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After years of planning and more than 18 months of construction, colorful tile murals, cypress tree saplings, and infrastructure now adorn the first segment of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, slated to officially open on May 5.
The project, primarily funded by Bexar County and managed by the San Antonio River Authority, will transform the downtown drainage ditch into a linear park. It aims to highlight the history and culture of the city that sprung from the banks of the creek 300 years ago and provide a new public recreational space downtown.
“This is a place where the citizens can come in and learn about the roots of this community as they enjoy and recreate on the banks of this creek,” said Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo (Pct. 2), who spearheaded the project alongside Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.
With the first segment nearly complete, County and River Authority officials on Wednesday announced the project’s transition from the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project to its new official title, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park.
Divided into four distinct phases, the first phase of the new linear park stretches from the creek’s inlet near Fox Tech High School to Cesar Chavez Boulevard. The completion of Phase 1’s first segment will be commemorated with a celebration on May 5.
Seven artists created nearly 20 murals and historical features that follow the creek’s path leading up to Houston Street, which marks the end of the first segment. Designers also embedded 11 interpretive signs that explain the area’s history and its influence on the formation of San Antonio de Béxar. To view renderings of the artworks and learn more about their role in embodying the creek’s historical context, click here.
In addition to providing a recreational public space with walking trails and rest areas, the creek has been designed as a flood-control project able to maintain 100-year-level floods in downtown San Antonio. Thousands of aquatic plants accompany the native vegetation reintroduced to the banks of the creek, and bioswales will help improve water quality.
County officials predict that the project, alongside new downtown housing developments, the renovation of the Alameda Theater, and the completion of the new 22-story Frost Bank Tower, will create a $1.5 billion economic impact. Bexar County allocated $62.5 million for the first segment of the project.
A mobile application providing guided audio tours of the linear park will be available for download on May 1. The free grand opening will begin at noon on May 5 and feature live musical performances, food trucks, and a night-time display that will showcase the lighting along the first segment.