Save the Date: March 21 SMGA Annual Meeting

Basking in the Sun
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Date: Sunday, March 21
Place: Price Center
222 W. San Antonio Street
San Marcos, TX

Save the date to attend the SMGA annual meeting. We'll discuss activities past, present, and in the works, elect board members, hand out awards, and enjoy drinks and appetizers.

This year we're excited to have Sally Campbell, executive director for Envision Central Texas, come talk with us about the Greenprint for Central Texas. The Greenprint is an amazing tool to help Central Texas leaders, planners, and environmental groups balance growth and conservation. Join us to hear about how organizations such as SMGA can utilize the Greenprint and further our mission.

We would be honored if you'd join us to meet our board members and hear what we've been up to. Look for an evite in your inbox.

March 1: 2nd Public Meeting Slated on Land Development Code

If you missed the recent public land development code meeting, here's a second chance. This is a meeting that is worth attending from the conservation, watershed protection perspective. The land development codes determine the amount of impervious cover a developer can have, management of karst features, buffer zones near tributaries and streams, bi-ped facilities, and more. At the meeting, staff members and commissioners will work with the attendees to discuss possible changes. Attendees will be asked to vote for or against changes. This is a great way to learn about the proposed changes and voice your opinion. These changes may impact not just natural areas but our quality of life. Here is an excerpt from a city press release:
Public Meeting Slated on Land Development Code
March 1 at Activity Center

The City of San Marcos Development Services Department and the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a second public meeting to collect input into proposed changes to the Land Development Code on March 1, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins.

Interested residents and stakeholders are invited to attend. City staff seeks public participation in the workshop for discussion of revising the ordinances that govern development in San Marcos. Staff will recap the input received at previous public workshops and discuss possible amendments to the Land Development Code.

Sections under review include parking standards, tree preservation standards, mixed use zoning district, planned development districts, design standards for residential development, water quality standards and an I-35 overlay district ordinance.

The Land Development Code governs all development in the city limits and the three and a half- mile extraterritorial jurisdiction of San Marcos, including zoning, subdivision, watershed protection, site planning, and construction permitting.

For more information, contact Development Services at 393.8230 or

Purgatory Trails and Buie Tract

On the consent agenda for the Tuesday, March 2 City Council meeting is a resolution for the city to construct and maintain hike and bike trails along the Wonder World extension. These trails will include bike ramps from Wonder World into the existing trail in Purgatory. This is a very exciting project. Be sure to let your Council know that you support this project. Send an email to

Secondly, here is a brief update on the Buie tract. On Tuesday, February 23, Planning & Zoning postponed action on the tract (between the intersection of Bishop & Craddock and Wonderworld Drive) until April 13 so the developers can finish their geologic survey.

Looking For Something To Do This Spring?

Spring is on its way and SMGA has lots to do. We're looking for some help from our membership and friends. Below are a few volunteer opportunities that perhaps you'd like to help with. Look them over, click on the title for more information, and let us know if you have any questions or are interested. Each month we'll post new volunteer opportunities.

Species Inventory in Natural Areas
Description: Need individual or a group to gather information on species of trees, grasses, forbes and shrubs over several seasons. Wildlife inventories would be focused on mammals using tracks and dens and direct observation. Birds and other animals could also be inventoried. This effort is an excellent way to practice identification skills.

Group Trail Work Assistants
Description: Assist SMGA trail bosses with group trail work projects. Provide guidance and training to volunteers, help ensure proper use of the tools, and provide other assistance as needed.

SMGA Booth Assistant
Description: Assist in our booth at the Green Living Showcase, Earth Day, or Nature Center Plant Sale by providing literature and information to those interested in SMGA. Training available on-site.

Natural Area Monitor
Description: Monitor, protect, and enhance San Marcos natural areas. Record and report up-to-date information on the condition of assigned area (litter, graffiti, fallen limbs, rogue trails, etc.). Report maintenance needs to SMGA and Parks & Recreation staff.

Thank You Hochheim

Thank you to Hochheim Prairie Farm Mutual Insurance Branch 204 for choosing SMGA as one of the local non-profit organizations to receive a very generous donation. Pictured here are Hochheim Branch 204 board member Judy Telford (left) and SMGA board member Maggie Hutchins (right).

Hochheim Insurance has been an ongoing supporter of SMGA. Their great coverage is happily carried by a number of our members.

SMGA Trail Crew

So, what's with the weather? Sheila and Todd decided a while back that for the sake of all involved the crew would not work when the temp was in the 30's. At the time it didn't seem like that would mean a big stretch of time without picking up a pulaski. Lately just about every Thursday is in the 30's, and if it isn't cold it's raining (not that there's anything wrong with that). Add to all of that a few vacations and the holidays and, well, our winter hasn't been quite as productive as usual.

