With one week of voting left, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff urged all San Antonians to #VoteYourPark at a press conference Tuesday morning at Mission Concepción. The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, specifically Mission Concepción, is currently stuck in 13th place, fighting for one of the top eight spots in National Geographic’s Vote Your Park Contest.
“If you’ll take the time and effort to (vote) for us each day for the next eight days, then we can overcome where we are today and get up to the point where we will win that $236,000,” Wolff said.
Mission Concepción is one of 20 national parks competing to win grant money from the Vote Your Park competition organized by National Geographic and Partners in Preservation. A total of $2 million in preservation grants will be distributed to the top eight or nine finishers in an ongoing online voting contest that ends Tuesday, July 5.
Mission Concepción has been stuck in 13th place for weeks. Wolff believes the low ranking is the product of lack of awareness among citizens, he said. Others argue that the cumbersome and sometimes confusing voting process has deterred potential voters from submitting their vote.
To vote, log on to www.voteyourpark.org and scroll down to the orange buttons labeled ”Sign Up With Email” or “Sign Up With Facebook.” Signing up with your email entails submitting your name, email address and password, whereas signing up with Facebook involves signing into your Facebook account and granting PIP access to your public profile and email address.
Voters using the “Sign Up With Email” method will receive a confirmation email in their inbox. Scroll down in the email and click “Confirm Your Email.” From there, you will be directed back to the Vote Your Park website and will be able to sign in.
After signing in, scroll down to find your park of choice, click “select” and then scroll up to the top of the page and click “submit.” At the press conference, park officials stressed the importance of clicking “submit” at the end of the voting process.
August “Augie” Meyers, founder of Tejano band Texas Tornadoes, took to the microphone after Wolff to offer his personal plea for citizens to #VoteYourPark.
“I used to run around in these missions on the Southside of San Antonio,” Meyers said. “They say these missions are over 300 years old and it’s good that we have people to preserve them, but we need more than that, we need you to get out and vote. You’ve got eight days, so go out and vote because we need your vote so we can get the money to keep these missions going for another 300 years.”
Mission Concepción’s $236,000 proposed plan focuses on stabilizing the Spanish colonial frescoes inside the Mission’s convent and fixing the cracks caused by water damage in the Father President’s office. However, winning the grant money means more than just financial gains. Park archeologist Susan Snow told the Rivard Report in May that she hopes the campaign will bring attention to the park’s other needs as well.
Top image: Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff calls locals to visit www.voteyourpark.com and #VoteYourPark. Photo by Katie Walsh.