Rhythm of the Street

A downtown block will be transformed into a vibrant, walkable and bikeable pop-up space to play, dine and shop as the City of San Marcos Development Services and CIP Engineering departments present "Rhythm of the Street" on Saturday, July 26, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on South LBJ Drive.

The event is a one-day, temporary installation of concepts, amenities and activities that demonstrate how a block can be better utilized to suit the needs of the community. A pop-up park will add beauty and interest to an otherwise neglected parking lot, while live music and yard games invite the public to stay and enjoy the space. Pop-up shops and an art gallery will temporarily fill vacant spaces to demonstrate retail potential of downtown buildings. The event will also feature concepts that would make the area more pedestrian and bike friendly such as bike lanes, café seating, lighting and landscaping.

Rhythm of the Street is a kick-off event for the city's Code SMTX land development code rewrite and the Transportation Master Plan implementation. At the event, citizens are invited to share their thoughts on how to make their community a better place to live.

Event organizers are seeking community involvement and are taking requests for activities. A volunteer roundup also will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, on the first floor of the historic Hays County Courthouse. To volunteer or give suggestions for the event, call (512) 393-8430 or email mainstreet@sanmarcostx.gov.

**Visit sanmarcostx.gov/rhythm for more information. ***

Birding at Purgatory Creek Natural Area

  Twelve hardy souls rose at the crack of dawn June 7th to begin another birding hike under partly cloudy skies. The group led by Stephen Ramirez started at the Hunter Road trail head and wound their way through grasslands, forest and open fields to the top of the spillway for some interesting sightings.
   The list, provided by Gene Majors, is impressive for the numbers of bird species we saw in less than an hour-and-a-half of travel. The only downside to the adventure was the number of mosquitoes following the recent rains.   --LJ

Melissa Millicam views through scope
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Great Egret
1 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
1 Turkey Vulture
2 White-winged Dove
1 Mourning Dove
 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1 Chimney Swift
1 Ruby-throated/Black-chinned Hummingbird
1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker
1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
2 woodpecker sp.
4 Eastern Phoebe
1 Western Kingbird
3 White-eyed Vireo
1 Barn Swallow
1 Cave Swallow
1 Carolina Chickadee
2 Black-crested Titmouse
3 Canyon Wren
1 Carolina Wren
1 Bewick's Wren
4 Northern Mockingbird
1 Summer Tanager
4 Northern Cardinal
3 Painted Bunting
1 Dickcissel
5 Great-tailed Grackle
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 House Finch
5 Lesser Goldfinch
1 House Sparrow
1 Inca Dove

La Cima

As a new development, La Cima, has become the talk of the town. The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance has many questions about the development, as we do with all new developments. Along with others we were invited to meet  with the developers in the early, conceptual phase of the project. The presentation was interesting, but very general. As with all such projects it continues to evolve, and  we continue to have questions. Some, for example, are related to the parkland: Would the 100 proposed acres of parkland be dedicated to the city? Is there a plan to connect to Purgatory Creek Natural Area? Others are related to water quality: Where are the recharge features?  The Master Plan is another concern: How does this proposal fit with the 2013 master plan? There is more not known about this project than is known.

SMGA does not endorse development proposals. Our mission is to create an interconnected system of parks and natural areas. To that end, and in support of our values of protecting natural resources and providing nature-based recreation, we talk to developers and their team members to try to improve projects. We encourage our city leaders and relevant agencies to expand our natural areas, greenbelts, greenways and trails and our recommendations may cause developers to improve their plans. We may even ask that approval be denied when projects are wholly counter to our vision. We prefer a cooperative, respectful process to best serve our community and our interests in support of the SMGA mission.

There may be some portions of the current proposal which are consistent with SMGA's mission. La Cima offers approximately 100 acres of greenspace along creek floodways and interconnected trails within the La Cima neighborhood. However, at this time, the proposal does not include a connection to Purgatory Creek Natural Area, but it does set aside land for endangered species as part of the Hays County Habitat Conservation Plan. All in all there are many issues which need clarification, and SMGA and the general public will look forward to clarifications in the future.

Recent Articles about La Cima

San Marcos to negotiate with La Cima developers
After more than an hour and a half of comments and questions from the public and council members, San Marcos City Council voted to reopen negotiations with developers of the La Cima project, formerly known as Lazy Oaks. 
Check out this story on KVUE.com: http://www.kvue.com/story/news/local/2014/06/03/san-marcos-to-negotiate-with-la-cima-developers/9938919/

San Marcos Mercury compilation of articles on La Cima: http://smmercury.com/tag/la-cima/

A Vision That Moves Us Throughout Our Community

Ozark Greenways | Trails

Let’s envision a community with an interconnected system of parks, natural areas, greenbelts, greenways and trails as part of the developing landscape in and around San Marcos. A system that would incorporate land that protects our natural resources with land that is often ignored, neglected and found between our developed places.

The connections can be imagined as a linear greenway system that weaves together the existing open space, bike and pedestrian facilities. In some cases the greenways might serve as trail corridors connecting the places where we live, work, learn, shop and play. Trails separated from roads provide a healthy, safe and inviting way to move throughout our city as a pedestrian, cyclist, child in a stroller or as someone in a wheel chair experiencing our natural landscape and heritage along the way.

The greenway system in combination with our parks and natural areas will serve as part of our effort to protect our creeks, rivers, water supply and native habitat for plants and animals. It can help reduce the impacts from severe flooding and provide many other health and safety benefits that nature offers to those who protect it and keep it close by.

Threading natural corridors, sometimes narrow, sometimes wide, through our built environment will improve the real value of our homes and businesses by adding a look and feel to our city that attracts visitors and keeps its residents. We see healthier people enjoying a healthier economy as San Marcos grows.

Those who came before us would be honored and those who come after us will be grateful if we protect our heritage while creating a landscape that helps us all live healthier, happier, more prosperous lives.


May brings much needed rain

Bee working thistle at Prospect
   The last week of May brought much needed rain and left ponds filled with water at Prospect Park, Ringtail Ridge and Spring Lake. Wildflowers of all colors and shapes began to make an appearance which attracted the bees and butterflies.
   The importance of why we have these natural areas becomes evident as the mud dries and the ponds recede. The many natural areas aren't just for recreation, although that is an important benefit, but also to capture the rains and recharge the aquifer.
   Get out an enjoy the benefits of the recent rains before it gets too warm.  Don't forget the mosquito spray as they're enjoying the ponds too.
Wetlands flowers 

Wetland interpretive sign at Prospect Park

Where is this?

Pond surrounded by lush, green trees. Where in San Marcos?