Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission approved a matching $1 million urban outdoor recreation grant for planned additions to Pearsall Park. The funds were part of more than $16 million in statewide park grants.
Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4), whose Southside district includes Pearsall Park, traveled to Austin to offer his support for the grant.
“Pearsall Park exemplifies how community initiatives and years of meticulous planning can lead into fruitful outcomes and restore pride into neighborhoods long neglected,” he stated in a press release Wednesday.
Pearsall Park opened in June 2016 after having been transformed, in part, from a municipal landfill to a 505-acre public park. Existing amenities at the park include both the city’s largest playground and skatepark as well as a dog park, disc golf course, and several courts and routes dedicated to personal fitness.
Among proposed developments cited by the commission in a separate news release are improved parking, native landscaping, restrooms, pedestrian trails and lighting, as well as sitework and utilities.
Most of the new construction at the park will be funded through the 2017 municipal bond, which includes $3 million for Pearsall Park. The matching $1 million grant approved by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission will allow for additional construction, including a bicycle park.
Work on the additions to Pearsall Park is scheduled to begin in February and is estimated to be completed by the following December, according to City plans.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission administers local park grants for all of Texas, based on community population size and scope. The grants, which consist of funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the commission’s Urban Parks Account and Texas Recreation and Parks Account, are allocated to local governments annually to acquire and or develop public parkland.
San Antonio has previously received funds from the commission to develop the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the Japanese Tea Garden, and Phil Hardberger Park.