for San Marcos
We envision a network of greenways and trails that connect the places
where we live, work, learn and play. Our greenbelt uses land that is
often ignored and neglected and takes advantage of existing parks and
sidewalks. It offers an inviting and easy way to move throughout our
community as a pedestrian or cyclist experiencing our natural
landscape and heritage along the way. It helps to protect creeks and
rivers, our water supply, and habitat for native plants and animals.
It reduces the impact of severe flooding and offers many other health
and safety benefits.
Threading natural corridors, sometimes narrow, sometimes wide, through
our built environment improves the real value of our homes and
businesses by adding a look and feel to our city that attracts
visitors and keeps its residents. We see healthier people enjoying a
healthier economy as San Marcos grows.
Those who came before us will be honored and those who come after us
will be grateful if we protect and cherish the landscape that allows
us all to live healthier, happier, more prosperous lives.
Who We Are
What We Do
Who We Are
San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is working to protect the quality
of life for the people of San Marcos through the creation
of interconnected parks and natural areas. Today, in the midst
of unprecedented growth throughout Central Texas, SMGA is
dedicated to ensuring that along with development, we take
care to protect natural areas for ourselves, our children,
and our future.
is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), all volunteer organization that
survives on the membership dues, donations, grants, perspiration,
brains and brawn of people who understand the value of the
Since 1998 we have been working hard with developers, the City of San
Marcos, Hays County, and other local, state, and national entities to
secure natural areas, promote stewardship, and provide low impact
access. We are not opposed to development; we simply consider natural
areas to be part of high quality development patterns, the necessary
infrastructure, that can connect people with parks and greenspace for
the benefit of all.
All the while we celebrate the greenspaces and encourage others to do
so with us or in their own way. We help create access and connect
these beautiful, valuable places with trails. If you enjoy the natural
world, we would love to have you join us.
Protect and conserve greenspace by working
Maintain the health of greenspaces through
Promote awareness and understanding of
the value of protecting and connecting greenspace.
- Advocate for and participate in efforts to expand Purgatory Creek Natural area, with 200 acres added in 2014.
- Solidified inclusion of greenways master plan in the city’s comprehensive master plan.
- Interact with local developers to help
them understand options for including greenspace set asides
in various development projects.
- Advocated for an update to the San Marcos
Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, conducted
in 2008 by Land Design Partners.
- Worked alongside other Hays County conservation
groups to form a PAC and successfully campaign for a $30
million bond on the May 2007 ballot.
- Led campaign to get voter approval of the
first open space proposition in San Marcos history through
our spin-off PAC, Yes Prop One. The citizens approved a
$2 million bond in 2005 for 250 acres.
- Advocated and campaigned for the first
Hays County parks bond ever on the ballot. The bond passed
in 1999 with 69% voter approval.
- Advocated for and participated in the San
Marcos Greenspace Planning Committee composed of city, county,
and community representatives to develop the Project Selection
Criteria and Checklist, which is now part of the Parks Master
- Provide a high level of participation to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and meet quarterly with Parks and Recreation staff.
- Developed a Trail Rx program that was officially adopted by the Healthy Cities Task Force and renamed Fitscription.
- Partner with Texas State University each
year to plan projects and lead work teams of citizens and
students during Bobcat Build.
- Design and lead volunteers in building
and maintaining hiking and mountain biking trails in Ringtail
Ridge, Blanco Shoals, Schulle Canyon, Prospect Park, and
Lower and Upper Purgatory.
- Conducted a feasibility analysis and collected
data for a greenway / trail corridor between Purgatory Creek
Park and the San Marcos River, with a possible connection
to Willow Creek. The corridor would serve as a bicycle,
pedestrian, and natural connection between established neighborhoods
and the San Marcos River and Purgatory Creek, two of the
most significant natural features of San Marcos.
- Consulted on design and layout of accessible
trails and other amenities in Schulle Canyon, Prospect Park
/ Lower Purgatory, and Ringtail Ridge. Assisted in securing
grants to fund these projects.
- Assisted Texas State University departments
of geography (GIS-GPS) and biology (wildlife management)
with setting up a continuous program of habitat assessment
in selected portions of Spring Lake Preserve to observe
changes over the coming years.
Outreach / Education
- Public relations efforts result in articles that feature SMGA and local trails in several state and local periodicals.
- Provide presentations on the importance
of open space preservation around the city.
- Sponsor monthly hikes in public and private
natural areas in and around San Marcos with hundreds of
- Assist scouting and campfire organizations
in developing projects for rank and merit.
- Provided trail shaping, safety, and general
work guidance and training for leaders and teenagers from
the Hays County Juvenile Justice Center, who began regular
self-guided workdays in our natural areas.
- Produce quality trail/visitor maps of San
Marcos natural areas.
Board Members, 2015-2016
Mark Taylor, President
Bill Adams, Vice President
Sherwood Bishop, Treasurer
Lance Jones, Secretary
Melissa Nicewarner Daly