Old city landfill set to become $7.5 million park

Pearsall Park will spread out over 250-acre site

SAN ANTONIO - For decades, the landfill at the corner of Old Pearsall Road and Ray Ellison Drive was known as “Mount Trashmore” until it was finally closed in 1982.

Rey Saldana, who represents District 4 on city council, said as part of the process, the 252-acre property was off-limits after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversaw the clean-up of the site.

“We had to wait our 20 years,” Saldana said. “It’s now that time.”

He said a master plan for a public park written in 2001 collected dust on a shelf due to a lack of funds.

However, Saldana said $7.5 million specifically meant for Pearsall Park will change that.

“Because voters voted in the 2012 bond, the dream that a lot of people had for this park will become a reality,” Saldana said.

The city council hosted a public meeting Tuesday evening where at least a hundred residents came to offer ideas for a revised master plan.

Because the site is an old landfill, Saldana said the property has rolling hills throughout, many with panoramic views of the city.

“From a dump to a destination is the key phrase we’ve been using,” Saldana said.

He said initial ideas include a zip lines between hills, nature trails, areas for mountain bikes, community gardens, and fields for a variety of sports.

Sara Tristan, who attended the meeting, said she was excited by the possibilities. “We don’t have anything in this area. We need more stuff for the community,” Tristan said.

Francisca Contreras, who already was jogging up and down the hills at the park, said she liked the idea of recycling the landfill property. “To have something you don’t use and then put to good use in the community, is great,” Contreras said.

Her son Carlos said the new park would serve to improve the community, “because this side of town is known for being a little on the dark side.”

Saldana said his constituents had waited long enough. “They think it’s going to be the re-birth, the regeneration of this entire area, starting with this park,” Saldana said.

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