After more than 18 months of constructing a multi-purpose educational center, a 100,000-gallon water catchment system, and “functionally floral” pavilions, the three-acre Confluence Park is 43 days from completion.

The grand unveiling for the $13 million Southside park at 310 W. Mitchell St. is set for Jan. 17, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The park is located near the convergence of the San Antonio River and the San Pedro Creek. It is accessible from the Mission Reach, from the incoming San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, and has 47 parking spaces on a rain-permeable lot. A B-Cycle station will be placed next to the parking lot.

“It’s amazing how we’re tying … the city together,” said Frates Seeligson, director of Confluence Park.

The park will promote the preservation of waterways, sustainable building, and land-use practices, and showcase the region’s ecology. The five demonstration ecotypes inside the park are grassland, live oak savannah, Trans Pecos/Chihuahuan Desert, and the San Antonio River.

Designed with stewardship in mind, the site aims to educate students on the river and its ecological system. With enough space for three school buses to unload children at the Mitchell Street entrance, the site can accommodate nearly 180 students.

“Everything is designed for a reason at the park,” Seeligson said.

Robert Amerman, Executive Director of the San Antonio River Foundation.
Robert Amerman, executive director of the San Antonio River Foundation. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Robert Amerman, executive director of the San Antonio River Foundation, said the San Antonio River Authority would contribute educational curriculum and infrastructure for scheduling school fields trip to the site. Other opportunities for utilizing the park include weekend health fairs and summer camps.

Operating hours have yet to be finalized, but will likely mimic those of other parks in San Antonio. The park technically is accessible 24 hours a day. The pavilions are equipped with special coatings that allow for easy removal of graffiti, Amerman said, but the low number of tagging incidents along the Mission Reach indicate that surrounding communities’ respect for public places.

Funds for the project came from a variety of sources. The City and County contributed 36 percent of the park’s total cost, Amerman said, with the rest of the funding coming from corporations, private donors, and philanthropic organizations.

The same day as the grand unveiling on Jan. 17, Pink Martini will play a benefit concert from 7-10 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre in support of the River Foundation and the Las Casas Foundation. For tickets, click here.

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.