The development of San Pedro Creek continued with the groundbreaking of Confluence Park located at 310 West Mitchell Street.
The project by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) under the oversight of Lake│Flato Architects and Matsys and Rialto Studio will be the site of one of the largest living classrooms on the Southside with its unique grassland ecosystem.
“The river Authority is very proud of our partnership with the river foundation for more than a decade,” said Suzanne Scott, SARA General Manager. “We have worked together to enhance the beauty, enjoyment and stewardship of the San Antonio and today with this groundbreaking, we are embarking on a new environmental education programs for citizens of all ages.”
Among the key additions to Confluence Park is an outdoor pavilion that is set to provide education for over 22,000 students from across the city. It will also include hiking and biking trails underscoring the protected ecosystem. Funding for the park came from over $1 million dollars for educational programs from the San Antonio River Foundation (SARF).
Conservation plans includes a water catchment system with underground tanks to create rainwater storage.
“The park will be divided into four ecotype regions, each will be planted with native Texas species that represent different habitats within central and south Texas,” said Stuart Allen, project manager for Confluence Park. “The entire park we think of it as one living organism, when rain fall anywhere in the park, that rain will be captured and translated into an underground system and will be reused.”
A secured $1 million SARF Educational Endowment will be offered to public school systems free of charge, including the availability of free transportation opportunities for schools that otherwise could not afford to participate in these programs. This convergence of resources will eliminate a huge barrier to the provision of important hands-on scientific environmental educational experiences to San Antonio area students.
While the groundbreaking made the start of the development official, numerous mock-ups and designs have been in the works for some time.
“What a partnership, what an opportunity for the community, Toyota is right down the street, our interest is to help our partners in our backyard and provide opportunities for the people that live in this community,” said Mario Lozoya, director of Government Relations for Toyota Manufacturing.
The park is scheduled to finish construction in 2017.