Board Insights: Chairman Jim Campbell

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Paddling racers on the San Antonio River

Last Updated on April 23, 2024

This series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) Board of Directors and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of area creeks and rivers. In this edition, we sat down with the Chairman of the Board, Jim Campbell.

Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell Bexar County District 4, Chairman of the Board

As District 4 Director, Jim Campbell represents the eastern portion of Bexar County. Jim is a native Texan and a graduate of Roosevelt High School in San Antonio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Texas A&M University. He is a governmental relations and communications professional whose career has included employment in the United States Congress, Texas Legislature, and San Antonio municipal government. Jim has been a River Authority board member since 2015 and has served as Board Chairman since 2022.

Chairman Jim Campbell shakes hands in congratulations with another River Authority employee

The River Authority is involved in several events this spring. Is there one that you’re most excited about?

I am excited for Race the River series this year. Although the River Authority has focused on recreational use of the river for years, if not decades, the idea of river racing, professional or amateur, was a concept that resurfaced a few years ago. The Texas Water Safari on the San Marcos River has been a great success for their river. We previously decided that that type of event was not right for the San Antonio River, but now, the idea has given birth to the Race the River series. In its own special way, the series has proven to be very impactful because of the opportunity it creates for people to literally be in contact with the river and appreciate all it has to offer.

Paddling racers on the San Antonio River

Paddlers compete during the Race the River: Mission Reach in 2023.

What current River Authority project are you looking forward to?

When I came on the Board over eight years ago, one of my goals was to see the River Walk completed from where it ends now at the Pearl to the Blue Hole on the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) campus. Although the funding is not in place, the feasibility and the will are. To complete this segment of the San Antonio River, we would connect the Pearl to Brackenridge Park, past the golf course, underneath Hildebrand Ave, up to UIW. The River Authority serves as Project Manager for the Spirit Reach project, part of the Bexar County Creeks and Trails program. The Spirit Reach segment will provide a path under Hildebrand, through campus, up to the Blue Hole and Little Blue Hole. For me, completing this River Walk connection is as meaningful as any project that I have been involved with in my time on the River Authority Board.

Blue Hole

The Blue Hole at the Headwaters Sanctuary at Incarnate Word

In addition to having fun, how would you encourage people to enjoy Fiesta this year?

The River Authority’s focus on Fiesta this year is in keeping the river as clean as possible. While we have a great time all over San Antonio, we need to be aware of our impact on the river. Much that is left on the ground and not properly disposed of ends up in our creeks and rivers. This becomes a great challenge for the River Authority for trash removal but also in maintaining the overall health of our waterways. Please help us keep the rivers and creeks clean this year and Don’t Let Litter (and Fiesta) Trash Your River!

Styrofoam cups and other litter crowd the drainage in city roads after heavy rain event

Any litter on the ground, including Fiesta items, can be quickly swept into storm drains and end up in the San Antonio River.

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Acequia Trail Notice

The Acequia trail will have heavy traffic near MROC starting May 22nd until further notice. The SAWS Acequia project will be bringing in crews to work on the lift station site and across the street. There will have flaggers to stop traffic, please use caution. 

SASPAMCO Paddling Trail

The SASPAMCO paddling trail is open from River Crossing Park to Helton Nature Park.
*Please Note: Paddling Trail from Helton Nature Park to HWY 97 is still closed due to blockages. 

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