My River POV: Rick Trefzer

The River Authority
Feb 19, 2021

The “My River POV” series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of River Authority staff and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of our creeks and rivers.

Rick Trefzer

Rick Trefzer, Director of Support Services

Growing up in San Antonio can make it easy to take for granted the variety and significance of the places our city and region have to offer, especially since some are not known or regularly accessed by the average citizen. As a local, it has always been convenient to associate the downtown experience and amenities that make our city so special as just for the tourists and visitors to San Antonio.

Mission Reach bike and hike path

San Antonio River Walk’s Mission Reach

That mindset changed for me during a Chamber of Commerce event in early 2012 when I discovered the improvements occurring south of downtown. I had the opportunity to hop on a bicycle and ride the trails constructed along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk. It was such a pleasant surprise that something so impressive and accessible was right in our backyard. After seeing heavy equipment in the channel for months as I drove by 410 south of town, seeing the completed project on that bike ride helped complete the picture for me and solidified my own personal connection to the San Antonio River. Admittedly, I was much less engaged in the activities taking place in local government back then as compared to today. The experience I had that day was certainly an influencing factor in my decision to join the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) a few years later.

San Antonio River Authority staff pose in front of the installed bike racks at our Euclid office

San Antonio River Authority staff pose in front of the installed bike racks at our Euclid office

Since that bike ride in 2012, I have had the pleasure of spending time with my family and friends taking in the Enjoyable components of the river our organization works each day to care for. Showing off the Christmas lights to my wife and children, riding the river barges with family visiting from out of town, and even walking along the river to lunch with co-workers are all memories I’ll carry with me. Beyond that, the River Authority has exposed me to the effort and vision it takes to create special places within our communities. As I look out the windows of our offices, I see hundreds of people running, biking, and spending quality time together in the outdoor places we help provide, each creating similar experiences of their own.

Martinez II

San Antonio River Authority’s Martinez II Wastewater Treatment Plant

Although my day job has me mostly indoors working on spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, nothing creates the connection to the important work we do at the River Authority like a hard hat tour of a construction site like at San Pedro Creek Culture Park or seeing first-hand how the wastewater treatment plants run by our Utilities staff produce high-quality effluent (treated water) that is returned as clean, recycled water to local creeks. I take pride in the role our Support Services team plays in making the necessary resources available to our dedicated staff who are responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining the parks, trails, and other places that benefit our communities. It is gratifying to play a role in the larger vision of inspiring actions for healthy creeks and rivers.