Green Spaces Alliance Hires New Executive Director

  • June 23, 2014
  • News

Green Spaces Alliance
June 23, 2014

 Julia Murphy has been tapped as the next Executive Director of Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas. As the creator of the San Antonio Bikes program at the City of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability, Julia has managed a number of important initiatives as the city is changing its image from a fat city to a fit city and a stronger environmental conscience. Major award-winning projects have included spearheading the implementation of Texas’ first modern bike share system, serving as lead on the regional San Antonio Bike + Implementation Strategy comprehensive bicycle master plan, and managing the multi-year, multi-channel “Get Cyched” bicycle safety and awareness media campaign. As a result, San Antonio has been named a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

The position is a good fit for Julia who is trained as an urban planner and has a long history of involvement with parks, green space, and resource conservation in the San Antonio area. Julia founded the Hardberger Park Conservancy and serves on the boards of the San Antonio Parks Foundation and Texas Trails Network. She is a former member of the Linear Creekway Parks Advisory Board which has helped oversee the implementation of the Howard W. Peak Greenway System of hike and bike trails. She will join the team on July 7.

Green Spaces Alliance is dedicated to sustaining our natural environment and enhancing urban spaces through land conservation, community engagement, and education. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work on sustainability issues about which I care very deeply,” Julia said. “The staff and the Board of Directors are passionate about these initiatives, and I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to lead the organization.” Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas has three core missions: to conserve land; to foster community gardens throughout San Antonio, with focus in low-income communities; and to educate the public about the importance of our environment.

Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas was founded in 1998 as the Bexar Land Trust, Inc. It is a non-profit organization that works with landowners who are interested in preserving open space, owning two properties and having conservation agreements with three landowners. Over 120,000 acres of land over the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio’s main source for drinking water, have been protected due to the efforts of the City of San Antonio, with the assistance of Green Spaces Alliance and the Texas Nature Conservancy. Since 2002, Green Spaces Alliance has introduced thousands of children to photography and the wonders of nature through the Picture Your World Youth Photography Project. In addition, Green Spaces Alliance has funded and facilitated thirty eight community gardens in San Antonio to date, with plans for more in 2014.

Susan Hughes, retiring executive director, will continue as GSA’s consultant for the City’s Edwards Aquifer Protection Program.