Stem Density Removal Efforts Begin Along Mission Reach to Maintain Flood Control & Preserve Project Restorations

Written by:

Posted on:




Get The Latest:

Join our print or digital newsletter to be informed about the agency’s many projects and other news.

Crews working on natural vegetation

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

(SAN ANTONIO,TX) – Beginning this week, teams of San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) experts will begin stem density removal efforts along the Mission Reach in order to maintain the flood conveyance requirements as set forth by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The effort is slated to last through the end of 2023, and will focus on three stretches of the San Antonio River Basin: from Mission Road to Roosevelt Road; Hot Wells to Padre Park; and Acequia Park to Bergs Mill.

“These stem density efforts are a routine part of the preservation and flood control efforts associated with supporting and maintaining the Mission Reach ecosystem for all to enjoy–humans and wildlife alike,” said Tommy Mitchell, Manager of Watershed & Park Operations for the River Authority. “Although seemingly counterintuitive, stem removal is actually essential to ensuring proper flow of flood water, supports diversity of tree species and ultimately, helps keep our residential, migratory, and wildlife communities safe.”

Trees originally planted as part of the ecosystem restoration project will be preserved, while additional “volunteer” trees and woody vegetation that arrived since the opening of the project will be mulched. The River Authority’s engineering staff utilizes the most up-to-date floodplain maps along with other engineering software and on-the-ground evaluations to review the vegetation zones and update stem density values for stem count per acre that must be achieved to maintain the project’s top priority, which is flood protection.

During the removal process, trail access will be intermittently impacted. All material removed during the effort will be mulched to support grassland restoration, and roots will remain in place for bank stabilization.

For additional information about annual stem density removal efforts, visit

Related Articles


Riverfront Parkway – Acequia Lift Station

Thursday, June 20 – Sunday, June 23, Riverfront Parkway is partially closed. Expect delays in traffic due to construction work. We apologize for any inconvenience.

San Pedro Creek: Rains from the Heavens

The Rains from the Heavens water wall at San Pedro Creek will be shut off due to maintenance Tuesday, June 18th. There will also be some road closures that day, so please be mindful if you are in this area. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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. 

River Reach Newsletter and Blog Signup

River Reach is offered as a printed, physical mailing to your residence or business. The Blog is a weekly electronic email with news and updates in order to be more environmentally conscious. Please fill out the form below and indicate your preferred method of delivery.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing materials from: San Antonio River Authority, 100 East Guenther St., San Antonio, TX, 78204, US. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.