My River POV: Amy Zola

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Last Updated on January 30, 2024

The “My River POV” series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) staff and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of area creeks and rivers.

Amy Zola, Manager of Planning and Project Management

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I always loved being by the water – whether the awe-inspiring Lake Erie or one of the smaller glacier lakes, ponds, or creeks. You could find me sitting peacefully nearby, reading a book, or simply listening to the waves. It always surprised me how much people took for granted that we had the largest freshwater system in the world right in our backyard! When I was older, I worked with at-risk children teaching them to sail and take water quality and benthic samples from the bay. From that point on, I was hooked. I wanted to work for the rest of my life for places that made it a goal to improve their communities; whether through educating young ones, completing stream restoration projects, or implementing major economic development improvements.

Four young children sit beside Lake Eerie.

My sisters and I at a lookout over Lake Erie in 1983.

When my family relocated to San Antonio, I knew I had to find a workplace that would continue to align with my life’s missions. In starting my search, everyone steered me to the same place; the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority). When I came to town for my interview, even the cashier noted that the River Authority was such a cool place. It was a simple decision to take the job and move my family of seven all the way from Pennsylvania. Exchanging harsh winters for relentless summers was an easy change for us. You can often find our family enjoying a weekend on the coast or taking visiting relatives to the River Walk.

Family of five at Confluence Park Grand opening.

My husband and 4 of our children at the Confluence Park Grand Opening in 2018.

It has been a straightforward task to connect my daily work to the positive impacts our projects and activities have on the community. The River Authority is a staple in the community. As soon as I tell someone where I work, they are quick to make a connection to something personal in their lives – beaming with an appreciation for what the River Authority provides for the community. As the Manager of the Planning and Project Management Office, I get the opportunity to aid in the development of projects as well as see them all the way through to completion. I also have opportunities to work with individuals that are the best at what they do, from scientists and engineers to parks and recreation team members and support staff. I am humbled and appreciative that I get to come to work every day with like-minded individuals! I encourage everyone to check out ongoing projects, participate in a public meeting, or visit a project site and post your experience on social media using #BeRiverProud.

Learn more about Amy and read her bio here.


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