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For three decades, Liz has served as emcee for several Parks and Recreation Department Programs, including talent shows and sporting events. But she is best known for hosting and singing during multiple BRAVO! An Evening of Song and Dance performances held each summer in July. Liz has been a continuous supporter of the department since 1981 when she began her career as a radio newscaster at KTSA/KTFM. Over the years she has worked diligently to promote the Parks and Recreation Department’s programs through her radio show, in addition to her personal appearances at a variety of events. She has been a dedicated volunteer and ambassador for the Parks and Recreation Department throughout her tenure. The Department wants to publicly thank Liz for her contributions and wish her well in her future endeavors.
Liz is currently the morning radio news anchor on News/Talk 550 KTSA AM and 107.1 FM. She also hosts a program titled "On the Scene" for Catholic Television of San Antonio that airs on Time Warner Channel 15. She's an award-winning journalist who has covered the police beat, city hall and the courthouse.
May was an exciting month for volunteers at Animal Care Services. Our volunteers were treated to a behind the scenes tour at SeaWorld as a special thank you gift for Volunteer Appreciation Month in April. They got to see all kinds of sea life up close and learn about the fantastic conservation efforts SeaWorld leads around the country. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful partner in SeaWorld.
Neil Hammond is an avid mountain biker who discovered McAllister Park five years ago. When biking on the many dirt trails criss-crossing the 1000-acre park, Neil often makes note of any trails that may have overgrowth, low-hanging branches, debris, large rocks, fallen tree limbs and other maintenance issues. Neil then takes care of these problems on his next trip down the trail. He tirelessly maintains the cross-country trails by trimming tree limbs, removing rocks and taking care of anything that obstructs the trail (overhead or on the ground). His work benefits the many bike riders, runners, hikers and dog walkers who use these trails daily. Moreover, by keeping all existing trails passable and accessible, no new trails or trail sections are created by users trying to avoid whatever is making the existing trail impassable thus adding to loss of habitat and destruction of plants. Neil’s initiative and hard work are also appreciated by San Antonio Parks and Recreation as most sections of the trail system cannot be accessed by motorized vehicles.
Neil joined the Friends of McAllister Park in 2013 to be more deeply involved in all park conservation and maintenance issues. He attends their meetings, reports on any issues that need attention and is always eager to assist the group. He recently worked with the Friends to restore a deer water trough that had fallen into disrepair. The many easily visible deer living at the park are a major attraction for many park visitors.
Neil says “I like to give more than I take" and works tirelessly to make McAllister Park a better place for all to enjoy. How many of us can say that when we drive/run/walk/bike out of the park at the end of our visit? Thank you, Neil, for all you do!
On Friday, March 6 we honored our longest-serving volunteer, Emily Leech for donating ten years of service to Animal Care Services!
Emily started volunteering for ACS when the facility was still located at Brackenridge Park. A friend of hers had read a story in the Express News about how much help the shelter needed, especially with getting the dogs out of the kennels to give them some exercise and socialization. She began going 1-2 times a week with her friend and even after her friend stopped a few months later, Emily just kept going.
When the shelter moved locations to Hwy 151, Emily began to focus her volunteering efforts on helping the cats in one of our off-site PetCo adoption centers. She went at least once a week and would often fill in for vacant shifts or when others couldn't make it. We stopped using that location last year so Emily has now started volunteering in the vet clinic.
Emily became our friend when we needed a lot of help, stuck with us through many changes and lots of growth and her dedication, commitment to our no-kill plan and her tenacity to stand by us through thick and thin is one of the reasons we have been so successful. She has great suggestions, isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and is just a wonderful person to have around. Thanks for everything, Emily. You are our hero!
So you want to build a trail in rugged terrain where there is fragile vegetation and lots of rocks? You want the trail to be sustainable (require minimum maintenance, but last a long, long time) and you want it to be ecologically sensitive (preserve as much of the vegetation as possible, cause minimal disturbance, and maintain natural water flow)?
Who are you going to call?
None other but the Natural Areas Volunteer Trail Constructors Team!
These folks, working under the supervision of professional trail builders at Friedrich Wilderness Park, assist in a myriad of tasks including trimming vegetation, smoothing surfaces, removing rocks and roots, outsloping the downhill side, dispersing spoils piles, and defining trail edges. The Team works in all kinds of weather, hikes long distances while carrying tools and equipment, and still all their work is of the highest quality. Thanks to them, the park will soon add about 5 more miles of pedestrian trails.
Natural Areas Volunteer Trail Constructors Team members: (L-R) Alan Davis, John Marrs, John Wolcott, Michael Gentry, Stan Drezek take a break. Other Team members not pictured include Ralph Domas, Mike Countryman, and Kaye Cosby.
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