Fredericksburg SHINES

Leading the Way in Sustainability

Green Home Tour

The historic Van der Stucken home on Austin Street offers green home features used by our early settlers.

The historic Van der Stucken home on Austin Street offers green home features used by our early settlers.


Fredericksburg SHINES hosts an annual tour of sustainable homes.  Our next Green Home Tour is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

FBG SHINES is excited to feature on our Green Home Tour, historic homes built with local materials and newer homes with active green design features. Some have solar panels that supply 70% of the electrical needs of a home. Seven homes and a business, Tubby’s Restaurant, will be showcased this year.

This year’s the tour will be paired with the city’s Green Solutions Expo in Marktplatz, and will begin at the Van der Stucken’s original home on W. Austin, with a focus on passive design as practiced by the early settlers of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County. Passive design building techniques include orientation of structures to catch the prevailing cool winds for optimum solar gain in winter and the opposite in summer.

Water conservation, so important to the early settlers and to us now, will be featured at several homes as rainwater catchment and drip irrigation systems.

In addition the tour also features, Xeriscaping and historic sustainable gardening techniques, organic gardening, herb gardening, smart siding, reuse of materials, and recycling. Electric cars will also be shown at some locations.

Along with the homes, Hill Country Memorial Hospital is showcasing their 100% recycling program. Tubby’s Restaurant will feature rainwater collection, recycling of a home into a business, and recycling bins for the waste collection. Xeriscaping is also displayed in a very pleasant setting for relaxed dining.

Pairing with the Green Solutions Expo on Historic Marktplatz (Market Square), the Expo is April 16, 9-4 pm and features speakers, music by The Four Proches and also by Josh Dodds, and exhibits promoting green solutions or sustainable living/design. It’s all about our health and the health of our planet. We hope you come out and enjoy the day. We thank our homeowners, businesses, partners and sponsors for their participation.

Home tour tickets will cost $20.00 and will include a full color tour booklet/ticket and a map. Booklets will be available at Marktplatz on tour day, and at the following locations a week before the tour: Judy’s Liquor, Ace Hardware, Pro Build, and The Peach Basket.

Texas Public Radio (TPR), one of the sponsors, will host a cocktail party following the tour. This party is for TPR members, homeowners, and tour docents. If you would like to volunteer as a docent, contact Karen Vanek at 713-962-4037.

The sooner you get your ticket/booklet, the better you can map out your green tour route. We do advise not touring the homes in order, but picking the ones that showcase the features that most interest you. You will learn so much from the homeowners and the Green Expo Speakers and sponsors at Marktplatz. Come tour with us on April 16.

Last year’s Green Home Tour

download (12)

Photo courtesy of White Oak Photography

Response from our 2015 Green Home Tour had this article in our local paper in a Letter to the Editor:

“Last weekend, my husband and I went again to the other home tour-no Christmas decorations here-with lots of interesting features helping the environment.  Some of the houses were in or close to town, others a few miles further out, but well worth the trip…All these homes have rainwater collections systems, from small storage units to large underground cisterns for household use and yard water.  Some properties feature solar panels for water heaters, pool pumps and electric cars.  And most all homes showcase low water plants and xeriscaping in their gardens.  These are beautifully landscaped and a far cry from some very oversized lawns in town that use more water within the allotted weekly hours than the rest of a whole city block.  That’s sad, since we all draw from the same aquifer…Hopefully, this Green Home Tour will expand and thank you to all the participants.”

This is what one attendee from our 2013 Green Home Tour had to say in our local paper in a Letter to the Editor:

The Fredericksburg SHINES Sustainability Home Tour…was wonderful. Lots of ideas for improving one’s home and providing long-term benefits to our community and earth. The gardens were especially interesting with xeriscaping plantings and plants of all varieties, even olive trees. Thank you to all who allowed us to visit your homes and gardens.”

Color logo (large)

Our non-profit, 501(c)3 organization is currently accepting corporate sponsorships for 2016 Green Home Tour. For the 2015 Green Home Tour, 26 companies were sponsors.  Interested? Click here for details. Proceeds from ticket sales will help Fredericksburg SHINES continue to position Fredericksburg as the sustainability capital of Texas by staging more community educational events and offering consulting for those interested in sustainable living. For additional event information, contact us.

Fbg shines Green Home Tour 2014 003

One of our homeowners talking about his home charging station for electric vehicles. His home will be featured on 2015 Green Home Tour.

A team of volunteers is now meeting to plan/organize for our Fall 2016 Green Home Tour.  Volunteer with us and join the effort to make our home tour better than ever.  Or, serve as one of our enthusiastic docents.  Click here to indicate your interest, then  contact  us  and let us know you filled out the survey so we can respond to your interest promptly.