Giving Thanks: Highlighting Collaboration and Successful Partnerships

The River Authority
Nov 24, 2020

As part of our commitment to safe, clean, enjoyable creeks and rivers, the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) has partnered with area government entities, community organizations, and non-profits to collaborate on projects that align with our mission and vision throughout the agency’s history. It is thanks to the collaboration between these groups and the merging of ideas and resources that many projects have been successfully completed over the years that have helped improve area creeks and rivers. Our gratitude also extends to our constituents throughout the San Antonio River Basin who are supporters and beneficiaries of all these wonderful collaborations.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to specifically highlight two significant projects that were made possible through successful collaboration with our partners, who we also want to highlight and thank for their involvement and support.

San Antonio River Improvements Project

River Authority and project partners celebrate the phase I Mission Reach grand opening.

The San Antonio River Improvements Project (SARIP) was a $384.1 million investment by the Bexar County, City of San Antonio, River Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the San Antonio River Foundation in flood control, amenities, ecosystem restoration, and recreational improvements along 13 miles of the San Antonio River from Hildebrand Avenue south to Loop 410 South. The main goals of the SARIP were restoring the ecosystems around the river and linking together access to the cultural institutions of San Antonio with a linear park, extended barge access, and improvements to over 15 miles of trails.

In addition to the project partners, Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, and the River Authority created the San Antonio River Oversight Committee in 1998, which consisted of a 22-member group comprised of appointed civic and neighborhood leaders. Committee members were given the responsibility of overseeing the planning, design, project management, and construction necessary to complete the project. In addition, the committee was charged with providing an open public forum for citizen input into the project's development.

SARIP was completed in 2013 with the grand opening of the Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project. The project has received international praise as it was included in the San Antonio River’s 2017 Thiess International Riverprize recognition and it was an important factor in the UNESCO decision to designate the San Antonio Missions as a World Heritage Site. The project also served as a catalyst for future improvement projects such as San Pedro Creek Culture Park and the Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration Project.

Escondido Creek Parkway Project

River Authority and project partners celebrate the grand opening of the Escondido Creek Parkway on October 2020.

The River Authority in partnership with the Kenedy 4B Corporation, Kenedy Chamber of Commerce, the City of Kenedy, and the San Antonio River Foundation recently celebrated the grand opening of Escondido Creek Parkway in Karnes County. The project brought to life a vision to create an attractive linear park with features that allow the community new opportunities to sit, stroll, run, play, and enjoy the outdoors along a waterway full of benefits.

The project was also made possible thanks to the support of the community through public and private donations along with the support of the oversight committee whose members planned several fundraisers and successfully advocated for the project since its inception in 2017.

Recreational amenities at the Escondido Creek Parkway include a multi-purpose hike and bike trail that is over one-mile long and is surrounded by beautiful Texan native landscaping. Additional amenities include: a playground, skate park, splash pad, pavilion providing ample shade, an amphitheater, picnic tables, park benches, monuments to Parkway donors, and parking. The River Authority is also planning educational and recreational programming for the community to enjoy free of charge.