Time to Get Outside

Through the glass a close-up
   The City of San Marcos has more than 1,000 acres of natural areas. The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance built and maintains 33 different trails with 22 miles available for mountain biking, hiking, running and enjoying nature. While the natural areas serve many different purposes including flood mitigation and water quality, they should also be considered outdoor classrooms.
   SMGA promotes many guided hikes and walks.  More information can be found at on this blogpost the LOOP or on our Facebook page, San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance.  -- LJ

   Get outside for some exercise and education!

Monthly              First Saturday            Monthly Bird Walk with Stephen Ramirez &
                                                                      Colton Robbins  (San Marcos Bird Walk -- Facebook)
                                Second Saturday       Monthly Bug Walk with Gabby Cole 
                                                                     (San Marcos Bug Walk – Facebook)

                                Second Sunday          Monthly Edible Plant Walk with Adam Saucedo
                                                                         (Plant Walk in subject line)

March                   Saturday  4                  Poke E Man Go Hike with Dynhara Rios
                                                                      at Spring Lake Natural Area at 1 p.m.   Rescheduled

                                Saturday 18                Plant Walk with Minnette Marr in Prospect Park
                                                                      at 9 a.m. 
                                Saturday 25                Pokeman Go Hike with Dynhara Rios
                                                                      Spring Lake natural area 1 p.m.

April                      Saturday 15                 iNaturalist app Walk with Dr. Ben Schwartz 
                                                                      at Meadows Center at 8 a.m.

May                       Saturday 20                Tree Walk with city arborist Kelly Eby at the
                                                                      Discovery Center (430  Riverside Road)  at 9:45 a.m.

Brandon Ross is guest speaker at Annual Meeting Feb. 12

  SMGA is pleased to announce we will have Brandon Ross as a guest speaker at our meeting. Brandon is Special Projects Manager for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. Brandon manages the planning, land acquisitions, design and construction of the Howard W. Peak
San Antonio Greenways map
Greenway Trail System, a growing network of multi-use hike and bike trails along San Antonio waterways.
  San Antonio voters have approved a sales-tax in four separate elections to provide funding for its linear park system, which now includes 53 miles of improved trails and many more miles that are under design or construction. 
  Brandon will discuss challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned from San Antonio’s experience. More info on the San Antonio trail system:
  Cities are realizing the benefits in property values, physical fitness, transportation options, nature appreciation and flood mitigation to creating these greenways. And it's easier to incorporate greenways before development happens rather than after the infrastructure is already in place. The San Marcos Transportation Master Plan due out in the Spring of 2017 incorporates a Greenways Master Plan that moves people on foot, bike and other wheeled devices with sidewalks and trails.  --MT & LJ

Bug Walk in the Spring Lake Natural Area

  More than 20 curious minds explored the natural area January 14th.  Led by graduate student Gabby Cole we looked under leaves, around the bark of trees and under rocks. We were rewarded with many-legged creatures, even a few without legs. All fell under the magnifying glass for further inspection and were returned, live, after we learned about each of the critters.
  Our youngest explorers were particularly adept at finding the smallest of creatures, and of course, they were the most curious.
  The walks take place at 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. Check out Gabby's facebook page, San Marcos Bug Walk, for the February location.   -LJ

A list of the bugs we saw:

Harvestmen (daddy longlegs) – Order Opiliones
Millipede – Class Diplopoda
Stone centipede – Order Lithobiomorpha
Black carpenter antCamponotus pennsylvanicus
Wolf spider – Family Lycosidae
Jumping spider – Family Salticidae
Geometrid moth – Family Geometridae
Anacua tortoise beetle (tracks/signs) – Coptocycla texana
Cochineal bugDactylopius confusus   
Short-horned grasshopper – Family Acrididae
Red imported fire antSolenopsis invicta
Ground beetle – Family Carabidae
Termite (tracks/signs) – Order Isoptera
Terrestrial Mollusk (land snails) – Phylum Mollusca