Programs & Special Events:
In 2011, the Conservancy debuted two events that seem destined to become San Antonio traditions: Parktoberfest, a celebration of San Antonio's history and German heritage at Koehler Pavilion, and the Holiday Sing-Along for families at Joske Pavilion.
In 2009 the city of San Antonio and Conservancy volunteers removed more than 10 tons of trash from Brackenridge Park on the Monday after Easter. Other garbage ended up in the San Antonio River or was blown into natural areas of the park. In 2010 and 2011, the Conservancy developed special volunteer programs to reduce littering, increase recycling, and promote environmental stewardship. The result has been a significant decrease in clean-up requirements and a staggering increase in recycling--from none at all in 2009 to filling an entire roll-off dumpster with sorted plastic, bottles, and clean cardboard in 2011, and four tons of sorted recyclables in 2012. These programs continued with a four-day effort from March 29 to April 1, 2013. Our success has been so great that the approach pioneered by the Brackenridge Park Conservancy was adopted at four other city parks in 2013.
Other volunteer opportunities have been developed in conjunction with the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation volunteer services program. Annually, Brackenridge Park Conservancy develops projects and arranges funding and support for Earth Day, United Way Days of Caring, and National Public Lands Day. Projects have included clearing and replanting of the Ave. B entrance gates, removal of invasive plant species, creation of a butterfly garden, and repairs to the 1878 Pump House #1.
The Conservancy's Archaeological Exploration! program provides enrichment to area students; promotes the science and practice of archaeology; and creates new stewards for both Brackenridge Park and our community’s heritage. Since 2011, participating fourth and fifth grade students from Lamar Elementary, Hawthorne Academy and KIPP Camino Academy have learned through presentations and field trips with archaeologists, ethnobotanists and historians. Visits to the UTSA Center for Archaeology lab and various Brackenridge Park destinations, such as the San Antonio River, the Witte Museum, and the San Antonio Botanical Garden teach about human history through a local lens.
Research & Study:
BPC contracted with BIO-WEST consultants to undertake an environmental biodiversity study to document baseline ecological conditions in Brackenridge Park and along the riparian corridor. Study results, which were received during the fall of 2012 and presented to sponsors and partners in 2013, are being used to inform BPC’s education and advocacy efforts, as well as provide a foundation for the park master plan update. Download the study here. BPC raised $84,000 to complete the study and to support a complementary study to be undertaken by the Headwaters Coalition.
The Conservancy, with funding from the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department, has completed two studies that are key to future planning for the park. The firm of Ford, Powell and Carson has finished the extensive Master Plan, Part I study of the park. This examines all aspects of the park and lays the groundwork for an in-depth master plan to be undertaken in the future. An important, related study is the Masonry Survey by Alamo Architects. This study surveys all of the important masonry features of the park, ranking their importance and condition.
The Brackenridge Park Conservancy seeks to combine local visions developed through planning processes such as the MidTown/Brackenridge TIRZ, the San Antonio River Improvements Project, and SA 2020 with commissioned studies and research in order to lay the foundation for an updated park Master Plan.