Board Insights – Lourdes Galvan

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Yellow crowned night heron

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.

Lourdes Galvan

Lourdes Galvan, Bexar County, District 2

Businesswoman Lourdes Galvan is a former San Antonio District 5 councilperson. She brings a wealth of community service experience to the River Authority. Ms. Galvan works as a business development specialist with Dependable Business Solutions. Galvan is excited about her role and has supported the Westside Creeks Restoration Project for many years.

How have you been interacting with the San Antonio River recently?

I grew up around the creeks on the Westside, so I have always interacted with our waterways. I have family members who live off San Pedro Creek, so I have recently enjoyed watching them build their relationships with our creeks and rivers. I have also enjoyed my involvement with the Citizens Advisory Committee for the San Pedro Creek Culture Park. It has been rewarding watching the creek transform from dirt and concrete to the beautiful, functional park that it is today.

Yellow crowned night heron

A Yellow-crowned Night Heron stalks its prey along San Pedro Creek. Photo Credit: Brandon Kent

Tell us about the River Authority board’s role in the community and in protecting the watershed.

As a board member, my goal is to educate the community on our role in keeping the ecosystem of our creeks and rivers safe and healthy. Part of this is advocating for River Authority projects at the local, state, and federal levels of government. In February, we were privileged to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Office of Management and Budget, and our federal delegation of representatives in Washington. Even in D.C., they were aware of the work that the River Authority had done in the past with projects like the Mission Reach and recognized the significance of the ongoing Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration Project. This is evident from the funding that the project received from the Administration’s budget and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It is essential to go to D.C. and remind these agencies and representatives of the importance of the River Authority’s ongoing work, and I am pleased to represent us at the Capitol.

A group of people stands in front of the US Capital

Lourdes with River Authority board members and executive staff at the U.S. Capitol.

What past or current River Authority project are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the ongoing Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration project. I grew up on the Westside, on the creeks. I remember the floods when I was younger, how the water came up to the streets. Some people today don’t know about the flood’s impact on the community, but I remember. Then, in the 1970s, the creeks were channelized as part of the San Antonio Channelization Improvement Project. While this mitigated flood risk in our neighborhoods, we lost a part of our community to the concrete drainage ditch. The restoration of the Westside Creeks has been an ongoing community conversation for years. The Westside Creeks Restoration Oversight Committee first met in 2008, and our advocacy for the project was integral to the completion of the Corps of Engineers feasibility study in 2014. Now, after years of community support and advocacy, we are almost halfway through the design of rehabilitating Alazan, Apache, Martinez, and San Pedro creeks. At the 60% design milestone later this year, we will host another round of public information sessions to share the updated designs with the community.

A group of people stands by the Mission Reach Ecosystem project.

Lourdes on a tour of the Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration Project with the Westside Creeks Committee in 2023.

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