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

The Loop


SMGA News: May 2022

Naturescape Photo Competition
Have you taken photos in any of our natural areas? Do you have a shot you particularly like? If so, you’re invited to submit it to the Hill Country Photography Club’s annual Naturescape Competition. If your photo is selected to be in the exhibit, it will also be eligible for SMGA’s award for the Best Photo Taken in a Natural Area. And if you win, you’ll receive a prize of $75. To get more information, or to enter, click here. The deadline for submission is midnight
on Monday, June 27.

Photo Caption:
“Snowy Waxwings” by John Moore – Best Youth Photo, 2021

Students Rate Trail Difficulty
A group of Texas State University GIS students just completed a project for SMGA to rate the difficulty of trails in the Spring Lake and Purgatory Creek Natural Areas. SMGA members who assisted with the project were Joel Barks, Kenny Skrobanek, Ben Taylor, and Mark Taylor. The project will be covered in more detail in the June issue of The Loop.

Photo caption:
Eric Stewart, David Thomasson, Brenna Strawn Martin, and SMGA member Mark Taylor after the students’ presentation

Birding in Schulle Canyon

A large group of birders, first timers and experienced, gathered on a beautiful Spring morning in April to witness 27 different species of birds. The variety of wooded, open meadow and hillside yielded a variety of birds including sparrows, woodpeckers, kinglets, and gnatcatchers. The largest group was brown-headed cowbirds. But there were 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] for more information.

A complete list of the birds can be found at

Earth Day at the Meadows Center
A full team of volunteers represented SMGA at the Earth Day festivities at the Meadows Center. Helping out that day were Susan Hanson, Zane Horn, Lance Jones, Stephanie Langenkamp, Larry Mock, and Rachel Seets. Thanks to everyone who participated!

More News . . . in Pictures

Above right: Members Marieta Hutchison and Lance Jones staffing the SMGA table at the Discovery Center’s annual Native Plant Sale

Lower right: Last month, we said goodbye to board member Joel Barks and wife Barbara, who moved to Boston to be closer to family.

Above left: Susan Hanson giving a pitch for SMGA in April at the Chamber of Commerce monthly coffee

The SMGA board, along with former board members and other stakeholders, held a planning retreat in April at John Knox Ranch.
Jon Cradit with a bicycle rack he created, with help from others on the Trail Crew, out of discarded trail signs. You can check it out at the Lower Purgatory trailhead.

A Natural Area by Any Other Name
Should we call it the Buie Tract? Karst Corner? However we refer to it, the undeveloped acreage in the Franklin Square neighborhood at the north end of Bishop Street is about to become San Marcos’ seventh natural area.

It will also be getting a new name.

Plans are still in flux, but July 9 has tentatively been set for a fundraiser and celebration of the new natural area. The event will involve a collaboration with Roughhouse Brewery and will include an inaugural hike for SMGA members, neighborhood residents, and other guests. Stay tuned for more information!  

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