Gail Gallegos has been selected as the next Executive Director of Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas. With thirteen years of experience in the Natural Areas division of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department, Gail has overseen the design, development and management of several large natural area parks and properties. Initially at Friedrich Wilderness Park, she was promoted to open and develop Medina River Natural Area, the first natural area on the city’s south side, and the only one with a river. After five successful years, she was tapped to oversee the newly-opened Phil Hardberger Park, a heavily utilized, urban jewel near the demographic center of the city. In the five years under Gail’s management, Phil Hardberger Park has won many awards, including
- The San Antonio Business Journal’s 2012 Going Green Award for Land Conservation, and
- The Alamo Area Council of Governments’ 2014 Air Quality Stewardship Award in the Nonprofit Organization Category.
Gail and two colleagues recently received the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration’s 2015 “Excellence in Ecological Restoration Award” for exemplary dedication to the conservation, management and restoration of the Texas natural resource base. It is presented to a person(s) who has made significant and lasting contributions to the field.
Gail is an ideal fit for Green Spaces Alliance. She has a long, working history with the City’s Edwards Aquifer Protection Program, land conservation and restoration knowledge, and wide-ranging community involvement and volunteer management experience through the natural areas. Gail has worked extensively with the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy, Alamo Area Master Naturalists, SAWS, the San Antonio River Authority, Land Heritage Institute, Bexar and San Antonio Audubon Societies, and many other organizations to preserve and manage San Antonio’s Natural Areas and connect people with nature. She holds a B.S. in Ecology and a M.S. in Environmental Science, emphasis in Ecology, both from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She joined the Green Spaces Alliance team on November 16th.
Green Spaces Alliance is dedicated to sustaining our natural environment and enhancing urban spaces through land conservation, community engagement, and education. Gail says, “It is very exciting to join this great team of dedicated, passionate people who promote land conservation, get people involved in gardens, and connect children to nature. It was clear from my first week that the Green Spaces Alliance Board of Directors are actively involved and committed to the success of the GSA mission. I am thrilled and ready to lead the organization to even more achievements and recognition.” 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 of the importance of our environment through their Picture Your World Youth Photography Project.
Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas was founded in 1998 as the Bexar Land Trust, Inc. It is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that works with landowners who are interested in preserving open space. Green Spaces Alliance’s Land Conservation Program currently owns two properties, and has conservation agreements with three landowners, and has assisted the City of San Antonio with its Aquifer Protection Program since 2000. In 2002, Green Spaces Alliance began introducing hundreds of children each year to photography and the wonders of nature through the Picture Your World Program. Additionally, Green Spaces Alliance has funded and fostered over thirty-eight community gardens in San Antonio to date, with plans for more in 2016.