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Urban Waters Partnership

Accomplishments: San Antonio Urban Waters Location


San Antonio Missions Site Approved as World Heritage Site

In July 2015, San Antonio’s five Spanish Colonial Missions and the Rancho de las Cabras were approved as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The San Antonio River has a rich connection to the history of the San Antonio Missions, the 23rd World Heritage Site in the United States. The site includes five mission complexes found along the San Antonio River basin. The missions – the most famous of which is the Alamo – were built by Franciscan missionaries in the 18th century. The world heritage site list is made up of more than 1,000 properties throughout the world, including Stonehenge and Machu Picchu.

Elmendorf Lake Park Improvement Project

Elmendorf Lake Park on San Antonio’s West Side is being enhanced with people-friendly and environmentally sensitive features. New additions to the Elmendorf Lake will incorporate rain gardens, wetlands, bio-filtration swales, and an aerator to improve water quality. Park improvements are estimated to be completed by the summer of 2016. Some successes to date include:

  1. installation of three bridges and a fishing pier,
  2. the demolition of a vacant building to make way for added green space,
  3. improved hiking and biking trails,
  4. the construction on the stormwater best management practices (BMPs), which will treat stormwater prior to it draining into the lake,
  5. removal of invasive plant species along the shore line.

Martinez Creekway Trail Construction

Trail construction is underway along the Martinez Creek. The project will link the Martinez and Alazan creeks for pedestrians and cyclists, who make their way across the heavily-traveled part of San Antonio’s West Side. Upon completion, the Martinez Creekway Trail will extend approximately half a mile, providing connections to VIA Metropolitan's Primo bus line serving the Medical Center and Downtown. The trail is expected to be completed by April 2016.

Olmos Basin Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project

The City of San Antonio and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into a Project Participation Agreement (PPA) in August, 2015. The $2.5M project will include water quality improvements, such as improving the creek's flow and temperature by removing non-native invasive plant and tree species and also restoring the ecosystem to create a more natural habitat. Preliminary engineering design work is underway, and 30% of the design is on track to be available in late December 2015.