ Headwaters at the Comal project. The interpretative elements were part of a broader project undertaken by fd2s that also included wayfinding and donor recognition signage.

Celebrating Where it Begins

The Comal River is the heart and soul of New Braunsfels, Texas. Working with architecture firm Lake|Flato and Ten Eyck Landscape Architecture,  New Braunsfels Utilities rejuvenated 16 acres at the river’s headwaters and created a place where people can learn about the ecology and history of this important community resource.

The site, located on the banks of Comal Springs and Blieders Creek, had served as a city water source and utilities operations center since the early 1900s. Today, following an extensive ecological restoration, it is a community-oriented conference facility and interpretive center that highlights the hydrological, environmental, and cultural history of the region. The restoration of the site also serves as a real-life demonstration of sustainable practices for the local community and nation.

Through on-site research and interviews with the design team and NBU staff, we created a strategy and content for the facility’s program of interpretive exhibits. These exhibits focus on the themes of water conservation, water quality, species protection, and habitat restoration, inspiring visitors to explore ways that they can personally impact the region’s water supply and natural ecosystems.

The interpretive exhibits use specific site features such as runoff control swales, native plantings, and the springs themselves to introduce visitors to broader conservation concepts. The program also tells the story of the site’s history and restoration, offering details about the uncapping of the spring, for example, and detailing how this process benefits the species that live in the newly exposed water.

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