SMGA Annual Meeting, March 6th

Join us March 6th, 3 - 5 pm
Dunbar Recreation Center

We appreciate your support of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and invite you to join us at our annual membership social on March 6, at 3 pm at Dunbar Recreation Center. We will have an update of the Purgatory Creek Natural Area trail restoration project and learn about ways that you can get involved.

We are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. Your membership helps us maintain trails in the San Marcos natural areas. Join or renew for 2016.

Upper Purgatory trails at Valencia open, work continues on Lower Purgatory

  The first day Upper Purgatory opened the parking lot filled up. The opening January 22, 2015 was announced by Bert Stratemann, City of San Marcos Parks Operations Manager. The trails are accessed by using Craddock to 1751 Valencia Drive, a short drive on a well-marked gravel road. The complete CoSM release is at
Dante closed East of Malacoda. Note vandalism .
   Not all 463 acres are open, only the Upper Purgatory trails of Dante to Malacoda and Paraiso. Hiking all three trails is roughly three-and-a-half miles in length with little backtracking. Trail maps are found on our website and were updated in 2015 by the city's GIS Department.
   Trail users are asked not to stray into closed sections of the natural area as work continues to clear a safe pathway. Debris is still hanging in trees and the one-to-three feet of duff hide limbs and other debris that can cause harm.
   Volunteer crews are working three days a week to bring the trails back to a safe level but Ovid, Beatrice, Nimrod and Ripheus were all impacted by the flood. See previous posts to this blog to learn how you can assist with bringing the trails back.
   Ringtail Ridge, Spring Lake, Prospect and Schulle Canyon natural areas are all open.  Blanco Shoals remains closed. -LJ

January 2016 bird walk

  The Christmas lights were still lit around the parks as we began our 2016 birding walk along the San Marcos River. Eight of us started from the Rec Center along the sidewalk that is easily is one of the premier features of this Hill Country city. 
  It was chilly and an occasional sprinkle forced us to clean our lenses but it was productive as we continued from City Park to Veramendi Park and stopped at Bicentennial Park. We saw a good mix of aquatic and shore birds on our hour-and-a-half walk. Stephen brought his spotting scope for close-up looks at the red-shouldered hawk, woodpeckers and Great Egret. Colton provided the list of the many birds we viewed.

Cold and a little wet but very productive.
36 species
Double-crested Cormorant  8
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  1
Black Vulture  3
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  7
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
White-winged Dove  6
Mourning Dove  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  3
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Blue-headed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  6
Carolina Chickadee  3
Black-crested Titmouse  1
Carolina Wren  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5
Northern Mockingbird  4
European Starling  10
Cedar Waxwing  80
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  10
Red-winged Blackbird  60
Common Grackle  1000
Great-tailed Grackle  4
House Finch  1
House Sparrow  1
View this checklist online at