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

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance Board Members

Jon Cradit, President

Jon Cradit was raised in Martindale, running up and down the river and swimming in it at every chance. He grew up knowing how important the river is and learned how fragile the natural system that supports it is. As a kid, he enjoyed camping with the local scout troop and eventually became a scoutmaster and a committee chair. A graduate of Southwest Texas State with a degree in environmental management, he worked several years for Texas environmental regulatory agencies and then moved to the Edwards Aquifer Authority, where he conducted karst studies and groundwater flow research from Uvalde to Kyle. Jon earned a state license as a Professional Geoscientist and a Registered Sanitarian. His main pastime is caving. He’s a member of the state caving organization and a Fellow of the national caving association. He has caved throughout the US and Mexico, enjoying the karst systems from the inside. He and his wife, Lisa, were early members of SMGA and SMRF. Jon has served as a director of SMRF and currently works as part of SMGA’s Trail Crew.

Olivia Palomares, Vice President

Olivia Palomares was born and raised in Paris, Texas. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the School of Healthcare Administration at Texas State University. She began her career in the nonprofit sector working with vulnerable groups, which helped her understand that effective marketing is an invaluable tool. Knowing how to get the resources you need thanks to effective communication is invaluable. Since working at nonprofits, Olivia has taken on various marketing roles at startups and enjoy the value that the role provides to emerging brands. In her free time, Olivia enjoys spending time on the trails or in the river in San Marcos.

Melani Howard, Secretary

Melani Howard recently retired as the Habitat Conservation Plan Manager for the City of San Marcos and Texas State University. She began working for the City and University in 1996 after completing her Master’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology at Texas State University in 1998. During her career, she implemented multiple federal, state, and local programs throughout the watershed to protect endangered species habitat in the San Marcos River. The programs ranged from removing aquatic and terrestrial invasive species to community litter cleanups and restoration of degraded watersheds. She has lived in San Marcos for over 30 years and has two children, one grandchild, two dogs, and several cats. Melani thoroughly enjoys the natural areas that were acquired by the city through various partnerships and started volunteering for trail crew duties as soon as she retired.

Eric Weeks, Treasurer

Born and raised in Austin, Eric Weeks developed a passion for nature while spending time outdoors as a Boy Scout. He earned a Bachelor’s in Resource & Environmental Studies from Texas State University in 2014. During his last semester, he obtained a position leading the City of San Marcos’ Conservation Crew, mitigating impacts of river recreation. In 2015, Eric was promoted to Habitat Conservation Plan Specialist and later the Discovery Center Coordinator. Eric is passionate about environmental stewardship, particularly invasive plant management and native restoration. He leads monthly natural area volunteer workdays. In his free time, Eric enjoys hiking, gardening, and spending time with his wife and two dogs.

Alan Holzgrafe, Member

Alan Holzgrafe moved to San Marcos in 1984 from Wichita Falls to attend Southwest Texas State University. It was the start of a wonderful relationship with a very special city. It was also the beginning of lifelong friendships oriented around caving, paddling, and enjoying many of the area parks and green spaces. He spent free time caving with the campus caving club, paddling the San Marcos River, participating in river cleanups, and going on many campus Outdoor Center sponsored trips. He worked at the campus Aquatic Biology Department, at the U. S. Fish Hatchery on McCarty Lane, and at the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center. He graduated with an accounting degree in 1988. He sees himself more a biologist at heart than an accountant. Since the start of his career took him to Guam, his relationship with San Marcos became a distant one, but he visited every chance he got to pick up where he had left off. In 1995, he returned to Texas to continue and complete his career in San Antonio. Since last summer, he has been working with the SMGA trail crew. He remains eager to spend time and energy on continuing that wonderful relationship with San Marcos and the area that became so special to him in 1984.

Aspen Navarro, Member

Born and raised in Central Texas, Aspen Navarro was pulled to the outdoors through sports at a young age and never looked back. Starting in 2012, San Marcos became her home away from home when she began her college career at Texas State University. Aspen has earned a B.S. in Geography Resource and Environmental Studies, an M.S. in Sustainability Studies, and certifications in Geographic Information Science, Water Resources Policy, and Environmental Interpretation, all from Texas State University. In her current position at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, she serves as the Watershed Services Community Science Manager, where she manages the Texas Stream Team and other community Science initiatives. In her spare time, Aspen enjoys spoiling her pup, hiking, food, and traveling.

Ben Peck, Member

Ben Peck has been instrumental in SMGA’s fundraising efforts over the past year, helping the Board coordinate events and partnerships that raise funds to further our mission. He used to build custom bikes, is an expert welder, and is an enthusiastic member of the trail crew. He works with the SMGA trail crew as much as he can and loves the opportunity to share his excitement and respect for the outdoors.

