350 and Upper Purgatory Workday - Thank You!

On 24 October, people around the world held a day of environmental action "to call for action on the climate crisis" as part of 350.org. Here in San Marcos, the NAEP (National Association of Environmental Professionals) chapter at Texas State, SMGA, and others did their part by cleaning up the last bits of ranch junk in Upper Purgatory that Bobcat Build was unable to complete. Thanks to everyone that helped with this project!

Meeting Cancellation & Address Correction

November 17 San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting - CANCELLED

Grant Harris Building, 5:30 pm

November 17 Hays County Strategic Plan Public Input

The on-line survey has closed, but you can still voice your input on on the first Hays County Strategic Plan on November 17 at the San Marcos Police Dept. 6:30 p.m. Read an earlier article for more information.

The public is invited to discuss their concerns and ideas from 6:30 to 9 p.m.:
November 17 at the San Marcos Police Department, 630 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos CORRECTION: address for the PD is 2300 S IH35

Hays County Greenprint Is Here!

You've read alot about the Greenprint in our newsletters. The Hays County Greenprint is finally here! This interactive map (aka fun!) helps us identify and thus hopefully preserve our natural heritage, natural resources, conservation priorities, and much more. So get in and play around, recognize and appreciate all of the high priority areas in and around San Marcos, and help us at SMGA put this Greenprint into action.

Hays County Greenprint Brochure

Greenprint Interactive Map

Greenprint Report, Brochures, Map, Data

Your Values Could Add Value to Our Little Village

A call to the City Clerks office regarding the deadline for signing up for boards and commissions prompted one of the staff to say, "The mayor hasn't decided yet but right now the deadline is December 7th."

This leaves a reasonable amount of time to think about signing up for the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board or the Planning and Zoning Commission or perhaps the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board.  Each of these able bodies has an influence on the acquisition, use, and care of open spaces in our area. There are others with impact on conservation land and that may suit you better so consider going to the City Clerks web page for boards and commissions and check out their pamphlet.

Why should you step forward?  Because if you are reading this you have the values that our city desperately needs to be expressed in the conduct of governance. We need you. If not you, who? And a surprising discovery for most who step forward is that it feels good to contribute to our little village.

Most meetings involve a review of the agenda in advance, listening carefully to presentations and input from various interests, and deliberation with fellow members. It is not that difficult, and it is worth it.  If you decide to sign up please contact us, and we will help you with the process.

Trail Work at Ringtail Ridge

All that great rain following two years of drought meant a lot of work on all our trails. Ringtail Ridge benefited from the rain but suffered the loss of several hackberry trees at the entrance to the trail due to the drought.

Thursday morning regulars tackled several problem areas over the last couple weeks.  Weed-eating to open up the trails was necessitated by all the rain.  Johnson grass and horseherb especially benefited from the copious rainfalls.

Several hackberry trees were taken out by a crew of four as they chainsawed their removal.  The danger of falling limbs from these dead trees onto the trail determined their fate.  Plans are being made to
replace this scrub tree with something more appropriate to the landscape.  Restoration of the greenspaces is a continuing project of SMGA as reclamation from ranch land to aquifer-friendly and recreational use are key goals of the organization.

November 12th saw 11 members of the crew tackle several projects in a short time span.  While four crew members chainsawed the dead hackberry trees, two others worked at making fairways of the trails that were overgrown.

Another group of trail workers removed nailed boards in a legacy oak.  The damage done to the decades-old live oak remain to be seen at a time when the Hill Country suffers from oak wilt.  The disease is spread by nitidulid beetles which carry spores of the fungus from spore mats on infected trees to wounds on healthy trees, causing infection and death of the tree. ( http:// www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_oakwilt/toc.htm).

Still a fourth group of trail workers removed or trimmed ashe juniper and other invasive trees like chinaberry from the trail system.  Keeping ahead of a changing landscape brings satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment to the trail crew.  Not to mention, it's a great way to get out and enjoy the scenery.
Join us any Thursday, just send us an email for weekly trail work updates. . . . Lance

Looking for Something To Do? Check Out Our Calendar Items

November 14 Tree and Plant Sale at the San Marcos Nature Center

The Texas State Horticulture Club and the master gardeners and naturalists are holding a plant sale and tree sale at the Nature Center on Riverside across from Herbert's Taco Hut on Nov. 14, from 9 am - 3 pm. Call 393-8448 for more information.

November 14
Viewing of All The Pretty Horses

Join the Hill Country Conservancy and come on down to the scenic Storm Ranch on November 14th at 6:00 pm (viewing starts at 7:00 pm) to enjoy a special presentation of the film All The Pretty Horses! The Rolling Roadshow is a mobile version of the Alamo Drafthouse that will allow us to view the film in the open air at the ranch.

November 16 Proposals Due

Deadline for the county parks bond money proposals.

November 17 San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting

Grant Harris Building, 5:30 pm

November 17 Hays County Strategic Plan Public Input

The on-line survey has closed, but you can still voice your input on on the first Hays County Strategic Plan on November 17 at the San Marcos Police Dept. 6:30 p.m. Read an earlier article for more information.

November 18 Hays County Habitat Conservation Plan

Click here for more information.

November 18 SMGA Board Meeting

At the San Marcos Nature Center, 5:30-7:00. Members welcome!

Oh My Little Hummingbird, Let's Talk Gift Ideas

Looking for that gift for someone who has everything. We've got a couple ideas for you? How about an SMGA membership? Or a box of our lovely Naturescapes greeting cards. They are available on the front page of the SMGA website and have been very well received. Already in a second printing.

But some of you may need an item that is more directly connected to the living planet. Well here is our second suggestion: give them something that will put them eye to eye with Trochilidae.
Thanks for the idea Tom W.

It's Never Too Soon To Click a Pic

You can never get out into nature enough. Along with your bug spray and water, why not take your camera? Who knows, you may catch one of the 65 images displayed at the Naturescapes Contest and Exhibition.

The 2009 photo exhibit just came down and was by all opinions a great show.  Thanks again to all those who clicked a pic.

Support Conservation Education

Looking for an easy way to get involved? Our education/outreach committee meets once a month for about an hour and is looking for someone to take notes at our meetings, then type them up for distribution via email to committee members. Get to know SMGA and help the folks who maintain our website, send out these newsletters, and generally try to keep the San Marcos community aware of what's going on with local conservation and stewardship efforts.

Email Ann at alliance@smgreenbelt.org to learn more about this opportunity.

HCP Meeting Nov 18: What is an HCP anyway?

This will be a helpful meeting to learn about Hays County Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) and get an update of the process. Click here for a previous SMGA article to get some background information on the HCP.

Hays County will conduct a public hearing to discuss the County's application for a Endangered Species Act incidental take permit and possible adoption of the RHCP and related items.
TIME: 5:00-8:00 pm
DATE: Wednesday, November 18, 2009
LOCATION: San Marcos Activity Center (501 E. Hopkins Road, San Marcos)
View the published notice here.

The meeting will also give the public an opportunity to comment on the Final Draft RHCP (dated September 28, 2009) and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS, dated October 14, 2009). These documents are available on the HCP Documents page and at the San Marcos Public Library. The deadline for written comments on the documents has been extended until February 1, 2010.