SMGA held a successful annual meeting at the Price Center on Saturday, January 21, 2012. The meeting was chock-full of inspiring success stories, thank-yous to our hard-working partners, and an overall celebratory sentiment for all that we have done, and aim to do, in the coming year.
After Maggie Hutchins, past president of SMGA, welcomed guests and introduced committee members, treasurer Charlie O’Neill explained SMGA’s financial situation and Lance Jones reported for the Stewardship Committee. This committee’s work is inspiring due to progress on the ground and dedicated volunteers that show up regularly to get their hands dirty. Over the years, volunteers have built 27 trails tracking 16.985 miles in our six parks! Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez delivered the report for the Outreach Committee, showcasing the events, written materials, and t-shirts that help spread the awareness of SMGA to the community. The Conservation Committee’s report was delivered by Sherwood Bishop, with a presentation showing new parkland dedication and future projects. Each committee’s efforts are unique and invaluable to achieving the mission for the organization.
Board president Todd Derkacz recognized donors and volunteers, including Jane Hughson for becoming a lifetime member and Steven Ramirez for leading fascinating birding hikes. He also thanked departing board members Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez and Ann Jensen. Ann Jensen served as a board member for six years and was a great influence on outreach materials for the organization. She was presented with a pen made from the wood of an oak tree that grew in Purgatory Creek Natural Area.
After the membership voted to approve new board members Mark Taylor and Steve Goodson (click to read more about Mark and Steve), Todd presented the Volunteer of the Year award to Kenny Skrobanek for his detailed and accurate maps of the parks and their trails. Kenny received a magnifying glass with a handle made from the same oak that grew in Purgatory Creek Natural Area. Never before have San Marcos’ natural areas been mapped so thoroughly.
|Maggie welcomes Scott Parker|
Guest speaker Scott Parker, senior program director of Trust for Public Land – Texas, then explained the recent acquisition of the 107-acre addition to the Purgatory Creek Natural Area. The land was selected based on the Greenprinting model that was developed by Envision Central Texas and CAPCOG. This tract is Phase 1, Part A of a plan to add three tracts to the Western edge of the existing 463 acre natural area. Phase 1, Part B is a 182 acre tract, projected for completion in 2013, to be followed by Phase 2, a 312 acre tract. By the end of the process, Purgatory Creek Natural Area will include 1065 acres of endangered species habitat over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. On conclusion of Scott’s presentation, Maggie presented him with SMGA’s Walking Stick Award in appreciation and recognition for his efforts in acquiring the additional Purgatory Creek Natural Area acreage.
Upon the close of the agenda, guests enjoyed refreshments donated by the Bluebonnet Lions Club, and reflected on the numerous achievements that were accomplished. The recap of a successful year will certainly get the association geared up for another to follow!
– by Mary Van Zant, Outreach Committee