Meet the Trail Crew: Tristan Rawlings
Tristan, how did you get involved with SMGA and the Trail Crew?
I got involved with SMGA and the Trail Crew after I started using all of the trails in San Marcos. I grew up in the country and always loved being outside so I would find myself going hiking and enjoying the trails several times a week my freshman year of college at Texas State. San Marcos is a big city to me so being able to get out in nature away from all the noise and people is very refreshing. I went one morning after signing up online and met everyone on the Trail Crew and now it has become something that I look forward to doing every week. I love being able to be a part of something that so many people in the community enjoy. All of the Trail Crew members are so knowledgeable about the outdoors, conservation, and all things hiking. It really is inspiring to see a group of people so dedicated to conservation in San Marcos. I have learned so much from everyone and look forward in taking part for years to come!
I understand you’re quite the table tennis player and this introduced you to an exciting new culture. Can you tell me about this?
I grew up playing table tennis with my father and fell in love with the sport. Because of this I met several Chinese friends and starting learning the language and culture of China. I have been learning Mandarin Chinese for several years now and have spent the last few summers traveling and going to school in China. I have been lucky enough to be able to go a do some hiking in China as well. Last summer I studied in Bejing for a semester and then was able to go on a two week hiking trip in a southern part of China! I am planning on returning next summer and I am taking Chinese classes at Texas State in the meantime.
You are a bee keeper. What got you interested in this and can you say a few words about the risk of colony collapse?
I started beekeeping when I was 16 years old. My father and I were hunting for dove and we didn’t notice a feral beehive a few feet behind us. The angry bees chased us for several miles and my father even had to go to the emergency room with 100+ stings. After this I became interested in honeybees and bought my first beehives. As of now I own and operate Red’s BeeWorks LLC. I currently manage around 50 hives and provide live honeybee relocation, honey, and beeswax candles to my community. Honeybees have had a rough time recently and I believe the plight of the honeybee is man made. Colony collapse disorder is a real threat to honeybees because we don’t know exactly what causes it. Beekeepers find abandoned hives every year without a clue of what happened to the bees. I believe the root of the problem lies in harmful pesticides and herbicides. Something needs to change soon because honeybees are extremely important to the natural world and provide pollination for much of the food that we eat. Save the bees!