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.
I remember as a young girl growing up on the southside of San Antonio that the river was “there” but not ever really paying attention to it. Later, when I returned from college and got my first job at the Southwest Craft Center (now the Southwest School of Art), I would walk down to the San Antonio River and enjoy the beauty and tranquility the river provided in the middle of an urban environment. Today, I look out my window from the River Authority’s main office in the King William District and see residents and visitors walking or cycling with their friends and family or learning to for the first time. Like many of us who have lived in San Antonio and the surrounding area, the river has meandered through our lives either through memories of river parades, a fun evening of great food and entertainment, fishing from its banks, or even remembering a big flood that the river has conveyed.
What does the River mean to you?
Although many of you know that the river is “there,” do you really pay attention to it? Is it, or its many tributary creeks and rivers, a natural resource we care about and want to protect? Do we really understand and appreciate the dynamics of the and its ? The dedicated staff of the River Authority would answer each of these questions with an emphatic, “ABSOLUTELY!” We are admittedly bias stewards with deep passion for this incredible natural water resource. What really matters though is what you—the residents, business owners, taxpayers, civic and neighborhood leaders, students, landowners, farmers, ranchers, and citizens of the basin—value about the river. Is it a resource worth protecting?
There are more than 8,800 miles of creeks and rivers in the San Antonio River Basin, within six major watersheds, extending throughout part of 14 counties. As development grows upstream, water quality, flooding, ecosystem health, trash, and debris happens downstream. We have become very aware of how what we do on the land can impact the health of the drinking water resource of the Edwards Aquifer, but the collective awareness of how what we do on the land impacts the quality and is not as top of mind. The River Authority is working to change that.
Through our messaging we are inviting you to show your pride for how the river has been part of your life, but also we want you to be called to action as proud stewards of creeks and rivers and their value as natural resources that must be , , and for our future environmental and economic sustainability as well as for the quality of life for area residents and visitors.
Many of you have spent more time outdoors these past few months enjoying a picnic or hike and bike trail at parks along the river or on our incredible paddling trail network. It is timely that we are now engaging with you through this blog to build awareness and stewardship. We will share with you our work in the areas of , climate action, , , , and . It is our hope that the river will no longer just be just “there,” but it will be a valued resource that we are working together to protect.