Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
Kiddie Park is still moving to the San Antonio Zoo, but it’s moving to a different corner than previously planned.
After Brackenridge Park advocates expressed concern about the longtime local amusement park’s relocation to the San Antonio Zoo, stakeholders came to a joint resolution Thursday.
Kiddie Park, which still has rides dating back to the 1920s, was set to be installed in a spot near the river bend. Brackenridge Park Conservancy board members objected, citing the potential of added noise and foot traffic to a natural space. Kiddie Park will now instead occupy a small parking lot by the roundabout next to the zoo, eliminating the need to lay new asphalt down, said Lynn Osborne Bobbitt, executive director of Brackenridge Park Conservancy.
Bobbitt said that the conservancy, the zoo, and City of San Antonio agreed on the new location and plan at a Thursday meeting. The discussion also refocused attention on Brackenridge Park as a whole.
“All of us who have an interest here in making the park as best as it can be need to communicate with one another so we can understand the implication of future changes to the park,” Bobbitt said. “I see this as a positive new way forward and stand ready to work with the City and zoo as we move on.”
Zoo President and CEO Tim Morrow said that the zoo and conservancy worked together to find the best location on zoo property while maintaining the charm and affordability of Kiddie Park’s original location.
“This creative new solution allows us to check all of those boxes,” he said in a statement Thursday.
As part of the relocation agreement, the zoo is taking over Kiddie Park from current owner Rad Weaver.
“For San Antonio to lose Kiddie Park would have been a travesty,” Weaver said Thursday in a statement. “Once we realized that Kiddie Park could no longer be viable at its Broadway location the zoo has always seemed the best fit for this move.”
The zoo and Kiddie Park will still have separate entrances and separate entry fees. Kiddie Park’s last day at its current location is July 4. The grand re-opening is scheduled for August.
The new Kiddie Park plan has been submitted to the Historic and Design Review Commission for approval; Brackenridge Park is a state antiquities landmark, which means changes must be approved by HDRC. The commission is slated to address the plan on June 19.