San Marcos to host Bioblitz to connect residents with nature

Throughout September, participants can submit photos of local wildlife to be identified by other users. (Courtesy Paul Busby)
Throughout September, participants can submit photos of local wildlife to be identified by other users. (Courtesy Paul Busby)

Throughout September, participants can submit photos of local wildlife to be identified by other users. (Courtesy Paul Busby)

The San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department will host its first Bioblitz event throughout September to crowdsource data about local pollinating wildlife.

"I would pitch it as an opportunity to spend time outside in this ecosystem we have in this area," said Conrad Chappell, a San Marcos Discovery Center specialist. "I would also encourage people to go out to our natural areas because all of those are open, and they have been throughout this whole COVID-19 period."

The Bioblitz invites participants to take photos of wildlife and fauna with the iNaturalist app, whether it is in their backyards, neighborhoods or natural areas.

Other app users then identify what is in the photo. Once a photo's subject has been identified twice, it is considered verified at that point and becomes research-grade data, according to Chappell.

"Despite the heat, hopefully a lot of people will go out and experiment with this app," Chappell said. "Hopefully, they'll start using it in their daily lives because when you're walking the dog and you see a plant or animal you don't know, you can use this to have someone else who does know identify it for you."


Although the Bioblitz concludes at the end of September, app users can continue to submit photos for identification for research as well as their own knowledge.

"It's just a great way to go out and be learning about your environment while also doing something healthy and outside of the house," Chappell said. "With a small group or just yourself, you learn more about your environment and also even contribute to something larger than yourself. It's a pretty easy thing to do, and the benefits that come from it are pretty significant."

The San Marcos event is part of a nationwide initiative created by the National Recreation and Parks Association.
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


MOST RECENT

Notable menu items include the concept signature dish Huli Huli Chicken, which is marinated grilled teriyaki chicken, and Luau Pig, which is slow-roasted Kalua pork seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt. (Photo by Kathy Tran, courtesy Hawaiian Bros)
Hawaiian Bros to open first Texas brick-and-mortar location in Kyle May 11

A grand opening of the Kyle location will be held May 11 at 11 a.m., and the first 100 people will receive gift cards. One customer will also received free meals at Hawaiian Bros for a year.

(Courtesy Texas Water Safari)
San Marcos-Buda-Kyle May 2021 to-do list: An air show, film festival and farmers markets

From a film festival to an air show to farmers markets, the San Marcos-Buda-Kyle area is brimming with events in May and June.

San Marcos City Council gave guidance to city staff after the parks and recreation board recommended paid parking be implemented at two of the city's river parks. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos to research paid parking at City Park for nonresidents

San Marcos City Council gave guidance to city staff after the parks and recreation board recommended paid parking be implemented at two of the city's river parks.

Air quality would be measured employees of the city of San Marcos when residents make complaints of air pollution or unwanted smells, which could result in fines. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos City Council considers ordinance to control air pollution and odors

Air quality would be measured employees of the city of San Marcos when residents make complaints of air pollution or unwanted smells, which could result in fines.

A rendering shows two new buildings planned for Airstream and ExploreUSA in Buda. (Courtesy city of Buda)
22-acre RV sales facility in Buda on path to major renovations

In order to facilitate the changes, Buda officials on May 4 passed the first readings of a two-part approval consisting of a rezoning of the site to B3, or I-35 business, as well as a specific use permit application for automobile and other vehicle sales in the B3 district.

Kyle City Council approved child safety zones during its May 4 meeting. (Courtesy city of Kyle)
Kyle approves child safety zones to restrict sex offender residency within city

After several months of discussion and amending guidelines, the city of Kyle has approved implementation of child safety zones that would restrict where registered sex offenders may reside.

Supporters of the grant say the public defender's office and another program the grant would launch would improve the legal defense of those in Hays County who cannot afford their own lawyer. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hays County Commissioners Court applies for grant to fund a public defender's office

Supporters of the grant say the public defender's office and another program the grant would launch would improve the legal defense of those in Hays County who cannot afford their own lawyer.

(Courtesy San Marcos Main Street Program)
Vietnamese restaurant Pho Tran88 now open in San Marcos

The business specializes in pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, but has several other menu items including bahn mi sandwiches, wonton soup and appetizers.

In addition to a proposed municipal utility district in Hays County passing roughly $205 million in bonds with a single voter, it elected its directors with single votes to each candidate. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Election day 2021: Results show one Hays County voter approved $205M in bonds for a municipal utility district

In addition to a proposed municipal utility district in Hays County passing roughly $205 million in bonds with a single voter, it elected its directors with single votes to each candidate.

Three of Hays CISD's six bond propositions failed, but the largest one, with $147,959,876 on the line, was passed by Hays County voters. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Election day 2021: Incumbents win races in San Marcos CISD, Hays CISD elections; bond propositions split

Three of Hays CISD's six bond propositions failed, but the largest one, with $147,959,876 on the line, was passed by Hays County voters.