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May 5, 2011

Good job everyone. TRPA raised at least $25,100, but the park still needs $13,000 to make the Allen Bates River Park 12 acres total. What a wonderful addition to the San Marcos River!! Thank you TRPA donors!!

San Marcos Daily Record article of May 4

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March 31, 2011

Dear Friend of Texas Rivers,

As you know, we are losing public access to our rivers all the time.  I, personally, blame it on scumbag toobers - who throw
out their beer cans with wild abandon, play x-rated music on their boom boxes, and generally behave in undesirable ways.  But I digress...

We now have an opportunity to change this trend.  We can collectively do something to maintain the access that we have been enjoying at Sculls Crossing, and add another public access point on the downstream side of Martindale.

A few years ago, a few of the citizens of Martindale got together and raised enough money to allow their town to acquire a small tract of riverfront land on Hwy 1979.  They developed the property as a park and named it after Allen Bates, a local scout leader who had recently died and who had always shown his love for the river.  You can read all about this park on the city's webpage: http://www.martindaletexas.org/Allen%20Bates%20Park.htm

Now, an opportunity has come along that will allow the city to greatly enlarge this park.  The city has a contract to purchase a one and a half acre tract of land adjacent to and immediately downstream of the Bates Park (this contract expires on April 20, 2011).  And, if the city can acquire this new tract of land, they will be given an eight acre tract of land that Guadalupe County owns. So, if all of this transpires, the city will go from having a 2 acre park to having a 12 acre park.  All for the price of about $50,000.  Currently the city has about $10,000 in donations to acquire this tract, so they need an additional $40,000.

OK.  Now I need you to focus on another issue in Martindale that also needs our attention.  That is, Sculls Crossing. Guadalupe County recently built a new bridge at Sculls.  The old access area that we used for years (the concrete step where we docked in order to get out of the river) is gone. The county has put up some "no parking" signs, but so far there is no fence.  So, folks have been taking out on the right side just upstream of the bridge and loading their canoes along the side of the road.  The parking area along the side of county road 103 has remained
accessible.

Also, the city of Martindale, along with Caldwell County decided to close the road that used to head up the hill from the river toward Martindale (the road up the hill heading toward Hwy 80 is now the only road up).

So here is where the Texas Rivers Protection Association (and you) comes in.  We talked to the city of Martindale and offered a deal:
we would help them raise money for the Alan Bates Park acquisition if they would 1) guarantee public access to the river at the new park (which they have) and 2) guarantee continued public access at Sculls Crossing.

Lorraine Harrison, the mayor of Martindale was really excited about getting some help with the park acquisition.  So, she went to Caldwell County and got them to agree to make a canoe loading zone on the Martindale side of the river at Sculls (where the road used to head up the hill, heading toward Martindale - see attached pictures).  That loading zone is already finished!  She has also agreed to put in some steps on the left side of the river and immediately downstream of the bridge in the event that the right side ever gets fenced.  She has also committed to keeping the parking area open along county road 103.

We are in the process of getting guarantees that this access will always be available to us in writing (and, no money will change hands until those documents are signed).  I am also going to try to get all speeding tickets forgiven for anyone driving through Martindale with a canoe
or kayak on their roof (hey, it's worth a try).

The bottom line is that the TRPA currently has $5,000 in funds that are earmarked for this project (there are three memorials - the Nancy Burns Memorial, the Lillie Cochran Memorial, and the Michael Ash Memorial; and the Martindale access fund). The board of directors of the TRPA has voted to match the current earmarked funds with $5,000 from the general fund (which gives us a total of $10,000 right now) and to match an additional $5,000 of donations to this cause (which will mean that the TRPA will be able to contribute as much as $20,000 to this project).

Our generosity has inspired the local folks in Martindale.  We have offered our entire contribution to match the money that they raise.  So, if they can match our $20,000, they can buy the new parkland outright.

If you are committed to maintaining (and improving) access at Martindale won't you please help?  Please consider making a contribution today.  You can mail a check to TRPA, 444 Pecan Park Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666 (be sure to include a note that it is for the Martindale
access fund - or designate it for one of our current memorials).  If you prefer to use a credit card, please visit our website: www.txrivers.org Just click on the Donate link and be sure to let us know it is for the Martindale Access fund. 

Remember, your gifts are tax deductible.

Thanks, and if you have any questions do not hesitate to call or e-mail.  And, please feel free to share this info with any group that might be willing to help.

Tom Goynes,
President, TRPA


Current photos of Scull's Crossing 3/29/2011

Sculls

Scull's Crossing from river left

 

Sculls
Designated loading/unloading area, before bridge on river left, Martindale side of Scull's Crossing bridge.  

There is a pile of dirt on the top end of the road, so no through traffic.


Sculls
Current takeout on river right, below bridge. Can be tricky footing.

 

Sculls
Possible takeout before bridge on river right, this is on private property.

 

Sculls
Loading/unloading area on Martindale side of bridge, river left. Some steps and improvement are needed here.


Sculls
Loading/unloading only area. Current day parking is behind the hill at top of this photo.

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