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

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance Board Members

Sherwood Bishop

Sherwood Bishop was one of the founders of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance in 1998 and is currently serving as its President.

He has chaired the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Board, the San Marcos Planning & Zoning Commission, and served on the boards of numerous other organizations.

He recently retired after decades of teaching economics to sleepy students at Texas State University.

Sherwood was the national winner of the 2020 Cox Conserves Heroes Award (, given by the James M. Cox Foundation and The Trust for Public Land.

Diane Phalen
Vice President

Diane was born and raised in Sioux Falls, S. Dakota. She earned her Chemistry degree at the University of Florida and her degree in Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco. She did her residency at UT San Antonio and decided to hang her shingle in San Marcos.

She has lived in San Marcos for 33 years. She’s been running on the trails for most of her time here and now enjoys mountain biking as well. She is a member of the Trail Crew and loves seeing a trail built from start to finish.

Diane is Chair of the San Marcos Parks Board and acts as a liaison between SMGA and the City. Developing a strong relationship with the Parks Department is critical to building and maintaining our trails, conserving land and promoting all the benefits the Natural Areas provide.

Paul Murray

Since coming to San Marcos in 2001, Paul has been involved with the Council of Neighborhood Associations, the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Upper San Marcos River Watershed Initiative. He is most proud of being a Trail Crew regular.

Joel Barks

Joel was born in Lubbock, has lived in 8 states, then moved back to Texas prior to retirement in 2013. After traveling by air for the last few years engaged in pharmacy consulting, a change to traveling on foot on trails just seemed much more enjoyable. After meeting some of the SMGA Trail Crew members in a local coffee shop, a new wardrobe and some work gloves was in order. Participating in SMGA trail work regularly and also with the Central Texas Trail Tamers in some more remote work sites has led to many pairs of gloves and some “rocky times”. These two groups have been the basis for a very enjoyable post retirement life along with traveling to New England to see kids and grandchildren. Joel now serves on the Board and is part of the Stewardship Committee and Trail Crew.

Jon Cradit

Jon Cradit was raised in Martindale, running up and down the river and swimming in it with 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 in 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.

Susan Hanson

A native Texan, Susan moved to San Marcos 50 years ago to begin her junior year at Southwest Texas State University, where she earned both her B.A. and M.A. in English. With her husband, Larry, she has a grown daughter, son-in-law, and five-year-old granddaughter, who live in Austin.

In addition to teaching English at Texas State for nearly 40 years, Susan worked for 20 years as a newspaper journalist in San Marcos—primarily at The Daily Record, and later at The Chautauquan—and served as lay chaplain for the Episcopal campus ministry (and later with the joint Episcopal-Lutheran ministry) at Texas State from Jan. 1995 to Aug. 2007. She has been retired since the end of 2017.

Susan’s favorite pastimes are snorkeling and canoeing, watching and photographing birds and other wildlife, gardening with native plants, traveling, playing 12-string guitar, reading mysteries, and spending entirely too much time on the computer. Susan is the author of Icons of Loss and Grace: Moments from the Natural World (Texas Tech UP) and co-editor of What Wildness Is This: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press). Her work has been anthologized in Getting Over the Color Green (University of Arizona Press), Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark (University of Nevada Press), and To Everything on Earth (Texas Tech UP). She has critical essays in Seeds of Change: Critical Essays on Barbara Kingsolver and Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley. Her work has also appeared in numerous publications, such as ISLE, Southwestern American Literature, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Northern Lights, and EarthSpirit.

Scott Henize

Scott was born and raised in Florida where he grew to love the ocean, classic rock and blended cultures. After college in North Carolina, he served in the Peace Corps for 2‑1/2 years in the Pacific Islands of Micronesia where he learned to love the simple life, gracious people and fishing. He has lived in San Marcos for the last 30 years, getting his graduate degree at SWTSU as a licensed professional counselor.
Scott has worked on the Trail Crew for 7 years and is presently Chair of the Stewardship Committee. He was instrumental in getting the crew our first work truck as well as other machinery and often leads the crew on their weekly workday.

“Being in nature is where I find my solace and sanctuary. We are so lucky to have so many great trails in our neck of the woods…. Life is good! ”

Anna Huff

As Communications Manager for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, Anna Huff is both passionate in her public relations practice and committed to inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Relations from Texas State University in 2015. She has served as a Board member and a member of the Outreach Committee for SMGA since 2016, where she helps raise awareness about the important work SMGA does to keep greenways and trails accessible to the San Marcos community.

Jason Julian

Dr. Jason Julian is an Environmental Geographer and Professor at Texas State University, where he teaches and conducts research on nature-society relationships, water resources, and protected places. Many of his research projects, which are published in books and scientific journals, are conducted in the parks and natural areas of San Marcos and around Texas. The findings from this research helps us manage our parks and natural areas. For example, by showing that Purgatory Creek Natural Area receives about 100,000 visits per year, we are now able to obtain more funding and resources to take better care of this valuable asset to the community. Current projects include (1) working with other professors and students at Texas State to determine the sustainable carrying capacity of the San Marcos River, and (2) writing an environmental history book on Texas State Parks to celebrate their upcoming centennial in 2023. In addition to being on the Executive Board of SMGA, Dr. Julian also serves on the Conservation Committee where he helps identify and research future protected places for San Marcos.

Andrew Nance

Andy Nance is proud to have served on the SMGA Board for the past three years and is looking forward to a second upcoming term. Andy completed his Masters of Architecture in 1996, graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington. His interest in architectural ideas and forms prompted him to travel extensively throughout Europe and the United States, visiting many of the great buildings of the world.

After graduating he moved to New York City and worked for Skidmore Owings and Merrill on large-scale international projects. His experience in the city has been an invaluable resource for architectural ideas and strategies. Following New York, Andrew moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he was an integral part of a design build firm, broadening his skill set managing construction projects.

In 2002 he returned to Texas and began teaching along with practicing architecture. He has taught at the University of Colorado, the University of Texas at Arlington, San Antonio College, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and at Texas State University (interior design), and continues to work on a variety of project types.

Andy moved to San Marcos in 2003 with his wife, Michelle, who teaches at Texas State, and was instantly drawn to the newly developing greenbelt spaces around the city. He is currently the chair of the Conservation Committee, which works with the COSM, land owners and regional conservation partners to identify possible new and existing real estate to better connect our green spaces. Though he is an architect and builder by trade, he really loves connecting with nature on our trails.

Eric Weeks

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 degree in Resource & Environmental Studies from Texas State University in the spring of 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.

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