Birding Hike -- Hunter Road December 1 at 7:30 am

Last month it was spiders in Schulle Canyon but Saturday we will  be looking for birds, Sparrows. to be exact in Lower Purgatory Creek Natural Area.  The hike led by Stephen Ramirez. "Join me on a casual morning of bird watching at Purgatory Park (meet off hunter rd) 
We'll meet at 7:30 am, the weather should be delightful. My goal will be to get your eyes on some of those elusive winter Sparrows but let's see what else pops up."  --  LJ

Trail crew works to keep it going

It was a chilly morning as the moon set over Purgatory Creek Natural Area.  A few hardy souls anxious to work through the first holiday hurdle of too much good food prepared to improve Dante's Trail from the Hunter Road trail head.  Mostly loping dead branches from drought-stricken trees one group coursed through Nimrod Trail alongside dam #5.  Others using weed-wackers cleaned up the overgrown Johnson and KR bluestem grasses.  Both are non-native and invasive.  Another team scouted a potential alternate trail when floods (rare, they may be) make Dante's an impassable journey.
Join the volunteer trail crew  on Thursday morning for a little exercise, fresh air and camaraderie by checking out the volunteer page of this website. --Lance Jones

SMGA Is Thankful For... New Acreage, Capes Camp, and You

We at SMGA are thankful for so much that has happened this year, and here are some highlights.

SMGA is thankful for:

New Acres for Purgatory Creek Natural Area
We are excited to announce that the funding to acquire approximately 93 additional acres in Purgatory Creek Natural Area was approved! Thank you to Trust for Public Land for your continued efforts on the PCNA expansion.

This area is contiguous with January's acquired 107 acres.   The acquisition should be on the City Council agenda in December so get ready to share your support of this project with City Council. With this addition, more water quality land is conserved, more endangered species habitat protected, and more recreational opportunities available in the future. More to come in early December.

Capes Camp Proposition 1 Passed
The Capes Camp Proposition 1 passed with 75.5% of voters supporting the proposition. We appreciate those with River Parks San Marcos for the time and effort they put in promoting this proposition as well as everyone who voted.

Our Members and Volunteers
Of course this is all thanks to you. Be sure to get ready to attend the SMGA's annual meeting this January to celebrate the 15th year of SMGA and all that we have accomplished so far!

Happy Thanksgiving!

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance

Master Naturalists Award for SMGA

The Master Naturalists honored the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance at their recent graduation and gala. The event was very well attended and after a great meal the graduates of this year's class walked the stage for their diplomas, Afterward recognitions were given to those who re-certified and contributed with significantly in various ways. They ended with an honorary award given to the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. We offer plenty of opportunities for MN volunteers, advanced training and generally share their interest in protection of Hays County's natural heritage. We are delighted to be so honored.

We also strongly recommend that if anyone wants to know more about the ecology of our county you could do no better than to sign up for next years MN class. You will learn many, many interesting things from geology to climate, birdsong to butterflies. Find out more at their website or send an email to be notified of the 2013 class announcement to You will be glad you did...t.o.d.

Spring Lake Nutrient and Water Quality Presentation

Coordinated by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Upper San Marcos Watershed Coordinating Group

On December 13, 2012, the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Upper San Marcos Watershed Coordinating Group will present the results of a recent study that examined the water quality and nutrient inputs into Spring Lake. This meeting will be held from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the City Park Recreation Hall (170 Charles Austin Drive). The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend. There will be ample opportunity for citizens to comment on report findings, learn more about the Spring Lake watershed protection process, and find out how the public can become involved in protecting this important watershed.


Hays County Transportation Feedback

Have you provided your feedback on the Hays County Transportation Plan? If not, you can view the project and provide feedback at

Wildland Rescue Practice in San Marcos

From the San Marcos Daily Record

Members of the San Marcos Fire Department trained on rescuing in a wildland area recently, using a wheeled device to lighten the load. Billy Mullins (left) and Isaac Hernandez are shown in front with Micah Harris playing the victim. In the center is trainer Jay Horton.

SMGA Website

The SMGA website,, is down. We are working to correct the issue and hope to have it up and running again by the weekend. In the meantime, feel free to email us ( if you have any questions, or learn more about SMGA on this site.

Thank you for your patience.

American Trails Youth Scholarship

American Trails is an excellent organization for trail resources and opportunities!

Are you between the ages of 18-25 and interested in learning more about trails?

American Trails
21st International Trails Symposium
Hulet Hornbeck Youth Scholarship Program
April 14-17, 2013
Fort McDowell Yavapai Radisson Resort, Arizona

Through funds provided by generous sponsors, American Trails is proud to offer 20 scholarships for the American Trails Hulet Hornbeck Fund to youth between the ages of 18-25 to attend the 21st International Trails Symposium held at Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Radisson Resort near Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Learn more at