We were so happy to see 31 acres of riverside land in town donated to SMRF last week! It is a place we had long hoped would be preserved, surrounding Willow Springs Creek and including the south side of the San Marcos River between IH 35 and Cape Road. We hope to help maintain and improve water quality in this area with good stewardship of the land, creek, and riverbanks. We need to figure out the best way for the land to serve the community and also be helpful to the river’s water quality, so we will use the advice of plant and stream experts. There are many opportunities for you as volunteers to help us work on this land. We will let you know as soon as we can hold a supervised walk on the 31 acres, once we know when we can get liability insurance for volunteers. It is not a park yet. It will not be open to the public right away, but we promise regular updates on what work is going on to get it ready, and how you can help. A trash cleanup is going to be first!
In November, SMRF learned that it was the recipient of a generous gift of riverside land in San Marcos by the Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC of Athens, Georgia. The land gift is 31.25 acres at IH 35 and the San Marcos River, running all the way to Cape Road. The donor was referred to SMRF by a land trust, The Texas Land Conservancy.
SMRF Board President Stephen Ramirez said, “We were ecstatic to learn about the opportunity to receive this special piece of land nestled between the banks of the San Marcos River and Willow Springs Creek. We are intimately familiar with the significance of parks and preserves along the river for both our community and the environment so we knew we wanted to accept this gift. The property’s riparian woodlands and grasslands habitat will be protected forever and become an invaluable resource for our community.
SMRF’s Executive Director Dianne Wassenich pointed out, “This is the perfect time for a discussion about uses for such a park, since the City’s Parks Department is in the middle of a new Parks Master Plan. We cannot thank the donor enough for this generous donation that will be a lasting gift to generations of San Marcans to come. SMRF will work with the city to accomplish that goal while protecting the river water clarity and quality as well.”