84° San Marcos
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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

San Marcos celebrates Earth Day

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A family views specimens from the San Marcos River through microscopes, Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the 10th Annual Earth Day San Marcos Festival at Spring Lake.

From the rivers to the natural hiking grounds that cover the city, the natural beauty of San Marcos is inescapable. To acknowledge it, community members gathered at Spring Lake on Saturday to celebrate the 10th Annual Earth Day San Marcos Festival.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Earth Day festival displayed over 40 eco-friendly organizations and vendors, musical performances, outdoor activities for kids and free glass-bottom boat tours. All the activities, exhibitors and vendors highlighted the importance of caring for the Earth.
Amy Thomaides, community enhancement initiatives manager, manages San Marcos Resource Recovery and Keep San Marcos Beautiful. The program had a tent at the festival where she told attendees how they could help keep San Marcos beautiful.
“[I like] talking with a resident or somebody attending an event,” Thomaides said. “When you’re talking to residents and then the light clicks on, and they understand why something’s happening or why you were trying to ask them or request them to change their modify their behaviors or habits.”
Keep San Marcos Beautiful has beautification projects, volunteers with discovery centers and habitat restoration projects and organizes monthly hot spot clean-ups like the city-wide river clean-ups.
Another sustainability effort by The City of San Marcos is its annual Bobcats Give Back initiative. Scheduled during apartment and residence hall move-out, the program allows students to donate their gently used and unwanted goods. The collected donations are distributed to local non-profit organizations, recycling centers, and reuse businesses.
Besides The City of San Marcos, other vendors and exhibitors utilized the Earth Day San Marcos Festival to make a difference.
Benjamin Hutchins, assistant director of research and education at the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center, promoted an aquatic science adventure camp for kids.
“Our mission is to bring youth from all over the place here to learn about and to appreciate all the amazing aquatic resources in Central Texas,” Hutchins said. “What better place to do that than at Earth Day where we can share kind of some of the cool natural resources that we have here and hopefully, you know, inspire folks to learn more about them and to protect them.”
The booth had three microscopes with organisms from the San Marcos River for all to see including a vile holding a San Marcos salamander.
“We’ve been really happy this year. The turnout has been great,” Hutchins said. “The response that we get from folks that are viewing these animals are really fun to see their excitement at seeing these things up close. We’ve been having a great time.”
Hutchins wants residents to understand the significance of the San Marcos River. He calls it the lifeblood of San Marcos because not only is it home to numerous different species, but it runs to the Edwards Aquifer which provides drinking water and helps agriculture.
For 30-minute increments from the start till the end of the festival, Julian Moreno, a wildlife biology junior, took residents on glass boat tours that were free with a ticket throughout the event.
This was Moreno’s first time attending and working the Earth Day San Marcos Festival since being hired at The Meadows Center in January. Through working at the center, he wants to gain experience, educate and inspire others to make a difference in keeping the environment clean.
“Just putting in a little effort to study it and learn more about it,” Moreno said. “Knowing about how we each have an impact on the wildlife, and also what you can do to make it better. Even if you study business, you can still do something about it. You can still help the environment. You don’t have to be a wildlife major, and you don’t have to change your whole life, but there’s always something we can do.”

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