Published by mysanantonio.com
First phase and segment opened to the public on May 5, 2018
SAN ANTONIO – The first segment of the much-anticipated San Pedro Creek Culture Park – a one-of- a-kind urban greenspace located on the western edge of downtown San Antonio – officially debuted to the public on Saturday, May 5, 2018. The world-class linear park is the result of a joint effort by Bexar County, the San Antonio River Authority and the City of San Antonio to transform San Pedro Creek into a restored natural creek habitat and greenspace. Combining purpose with beauty, San Pedro Creek Culture Park weaves public art and architectural design into historic preservation, flood control, water quality and ecosystem restoration.
“Through the revitalization of San Pedro Creek, we are inviting people to connect with our community’s vibrant history and culture,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “Bexar County was founded along the banks of San Pedro Creek and the San Pedro Creek Culture Park celebrates and expresses the culture, history and natural qualities of Bexar County through its beautiful design and artwork.”
The first phase and segment of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park – stretching from the flood tunnel inlet at N. Santa Rosa Street near Fox Tech High School to Houston Street – was celebrated with a full day community event and evening illumination ceremony, which drew thousands to the paseos along the revitalized creek.
“The San Antonio River Authority gets a tremendous amount of joy bringing these types of projects to fruition for the community,” said San Antonio River Authority Board Chair Mike Lackey. “It’s been a challenging in terms of designing and constructing a linear park in the middle of downtown San Antonio but seeing the transformation of the Creek gives us the energy and excitement to continue working on these types of once-in- a-lifetime endeavors.”
Exemplifying beauty with a purpose, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park serves as vital infrastructure for a growing downtown. By increasing the depth and width of the existing channel, the project removes 30 acres from the 100-year flood plain, safely conveying floodwaters within the San Pedro Creek banks. The project also improves water quality in a highly urbanized segment of the downtown watershed through the use of low-impact development features, including bioswales and storm water interceptors. In addition to creating a more functional waterway, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park returns the creek to a more natural state, benefitting the native flora and fauna.
Public art provides a beautiful backdrop to the restored creek, telling the story of our community through contemporary art and cultural programming. The first segment of the Culture Park features four tile murals designed by prominent San Antonio artists – Adriana Garcia, Katie Pell, Alex Rubio and Joe Lopez – that commemorate the rich and interweaving cultures that define San Antonio and Bexar County. Additional artwork commissions include storytelling through historical text and poetry by John Phillip Santos, ceramic artwork representing the historical nature of the nearby street names by Diana Kersey and colorful tiles by Michael Menchaca inspired by the people, culture and history of San Antonio.
“Bexar County has invested in many vital projects to improve the lives of our residents, but no other project has been more prominent and culturally meaningful than the creation of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park,” said Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. “The vision of the Bexar County Commissioners Court to create a space where local citizens and visitors could learn and appreciate the roots of local heritage and culture is being realized with the opening of this first segment.”
Visitors can navigate the San Pedro Creek Culture Park with the help of a mobile app, which includes a variety of ways to learn about and interact with the creek. Available on Android and iOS, the app features a customizable 18-stop audio tour as well as extensive plant and animal lists for those who want to learn more about the native flora and fauna of the creek.
In total, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park encompasses a total of four phases, with three segments in the first phase. The second segment, which spans from Houston Street to Nueva Street is currently under construction. When the four phases are completed, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park will span 2.2 miles through downtown.