Founder of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and our New Journalism Project colleague wins major national award.
SAN MARCOS, Texas — Sherwood Bishop, ever humble, says it is a bit embarrassing to be elected a hero when so many real-life pandemic heroes are saving lives, keeping grocery lines stocked, and teaching children in classrooms.
The president of The Rag Blog‘s own New Journalism Project, Sherwood Bishop did receive hero’s recognition for his 22-year stewardship of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. The alliance received the 2020 Cox Conserves Heroes national grand prize of $50,000 as well as an additional $10,000 as a regional winner.
Although the election didn’t capture headlines the way the Trump-Biden election has, Sherwood and his compatriots won 1,495 of the 4,506 votes cast nationally. It was the first time that a Texan had been nominated. Each regional contestant put together a video about their work in the community.
Sherwood was quoted in the San Marcos Daily Record about the work the alliance has done to circle the city. He explained that, “One unique aspect of the trail system that is being developed through our city is the extent to which it is largely separated from the street network. Most of the trails run along the sides of rivers or creeks and pass below the intersections of major streets.” Pedestrians and bicyclists are protected from automobiles and trucks.
The Cox Conserves prize will help the alliance achieve their long-range goal of linking San Marcos by trails to Austin and San Antonio. The Emerald Crown Trail project will eventually connect the San Marcos greenbelt with Kyle, Buda, and the Violet Crown Trail that leads all the way to Austin’s downtown Lady Bird Lake. The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is trailblazing ahead, allied with the Great Springs Project, developing trails and parks between Austin and San Antonio.
What began as a gleam in the eye of a few became a dogged effort that spanned decades. The San Marcos model is a tribute to citizen advocacy. It has resulted in the dedication of greenbelt space that surrounds San Marcos and protects its creeks, springs, wildlife and natural beauty. The plans continue. We congratulate our friend Sherwood Bishop. The vision Sherwood shared with a few has now been honored by many.
Sherwood has retired from his teaching responsibilities at Texas State University. In addition to volunteering his talents with the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance, he is helping the New Journalism Project preserve the history of Houston’s historic underground newspaper, Space City! Sherwood was a member of the editorial collective of Space City! which was published from 1969-1972. The newspaper can now be viewed online at the Internet Archive.
Sherwood Bishop was interviewed by Thorne Dreyer and Alice Embree on Rag Radio about the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance on January 10, 2020. You can listen to that interview here.
[Alice Embree is an Austin writer and activist who serves on the board of directors of the New Journalism Project, is associate editor of The Rag Blog, and was a founder of The Rag, Austin’s legendary underground paper, in 1966.]
- Read more articles by Alice Embree on The Rag Blog.