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.
Jim Campbell is a native Texan and a graduate of Roosevelt High School in San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University. Campbell is a governmental relations and communications professional, whose career has included employment in the United States Congress, Texas Legislature, and San Antonio municipal government. He currently serves as a mayoral appointee to the San Antonio Mobility Coalition Executive Committee and as Chairman of the Brooks Development Authority Board. As a resident of the King William Historic District, both he and his wife Shawn are passionate users of the San Antonio River Walk. He has been a River Authority board member representing Bexar County’s District 4 since 2015.
What is your favorite section of the San Antonio River?
My favorite section of the San Antonio River is the area by the King William Historic District. It provides easy access for fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding thanks to the King William Paddling Trail. This trail allows paddlers the opportunity to enjoy a serene paddle on the river and explore history, art, bridges, and good eats and drinks all in the same afternoon. I also enjoy seeing the interesting mix of tourists and neighbors who mix and mingle on this stretch of the river, which has become a popular spot in San Antonio in recent years.
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?
The River Authority has a long, successful track record of implementing impactful and inspiriting projects, so it’s hard to select just one project. Recently, the River Authority, together with Bexar County, started an initiative to create a vision for the redevelopment of Salado Creek. Salado Creek runs through the heart of Bexar County’s District 4 and is a major tributary of the San Antonio River. Like past successful projects, including the Museum Reach, Mission Reach, Westside Creeks Restoration Project, Escondido Creek Parkway, and the ongoing San Pedro Creek Culture Park, a citizens’ advisory committee has been established to help provide guidance to this new Salado Creek initiative. As the River Authority’s Bexar County District 4 board member, I have been actively engaged with this new initiative and the citizens’ advisory committee. Over time, restoration of the Salado Creek will address the safe, clean, and enjoyable aspects of the River Authority’s mission and provide another important connection between the surrounding neighborhoods, the creeks, and the river.
Why is it important to be a stewards of the San Antonio River Basin and protect area creeks and rivers?
The river is the reason we exist as a community. It gives us a unique identity and worldwide reputation. The headwaters of the San Antonio River were a gathering place for Native Americans over 12,000 years ago, providing precious water in a semi-arid landscape and attracting game. It has been a huge economic generator and recreational resource for hundreds of years. If we don’t protect this resource, we will lose a significant part of our past, present, and future.
What is a positive action someone can take to Be River Proud?
At the River Authority, we believe that the more people interact with our creeks and rivers, they will forge meaningful connections and will want to preserve and protect these resources. So please, visit the river or one of our creek ways. Experience the beauty of a part of the river you’ve never seen before. Take a walk or rent a kayak. Try fishing or have a picnic on the river’s bank. Rediscover the San Antonio River and tell everyone you know what an amazing treasure we have in the heart of San Antonio and South Texas.