This series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the River Authority Board of Directors and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of area creeks and rivers.
Deb Bolner Prost’s entrepreneurial career has spanned the advertising, marketing, and statistical data industries with emphasis on branding and consumer perceptual mapping and satisfaction. She held managerial positions with Ed Yardang & Associates Ad Agency before starting Promark Research in 1982. Today, Prost focuses on strategic management, marketing, and research activities via her consulting firm Prost Marketing, Inc. She is also very active in her profession and community, having held key officerships in many organizations and is a recently retired Councilwoman for the City of Olmos Park. She has been an at-large board member of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) representing Bexar County since 2017. Her current term expires in 2023.
What is your favorite section of the San Antonio River?
I have three “favorite” sections of the San Antonio River. The first includes the Museum Reach and downtown sections of the San Antonio River Walk where you can find me fast-walking from the Turning Basin near the Historic Pearl to the River Authority headquarters. I love the serenity and beauty of nature along the river as well as passing the locks and dam, our own little “Panama Canal.” Seeing the water features, 70,000 plants, and numerous art installations, including the F.I.S.H and Grotto, are my favorites.
I am also an avid cyclist, and often pedal through my next favorite section of the San Antonio River starting at the Blue Star and making my way down the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk. I enjoy seeing the breathtaking landscapes, kayakers, and artwork at the Mission Portals where I periodically take the trail from the river to bike around the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which is also a World Heritage Site.
Thirdly, my newest favorite section of the San Antonio River Basin is the San Antonio Bay where I have had a chance to visit as a River Authority board member to attend San Antonio Bay Partnership meetings. This has helped me understand the importance of maintaining the influx of fresh and clean water from the San Antonio River into the ecosystem along our gulf shores.
Of all the San Antonio River Authority’s current Safe, Clean, and Enjoyable projects and efforts, which do you think is the most impactful or inspiring?
As an active participant on the San Pedro Creek Culture Park Citizens Advisory Committee on behalf of the River Authority, I am thoroughly humbled by its magnitude and the project’s organization. The project covers all aspects of the River Authority’s mission including Flood Mitigation by widening and deepening the channel; promoting a Clean river by the use of native plants as natural filtering systems; and Enjoyable through the ability to stroll and cycle the area. Visitors to the park can also find valuable information on the San Pedro Creek Culture Park app – which delightfully presents the colorful history of the creek and educates about the various public art projects integrated into the first phase of the project. The app is available for download to Android and iPhone.
Why is it important to be a stewards of the San Antonio River Basin and protect area creeks and rivers?
Enjoying the pollinator garden outside of the River Authority’s headquarters.
Protection of the San Antonio River Basin can have a direct impact on our community. My family settled in San Antonio from the Canary Islands and built civic government and civilian commerce in this area because of the availability of a clean and sustainable water source. The significant population growth in our area and the concurrent economic development brings more pollutants, litter, stormwater runoff, and increased wastewater, all of which can end up in area creeks and rivers. The San Antonio River is a treasure we want to be available for enjoyment of all types for years to come.
What is a positive action someone can take to Be River Proud?
Participating in a litter cleanup event in Olmos Basin.
There is a long list of simple things each person can do to Be River Proud like picking up after your animals, keeping your car maintained, using environmentally friendly pavers on your driveway, installing bio-swells, using a rain catchment barrel to collect rainwater, planting native trees and plants that will naturally filter rain water, changing the type and amount of fertilizer you use on your yard, and taking your household hazardous waste to acceptable disposal sites – these all add up to helping enhance the health of our river. The River Authority has a significant amount of educational materials available to the public to help inspire actions for healthy creeks and rivers.