San Marcos receives grant for Sink Creek Community Forest

Located+in+the+Upper+San+Marcos+Watershed%2C+Sink+Creek+connects+directly+to+the+San+Marcos+River.+Photo+credit%3A+Photo+via+Texas+Hometown+Locator
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San Marcos receives grant for Sink Creek Community Forest

Located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed, Sink Creek connects directly to the San Marcos River. Photo credit: Photo via Texas Hometown Locator

Located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed, Sink Creek connects directly to the San Marcos River. Photo credit: Photo via Texas Hometown Locator

Located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed, Sink Creek connects directly to the San Marcos River. Photo credit: Photo via Texas Hometown Locator

Located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed, Sink Creek connects directly to the San Marcos River. Photo credit: Photo via Texas Hometown Locator

Mia Estrada

In the midst of the Amazon burning and global warming, San Marcos continues to make strides in conserving wildlife and resources.

The Trust for Public Land teamed up with the City of San Marcos in 2017 to purchase Sink Creek Community Forest for $1.3 milllion, land located on the outskirts of the city. Located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed, Sink Creek connects directly to the San Marcos River.

In 2018, the second round of grants came from the U.S. Forest Service to aid the city in buying the Sink Creek Community Forest over the Edwards Aquifer located off Windemere Road. With the grant being one of its kind in Texas, the opportunity to purchase and preserve the forest was a huge contribution to the Loop and Check project slowly being conducted throughout the city.

The purchase of the forest—along with the Loop and Check/Transportation Masterplan—is a huge endeavor in creating a continuous loop of green space and trails around San Marcos. The forest contributes greatly to the grand project, which could help conserve necessary areas of land throughout the city and preserve species of animals and forest.

Drew Wells, interim director of community services, said the partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the potential opportunities that could arise from it will make great progress in conservation for the community.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the City of San Marcos to partner with U.S. Forest Service to preserve and encourage conservation efforts of this land,” Wells said. “I can’t say enough about how special this partnership is with the U.S. Forest Service along with the first grant of its kind.”

The Sink Creek Forest is a major contributor to the Edwards Aquifer, which increases the water quality for approximately two million people in Central Texas. The grassland forest is home to live oak trees like persimmon, mesquite and juniper surrounded by natural limestone cliffs.

The forested corridor could potentially be utilized to house endangered species of birds, such as the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo. Both species are being rehabilitated in neighboring recovery centers.

Kelly Eby, San Marcos urban forester, said the grant allowed an important part of the city to be preserved properly. If the process goes according to plan, the Sink Creek Forest will eventually be open to the public’s use for hiking trails, bird watching and picnic rest stops.

“It is really important to provide a buffer to protect water springs and wildlife throughout the forested corridor, but we must be sensitive of the adjacent landowners for the next few years before opening it to the public,” Eby said.

Taylor Chevalier, exercise science junior, prides herself on keeping up with the conservation efforts in San Marcos and the efforts implemented around the world.

“Hearing about the efforts San Marcos is making toward local conservation brings me hope for the rest of the world that people can bring about great change with little daily efforts,” Chevalier said.

More on Sink Creek Forest or any other conservation projects in the works throughout San Marcos can be found on the city website.

 

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