San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance •  107 E. Hopkins St. Suite 121A; San Marcos, Texas 78666

The Loop


And the Winners Are…

Hiking Stick Award

Liz Sumter honored for conservation work

Each year at our annual meeting we honor someone who has helped us achieve our conservation, stewardship and recreation goals. It takes leadership and courage to insist that we assign the attention and resources necessary to preserve our most valuable living landscapes. Former County Judge Liz Sumter is such a leader.

  • Liz led the support and funding for our Hays County Greenprint for Growth in collaboration with Envision Central Texas, Trust for Public Lands, and surrounding counties;
  • She placed a parks and open space bond vote on the 2007 ballot worth $30 million.
  • She has been a leader in watershed protection issues ranging from water conservation measures in support of rainwater collection to support of funding the Watershed protection planning process for the upper San Marcos River;
  • She supported the funding of the expansion and development of parks at Five-Mile Dam and the new nature center at Purgatory Creek Natural Area;
  • She supported the recent court vote to apply an additional $800,000 to expand Upper Purgatory as part of a Trust for Public Lands project.

This list does not include the many other actions, statements, behind the scenes phone calls and meetings that have furthered the legacy of mixing our valuable, beautiful natural landscape with developed areas where we live, learn, work and play. Thanks to Liz Sumter for her leadership and hard work.

Volunteer of the Year
Each year we also honor an SMGA volunteer for long hours of hard work, helping us overcome a challenge, or completing a noteworthy project. This year our award is given to someone who can claim achievement by each of those measures.

Sheila Torres-Blank volunteer of the year

The many miles of trail carved by SMGA have a kind of signature of someone who has had a hand in just about every inch. She has scouted and re-scouted, brushed out and polished and tested and commented on all of it. She has been in the trenches since SMGA started making wilderness trails. She helped bring in Troy Parker, the guy who literally wrote the book on trails, and the Trail Crew with the International Mountain Biking Association to San Marcos to train our crew. But Sheila know about more than trails: She served three terms on our board of directors and she continues to serve the San Marcos citizens as a member of the San Marcos Parks Advisory Board.

It was a hands-up unanimous vote by everyone we asked that this year’s recipient for volunteer of the year award should go to Sheila Torres-Blank.

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