What to do? Head to our local community center (i.e., coffee shop) for commiseration and chit chat about the glory days on trails past and yet to come, of course. Pictured here is a latte lubricated, happy crew that just received new hats. The head gear adorned with our logo by Vicki Giere will let natural area visitors know that our folks working on trail are duly authorized and uniformed for the purpose of trail craft, and that they just might be the finest collection of trail experts you'll find in the state of Texas.

If you're interested fair weather trail shaping and foul weather cappuccino sipping, email us at to be put on the trail crew list. Also check for Saturday trail work events in the SMGA Events section in the right column of The Loop...t.o.d.

San Marcos Chamber of Commerce to Host “Green Living Showcase”

The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce’s first ever Green Living Showcase will take place at the City of San Marcos Conference Center on Saturday, March 20, 2010. This exciting new event will bring together hundreds of homeowners and business people for a great day of workshops, exhibits and demonstrations and will provide all participants with many tools and resources to help them move toward a clean and green future. There will be tips on green building, energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, commuting solutions, alternative energy ideas and earth-friendly products. There's something for everyone. And it's free!

For sponsorship and registration information please call (512) 393-5900 or visit the Green Living Showcase Website at www.glshowcase.comSMGA is very excited about this showcase. Be sure to stop by the SMGA booth. Check out the showcase website and save the date on your calendar. (If you can spare an hour or two greeting visitors in our booth and sharing what you know about our greenspaces, we could sure use the help. Email

Trail of Trees Bike Ride: Calling All Pro or Amateur Arborists

The City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Division is hosting an Arbor Day event called the Trail of Trees Bike Ride. This event will be a bicycle ride along routes that highlight some of San Marcos' favorite trees. Heather Powdrill, the event organizer, needs help identifying your favorite trees in San Marcos. She is looking for different native species, historic, and/or prominent trees that can be seen from any public street or trail.

For the event Parks and Recreation will provide a map of each route and highlight the trees along the way. There will be an Arbor Day kick-off event for families, students, adults and youth before the ride. The tentative date is May 1st.

If you would like to help by identifying trees, please contact:
Heather Powdrill
Community Beautification Coordinator
City of San Marcos - Parks and Recreation

SMRF: A Few Auction Items Remain

SMRF has a few auction items remaining for bid. Check them out below. Items are numbered within their categories.  To bid, email or call 512-787-6392. In your message indicate which item you are bidding on. SMRF will keep the bidding open until March 15, 2010. Click here for more information on any of the auction items.

Adventure Trips:
1. Glass-bottom kayak eco-tour for two at Aquarena.  They arrange tours to fit your time schedule, with a guide.  Learn about this unique spring.   $80 value, minimum bid $45.

2.  Another glass-bottom kayak eco-tour at Aquarena, identical to the above trip. $80 value, minimum bid $45.   

3. Canoe trip donated by TG Canoe and Kayak, on the beautiful San Marcos River with boats, paddles, life jackets and shuttle provided, as well as a DVD presentation of the trip chosen (so you will know where you are going). Value $50, Minimum Bid $30.

3. Buchanan Adventure Tours donated a kayak and hiking excursion for two people, pick a date June-September, morning or afternoon. Reservations required.  Check out all the details about the trip on the website: Value $160, Minimum bid $90. 

1.   One full week of Kid's Camp by Power Olympic Kayak Center.  June 7-11, June 21-25, July 5-9, July 19-23, or August 2-6.  Starts 8 a.m. and runs till 5 p.m. Value $300, Minimum Bid $150.   

2.  Raku Workshop at Eye of the Dog Art Center, two day weekend workshop on two Saturdays in a row, April 3 and April 10. Value $250, Minimum Bid $125.

3.   A tie-dye party for up to 12 to 20 participants, for ages 12 and up, with all necessary supplies and instruction by an experienced tie-dyer who has managed many such events. Value $250, Minimum bid $100

4. Two Day Weekend Workshop: Movement, Meditation and Creativity, taught by Jerry Kimmel. Combine Yoga and art to stretch your creativity! April 10 and 11, Saturday from 1-6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Value $85, Minimum Bid $45.            

1. Professional 8 x 10 family portrait by Robin Jackson Photography of Dallas, with pets welcome too. Value $300, Minimum bid $75.

2. Professional 11 x 14 family portrait by Robin Jackson Photography of Dallas, with pets welcome too. Value $450, Minimum bid $112.

Articles of Interest - February

Citizens Committees Tangle Over Parks Funds - San Marcos Local News, Feb 10

Spring Lake Protection Moves Forward - San Marcos Local News, Feb 8

Dahlstrom Ranch Preserved for Future Generations - Hill Country Conservancy

SMRF Party, Feb 13

Don't forget that the San Marcos River Foundation's annual meeting and silent auction is this Saturday at the Price Center, dinner at 6 pm and meeting at 7:15.

The silent auction items are up on the SMRF website for those who can't be at the party Feb. 13.  Please forward that link to your friends and family, if you think they might be interested in one of the items in the auction, and would like to help out SMRF.  Anyone can bid in this auction.

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