Board Insights: Gaylon Oehlke

The River Authority
Oct 29, 2021
General

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.

Gaylon J. Oehlke

Gaylon Oehlke, Karnes County

Gaylon Oehlke was born and raised in Goliad County, where he attended Goliad High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University in 1972. During this time, Oehlke was a member of the Texas National Guard. Oehlke retired in March 2004 as president of the Kenedy and Robstown credit offices for Capital Farm Credit, ACA, after 32 years of service. He has been a board member at the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) since 2003 and his current term expires in 2025.

What value does the San Antonio River Authority provide to the community?

Water Quality Testing

The expertise of the River Authority’s staff has been imperative in the improvement of the health of area creeks and rivers. By performing water quality monitoring and assessments of the river habitat and biology throughout the San Antonio River Basin, the River Authority’s efforts has helped detect challenges that can be addressed through collaboration with area government entities and the public. Over the years, the River Authority has developed data that has shown significant improvement in the water quality in the basin from Bexar County all the way south to the bays and estuaries. 

How can we make sure the San Antonio River is preserved for future generations?

Illegal Dumping Sign

Illegal dumping continues to be a challenge that affects the health of area creeks and rivers, especially in our rural and southern basin communities. In addition to hosting household hazardous waste collection events in collaboration with area government entities, the River Authority is also spearheading a trash outreach initiative to educate the public about the harmful effects of illegal dumping and to encourage residents to properly dispose of their waste.

What is the best way to interact with the San Antonio River?

ECP_Oehlke_Campbell

Board Members Gaylon Oehlke and Jim Campbell at the Escondido Creek Parkway Anniversary Celebration

The best way to interact with the San Antonio River is by forging meaningful connections. The River Authority operates and maintains nature parks and trails throughout the San Antonio River Basin. The Escondido Creek Parkway, in the City of Kenedy, has offered recreational opportunities for all Karnes County residents and the surrounding community since it opened in October 2020. The River Authority celebrated the park’s first anniversary earlier this month and it was wonderful to see people of all ages enjoying the amenities and connecting with nature.

Name an interesting fact about the San Antonio River Basin that most people might not know.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Karnes County, you are missing out on so much! There are beautiful stretches of the San Antonio River like the falls at Falls City, Mill Falls (also known as Skiles Falls), and Conquista Crossing to name a few. There are also many historic places that are worth a visit that include the Karnes County Courthouse completed in 1895 and Panna Maria, home of the oldest Polish settlement in the country.