Matt Lewis, Member

Matt Lewis moved to San Marcos from Houston at the age of 15. In 2003, he earned a degree in geography with an emphasis in urban and regional planning from Texas State University, and in 2011, he received his urban design certification and Congress of New Urbanism Accreditation (CNUa) at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Before launching Simplicity Design, Matt spent his public sector career, between 2004-2016, as the Director/ Assistant Director in three of the fastest-growing communities in the nation—Hutto, San Marcos, and Austin. Relevant experience includes leading Vision San Marcos: A River Runs Through Us, winner of the Central Texas APA Current Plan of the Year in 2013, which included extensive public outreach and written to be a concise strategic planning document created for everyday users; and directing the Heart of Hutto Old Town Master Plan & Smart Code, winner of the 2009 Envision Central Texas Community Stewardship Award honoring innovative projects helping to preserve and enhance our region’s quality of life, natural resources, and economic vitality. Through Simplicity Design, Matt is committed to preserving the natural environment by enhancing the design and quality of our built environment. Nationally recognized for his award-winning designs, he is considered an industry leader for his ability to establish a community vision through fun and innovative engagement and turn it into a fiscally sustainable reality. Matt spends his free time at the river, on the trails, and at the skatepark.

Greg Moore, Member

Greg grew up in Houston and developed a love of the outdoors when sailing with his dad and camping as a teen in the great parks of Texas. Greg got his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Baylor University, then spent 7 years in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine, where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine. He semi-retired in March 2021 and began working with the SMGA trail crew on Thursday mornings. He continues to work with Christus Hospice-San Marcos. Greg has lived in San Marcos since 1988. He enjoys the Hill Country and sees the need to preserve greenspace as this area’s population expands. He spends time working on his property with an eye toward improving it for local wildlife. He has served as a member of the City Airport Commission and the San Marcos Education Foundation, as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 112, and as a member of the board of the Upper San Marcos Watershed District and various church committees. He enjoys hiking, sailing, and backpacking. Now that they have time, he and his wife are exploring and hiking parks throughout Texas and the country.

Austin Bodin, Member

Austin Bodin is the GIS Administrator for the City of San Marcos with 11 years of experience in both the public and private sector. Born and raised in Edmond, OK, he attended the University of Oklahoma and Texas State University, earning a B.S. in Geography in 2010 and a Master of Applied Geography (M.A.Geo.) in 2021. After completing his undergrad, Austinworked in the oil business in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma as a GIS Analyst. In 2015, he moved back to San Marcos and took a job with the City of Austin, working in the Transportation Department and then in Watershed Protection, where he got some of his first exposure to water-related issues. In 2018 he took a job with the City of San Marcos as a GIS Analyst for the San Marcos Electric Utility and was then promoted to GIS Administrator of the Information Technology department in 2020. Austin first became involved with the EAA during graduate school. He conducted research using HCP data to investigate trends in the planting and removal of submerged aquatic vegetation in the San Marcos River. In addition to his work with the EAA, Austin is a member of the San Marcos River Foundation and the Texas Rivers Protection Association.

Mike Bira, Member

Michael R. Bira retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 in December 2020. Mike graduated from the University of Tampa with a BS degree in Marine Biology/Chemistry. He then earned his MS in Aquatic Biology/Limnology from Southwest Texas State University.

After college, Mike began his professional water career as an Aquatic Biologist/Field Investigator for the Texas Water Commission (now Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), performing inspections, sampling, and enforcement of domestic, municipal, industrial, and agricultural wastewater dischargers, investigating water quality complaints, and coordinating the Commission’s North Central Texas surface water monitoring program.

Mike’s tenure with USEPA as an Environmental Scientist started in 1988 at Region 6 in Dallas. As a Hazardous Waste Enforcement Coordinator, his duties included inspections of hazardous waste management facilities and coordination of Federal enforcement actions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In 1990 Bira gladly moved to the Water Quality Protection Division to be the the Clean Lakes Program Manager, and over the years worked in various programs including the Nonpoint Source Program, water quality standards, nutrient criteria development, and water quality outreach/education.

As Volunteer Water Monitoring Coordinator for the region, Mike has been actively involved with citizen science programs and assisting states and communities with addressing water quality problems through education and application of the watershed protection approach. He has helped conceptualize and develop citizen water quality monitoring programs in all EPA Region 6 states (TX, OK, LA, NM, and AR).

In his role as NPS Program Manager, duties included NPS Program development and management at federal, state, and regional levels, and assistance with federal financial support through state grants for watershed protection/management programs and projects, including citizen science.

Upon retirement, Mike moved to San Marcos, TX with his amazing wife, Kristi. He immensely enjoys fishing, hunting, and shooting, and fishing some more. He has always needed to be near or in water. When he was very young, his Mom worried that he might grow gills. In his 30’s he finally realized he could never actually be a fish, so he took up hunting. He eats a lot better now.

You are donating to : San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note
Simple Share Buttons