SMGA News: April 2022
SMGA OFFICERS ELECTED
Congratulations to SMGA’s newly elected officers:
Vice President—Jon Cradit
MARK TAYLOR HONORED
Congratulations also to former SMGA president Mark Taylor, who recently received the 2021 Texas State Geography Department’s Outstanding Service from a Non-governmental Organization award.
This award recognizes non-governmental agencies and employees of these agencies who have supported the department’s programs and students. These agencies and their employees provide tours of their facilities, in-class presentations, and internships. The Geography Department considers the support of non-governmental agencies in sharing their information, providing real world experiences, and demonstrations on how the geographer’s craft is practiced as essential for the success of its programs and students.
Mark was recognized specifically for his work with Professor Yihong Yuan’s GIS class.
RODRIGUEZ ELEMENTARY 5th GRADERS EXPLORE SPRING LAKE
Coach Tiffany Lopez and her 5th graders met up with SMGA recently to hike the Spring Lake Natural Area. The outdoor classroom offered close-up lessons on how the aquifer works, trail safety, and the importance of taking care of our Natural Areas. SMGA Team Flora’s Lance Jones and Melissa Katz shared how SMGA not only manages invasive removals but also harvests and plants native seeds. The students were wonderful and had great questions and insight into keeping balance in the fragile ecosystems and their role in Leave No Trace. Thank you, Coach Lopez and 5th graders for the fun day!
INVASIVE REMOVAL IN PROSPECT PARK
RODRIGUEZ ELEMENTRY 5th GRADERS EXPLORE UPPER PURGATORY
Rodriguez Elementary Coach Tiffany Lopez and her 4th grade students recently joined SMGA to hit the trails at Upper Purgatory. It was a fun, hands-on way to study math, science, and geography. Coach Lopez and her students used mental math to monitor their heart rates before and after heavy exercise.
SMGA Outreach members Rachel Seets and Monique Tschurr led students on trail safety, Leave No Trace, animal habitats and recharging the aquifer.
Thanks to Tiffany Lopez for organizing this outing for the children to explore our Natural Areas on this beautiful day!
(right: Students exploring a karst feature)
TRAIL CREW THURSDAY AT KARST CORNER
The crew took time to do some training a few weeks ago to reinforce proper trail techniques. This included lopping overhead branches and, if it’s oak, spraying to prevent oak wilt; protecting an exposed tree root running across the trail; and cutting small trees at the proper height to allow for grubbing.
The second trail at Karst Corner (Buie Tract) is taking a little longer due to more (typical) obstructions to making a safe trail.
DISCOVERY CENTER PLANT SALE
SMGA was well represented at the Spring Discovery Center Plant Sale. A number of people stopped by the table to learn about the organization and the trails, or to inquire about volunteering or renewing their membership. Upcoming opportunities to represent SMGA include the Meadows Center Earth Day celebration on April 23. To volunteer, contact Outreach Committee chair Susan Hanson.
(left) Volunteers Marieta Hutchison and Lance Jones at the SMGA table
BIRDING IN SCHULLE CANYON
A large group of birders, first timers and experienced, gathered on a beautiful April morning to witness 27 different species of birds. The variety of wooded, open meadow and hillside yielded a variety of birds from sparrows, woodpeckers, kinglets and gnatcatchers. The largest group was brown-headed cowbirds, but there was also a hummingbird and an osprey flying overhead.
The monthly walks take place around San Marcos on the first Saturday of each month. Contact [email protected]
Thank you to Lance Jones and Monique Tschurr for contributing to this update.