County approves Eco-Tourism Center design concept

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Plans to construct a state-of-the-art ecotourism facility along Highway 100 took one step closer to reality after the Cameron County Commissioners’ Court approved design concepts Tuesday.

“The team has been working diligently throughout the course of the last few months of making visits to several cities where parks are located and meeting with different stakeholders,” County Administrator David Garcia explained to the Court. “We’ve also been working with the Town of Laguna Vista because as you know the property here is located within the Town of Laguna Vista,” he said.

Known as the South Texas Eco-Tourism Center, the proposed facility will eventually be built on a plot of land south of Highway 100 just outside of Laguna Vista. The Town owns the 23-acre plot of land, which abuts the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge’s (LANWR) Bahia Grande — a large wetland area.

Recently, the Town donated 10 acres at the site to Cameron County for the eco center’s construction.

The Center’s development was approved by voters in a 2016 venue tax election. Proceeds from hotel and motel tax collections will fund its construction, though County officials also indicated they will pursue additional funds via grants, as well.

County Commissioners awarded the architectural services bid to Megamorphosis, a Harlingen-based design firm. Representatives from the firm were on hand Tuesday morning to give the Court a first look at what they envision the facility will look like.

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