SARF receives $1M ‘Valentine’ from H-E-B to build Confluence Park

Thanks to H-E-B’s $1 million gift donation to the San Antonio River Foundation, Confluence Park is scheduled to be completed in 10 months. (Courtesy photo)

The San Antonio River Foundation (SARF) is feeling the love thanks to a $1 million, five-year grant received from H-E-B to construct Confluence Park.

“This generous gift from H-E-B caps a momentous year and marks a wonderful Valentine’s Day 2017 for Confluence Park,” said Director of Confluence Park Frates Seeligson. “We hosted a wonderful groundbreaking ceremony in early summer of 2016. Park construction is underway and progressing nicely, and our Capital Campaign is in the final phase. With this Valentine’s Day wind in our sails, Confluence Park is scheduled to be completed in just 10 short months! We can’t begin to say how much we appreciate this support from H-E-B, and that of all of our partners, as Confluence Park becomes a reality for our entire community.”

The generous gift brings the total Capital Campaign monies raised for Confluence Park to over $10 million, leaving just under $500,000 remaining to meet the Foundation’s final Capital Campaign goal to build the park.

Designed by Lake|Flato Architects, Matsys Design and Rialto Studios, the beautiful and innovative park will act as one large, organic machine that gathers rainwater and harnesses the sun, using our South Texas resources to their fullest. Through a large scale demonstration of sustainable building and land-use practices, the park will provide a unique opportunity to celebrate the ecology of our region, demonstrate the value of our natural resources, and foster environmental stewardship and education in a traditionally underserved area adjoining the San Antonio River.

Instructional elements will be interwoven into virtually every aspect of the facility where, at every turn, visitors will find an opportunity to learn through observation, engagement and active participation. In addition, the park will offer inviting gateways to hike and bike trails along the Mission Reach, encouraging local citizens to become more involved with their river.

“Our natural resources are an invaluable commodity to our community, our city and our state. The concept behind Confluence Park brings to life sustainable practices for the benefit and enjoyment of all those who visit the park,” said Craig Boyan, H-E-B president and chief operating officer. “H-E-B is proud to contribute to the development of Confluence Park and looks forward to being involved in future educational and stewardship opportunities that this green space will present.”

Confluence Park will allow the SARF, its partner, the San Antonio River Authority, and other partners to expand the impacts of their environmental education offerings at a single, state-of-the-art location, moving students from all backgrounds from the conventional classroom to hands-on, inquiry-based learning in a real-world setting. Environmental science education offered at Confluence Park will not only have a lasting impact on students participating in these programs, but it will leave a footprint of stewardship and environmental responsibility for generations to come.

With a $1 million Confluence Park Educational Endowment already in place, the Foundation has the opportunity to offer educational programs, and the necessary transportation, free of charge to public school systems and area nonprofits ensuring opportunities for those that could otherwise not afford to participate in these programs.

The mission of the SARF is to enhance the San Antonio River Basin as a vibrant cultural, educational, ecological and recreational experience, while its vision is to inspire stewardship along the San Antonio River.

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