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Free yoga classes, led by Mobile Om and sponsored by the River Foundation, were a welcome weekly ritual for many community members in 2022.
This piece is co-contributed by Sara Ramirez and Danica Bullis of the San Antonio River Foundation (River Foundation), the San Antonio River Authority’s nonprofit partner. Established in 2003, the River Foundation focuses on four main pillars that guide our work: education, ecology, arts and culture, and recreation. Each of these pillars directs the projects we embark on and ensures that we are continually striving to achieve our mission of increasing environmental equity and promoting environmental stewardship of the San Antonio River Basin.
2022 River Foundation Recap
The River Foundation sponsors programs and initiatives that help to preserve, enhance, and transform the San Antonio River Basin and cultivate the next generation of environmental stewards. As the programmatic managers of Confluence Park, we strive to provide experiences that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all members of our community. To date, we have hosted 194 arts and culture programs, 469 educational programs and field trips, 331 ecological programs, and 424 recreational programs. Here is a look back at a few of our favorites from this year:
Lonesome Lounge Sessions on the River: An Evening with Bill Callahan
On March 1, 2022, the Lonesome Lounge Sessions by Texas Public Radio (TPR) traveled to Confluence Park for a unique outdoor concert along the river. In partnership with TPR, the San Antonio Parks Foundation, and Garrett T. Capps, this musical performance beneath the concrete petals of Confluence Park brought the beauty of nature and the soothing vocals of Bill Callahan together for a memorable evening. View the entire performance.
Black Birders Week 2022
This year marked the third annual Black Birders Week, a series of events held nationwide from May 29 to June 4. These events aim to highlight Black nature enthusiasts and increase the visibility of Black birders, who face unique challenges and dangers when engaging in outdoor activities. On June 4, the River Foundation celebrated Black Birders Week with a free bird walk along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk led by Danielle Belleny, wildlife biologist and cofounder of Black Birders Week, which is an initiative of the Black AF In STEM Collective. Participants were provided with binoculars from the River Foundation’s outdoor gear library, and a Mission Reach birding checklist.
Nature of Art 2022
Beginning in 2018 (the year Confluence Park opened), the River Foundation partnered with Southwest School of Art to host a month-long summer camp called “Nature of Art.” Campers learn about the wonders of nature through creative expression taught by local San Antonio artists. Special guests typically included a nature photography workshop with Carra Garza of Green Space Alliance and weekly visits from community science ambassadors. This year, 60 campers were able to meet an entomologist-in-training from Texas A&M AgriLife, chat with aquatic biologists from the San Antonio River Authority, and cuddle with cute critters and slimy salamanders from Once in a Wild Mobile Zoo (pictured below).
Take a sneak peek into our fun-filled 2023!
We have been quite the busy bees this fall, working hard to create fresh, new programming to keep you loving the San Antonio River in 2023! We’ve been listening to the buzz about what the community needs and wants, so we are designing a fun-filled year of FREE activities just for you!
New for 2023, we will be hosting a monthly farmers market pop-up at Confluence Park, highlighting the best fresh produce and super cool local artisans. There will also be toe-tapping, finger-snapping music, and cooking classes featuring chocolate making and tequila tasting. What about hands-on art classes? You bet! We’ll have you covered with free open-air art lessons alongside some of our most famous and gorgeous riverside public art installations.
Support YOUR San Antonio River today!
Interested in helping us achieve our mission? As a nonprofit, we are reliant on donations from supporters like you! Your donation helps to amplify our impact of providing world-class stewardship for the San Antonio River Basin, reviving native landscapes, repopulating native species, and providing nature-based, river-centric community opportunities for arts & culture, education, ecology, and recreation.
We invite you to pledge your support to the conservation, restoration, preservation, and enjoyment of the land and water resources of the San Antonio River Basin and follow along (and join in) our adventures in 2023!
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River Reach is a quarterly, 12-page newsletter that is designed to inform the San Antonio River Authority’s constituents about the agency’s many projects, serve as a communication vehicle for the board of directors and foster a sense of unity and identity among the residents of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties.