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From The Chair - August 2021

Published Wednesday, August 11, 2021 4:00pm

Keeping our New Braunfelsness During Growth​

Chair of the Board Nathan Manlove

GROWTH. We all know New Braunfels is growing. We all know growth brings opportunities and challenges. We all know New Braunfels will continue to grow. So what do we do about it?

I propose we all work to maintain our New Braunfelsness through growth. But, what is “New Braunfelsness”?

Here, we have two crystal-clear rivers, an awesome, thriving downtown, beautiful parks, the legendary Gruene, many, many world-class attractions, and tons of “the oldest _____ in Texas” locations. Those things are awesome and make New Braunfels an outstanding place to live, work, and play. However, to me, the essence of New Braunfelsness is the people who love the city. 

My wife and I moved here in early 2002 and I quickly realized people I met had a fierce love for their town. That is, if you said one bad thing about New Braunfels you’d likely get punched in the eye or, worse yet, cussed at in German. These New Braunfelsers believed their town was the best place in the world and dared you to say otherwise. Then they worked together to honor the city’s past and guide its future – and they still do. I instantly loved that. In fact, I joined the group. 

I believe this town is special. Its people are gracious and welcoming. Its history is alive and well. Its culture is one of hard work, togetherness, and loyalty to community. 

But we’re growing so fast! All these people are moving here! Yep. 

Note that earlier I said “we all” should work to maintain our New Braunfelsness. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and complain about how our town is changing. It’s easy to say “somebody needs to keep New Braunfels New Braunfels”. It’s easy to assume somebody’s already working on culture and heritage preservation. It’s easy to watch TV at night rather than volunteer on a committee. 

I get it. It’s NOT easy to donate time and money to our community. However, if you’re reading this it’s up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to all of us, right now, to decide that in 10 years, New Braunfels is still going to be the special, amazing community it is today. And then work together to honor the city’s past and guide its future. 

To my knowledge, there’s not a group here called the “Maintenance of the Culture and Identity of New Braunfels During Growth Committee”. However, there ARE a million committees at the Chamber, the City of New Braunfels, and elsewhere that work on preserving the culture and heritage of our amazing town. A great start would be visiting There you can learn about the values and culture of our community’s founders – which we still maintain today. Then, get involved! Call the Chamber at 830-625-2385 and they’ll suggest committees or organizations.

Will you step up to ensure future generations get to enjoy the same wonderful community you do?

Nathan Manlove

2021 Chamber Chair of the Board