Former Republic Golf Course on Southeast Side could be converted to an arboretum

Brooks in negotiations to purchase course that closed in 2020

SAN ANTONIO – A closed golf course on the city’s Southeast Side could be converted to an arboretum and offer educational programming.

“Arboretum San Antonio has the potential to be an economic generator. It’s attracting not only the residents here in the city of San Antonio, but visitors from afar,” Connie Gonzalez, chief strategy officer for Brooks said.

The former Republic Golf Course is located at in the 4200 block of SE Military Drive.

“Former Mayor and Secretary Henry Cisneros started talks about a potential Arboretum San Antonio and a nonprofit was established. Our president and CEO, Mr. Leo Gomez, is one of those esteemed board members and is trying to figure out where about San Antonio and Bexar County a potential Arboretum San Antonio could go,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the golf course that closed in 2020 was an option and at the top of the list.

“Negotiations are underway for a lease that would be 170-acres for a million dollars, so that Arboretum San Antonio, a nonprofit, can begin development on that former golf course,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the space could be used for students to learn about nature and different events could be held there.

Gonzalez said those involved in the project visited the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, a place that attracts thousands of visitors every year. The Arboretum in Houston is dedicated to provide education about the natural environment and to protect and enhance the arboretum as a haven and a sanctuary for both native plants and animals.

“They attract about 600,000 visitors every year and so if we can meet or even exceed that amount of visitors here in San Antonio and then they are able to explore even more of what San Antonio has to offer; and that would be tremendous asset for our city,” Gonzalez said.

Negotiations could be complete by the summer of 2023.

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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