Rendering of Confluence Park's pavilion courtesy of Lake/Flato Architects and Matsys Design.

The San Antonio River Foundation (SARF) sent out a teaser news release today, announcing that a donor – or perhaps a collection of donors – has committed a “major gift” for Confluence Park, the estimated $9 million-dollar project on the San Antonio River’s Mission Reach. Details of the gift, namely whom it’s from, will be announced during a “big reveal” luncheon and press conference on May 14 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio hotel.

The undisclosed donation amount is enough to kick off Phase II of the capital campaign for the park that will transform a former industrial yard – now an empty lot – into a unique, interactive, educational, living, “learning laboratory” of sorts. Click here to learn more about plans for Confluence Park.

Since the last renderings of the park were developed, SARF has switched from Los Angeles-based firm Ball-Nogues Studio to San Antonio-based Lake/Flato Architects and California-based Matsys Design. However, the mission of the park to educate and entertain the community about the importance of preservation and stewardship of waterways has remained the same.

Use your imagination: the River Foundation's Estela Avery gestures over an empty expanse that one day will come back to life as Confluence Park. Photo by Robert Rivard.
Use your imagination: the River Foundation’s Estela Avery gestures over an empty expanse that one day will come back to life as Confluence Park. Photo by Robert Rivard.

“The park will include an educational pavilion, a large scale water catchment system, ecotype demonstration quadrants, interactive educational play stations and an inviting gateway to hiking and biking trails along the Historic Mission Reach portion of the San Antonio River,” states a SARF press release. “The entire park is envisioned as a life-sized, interactive teaching tool that will inspire a greater understanding of Texas ecotypes and their relationships with one another.”

SARF Executive Director Estela Avery has been raising funds for more than a year while project manager Stuart Allen, a San Antonio-based artist, has been working closely with project engineers on design.

Avery is the wife of jewelry designer James Avery and the family has given a $1 million gift to the River Foundation to fund education programs at Confluence Park.

The plan is to complete fundraising this year and finish off the project in 2017, just in time for the city’s 300th anniversary. It’s the first of what could be many private-public improvements along the Mission Reach’s eight-mile course through some of the Southside’s most underdeveloped and forgotten neighborhoods.

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Want to contribute to the creation of Confluence Park? Donations, no matter how modest, are welcomed. Just click here. Naming rights can be had for as little as $2,000 if you’d like to be remembered on the park’s three bike racks, $10,000 to place your name on the park’s entry gate, and all the way up to $1.5 million to sponsor the Main Pavilion – though judging from the hype made over this give, that last honor may have already been sold.

*Featured/top image: Rendering of Confluence Park courtesy of Lake/Flato Architects and Matsys Design.

Related Stories:

Confluence Park: Nature’s Learning Laboratory Atop the Mission Reach

Something Monday: Confluence Park, Where Tech and Art Meet The San Antonio River

Nature Meets City as Hardberger Park’s Urban Ecology Center Opens

Bass Family Gives $500,000 to San Antonio River Foundation

Consider the San Antonio River Foundation During The Big Give SA

Iris Dimmick

Iris Dimmick

Senior reporter Iris Dimmick covers City Hall, politics, development, and more. Contact her at