SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio’s future Arboretum crossed a significant hurdle earlier this month.
The Bexar County Commissioner’s Court approved agreements to help establish San Antonio’s future 188-acre Arboretum, allocating $7.3 million.
The costs are split, where $2 million will be used for property purchasing. The leftover $5.3 million will be used for master planning purposes, road access and parking lots on the property.
Arboretum San Antonio will be a preserve on the Southeast Side focused on celebrating the native trees of South Texas.
The park will be located on the land of the former Republic Golf Club. Brooks will purchase 158.5 acres, entering a long-term lease agreement with Arboretum San Antonio for development. Creating multi-use pathways will help reach the 188 in total acreage.
“This project is the epitome of partnership,” said Thomas Corser, CEO of Arboretum San Antonio.
The idea for the park began in 2021 when former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros expressed a vision for an arboretum on the South Side.
“This a prime location for the park,” Cisneros said. “Investing in a historically underserved area in close proximity to the Salado Creek Greenway, Mission Reach, and the Missions will be beneficial for all who live, work and visit the South Side.”
Bexar Country Judge Peter Sakai noted the interconnectedness of the Arboretum with the existing creeks and trails on the Southeast Side.
“I totally agree that this is a game changer for Precinct 4, and specifically the Southeast sector, and how it all connects with all the ongoing projects, the creeks and trails,” Sakai said.
The master planning process for the park is expected to officially begin in early 2024.
Aside from the space being a welcome retreat to nature for visitors, the Arboretum will also feature critical ecological and educational resources.
Pedestrian and bicycle trails will accompany a nursery for native trees. Nature-based programming will be available for all ages, art displays and event spaces will accompany the Arboretum.