The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city and region by spotlighting its many vibrant neighborhoods. Each week a local resident invites us over and lets us in on what makes their neighborhood special. Have we been to your neighborhood yet? Get in touch to share your story.

Every morning and evening, the streets of Lincoln Green are alive with neighbors walking their dogs, going for a run or riding their bicycles. Occasionally, we see a neighbor ride her horse down Abe Lincoln Road. My neighborhood benefits from the bucolic influence that being surrounded by the Alamo Farmsteads provides. It is a peaceful place, where it feels like we all share the same values, or at the very least, our love for our community. 

A group of folks came together many years ago to form the Lincoln Green Beautification Association. To this day, groups of volunteers ensure our neighborhood remains, well, beautiful. The dedication of our neighbors to make certain we all stay connected is paragon in the newsletters, annual meetings and neighborhood socials this group puts together. Our neighborhood was also engaged in the Huebner/Leon Creeks Community Plan in 2003. We are a smaller neighborhood, but we stay engaged because we are all invested in our beloved community. 

I was born and raised in Laredo, where our landscape and greenery are a bit different (and the temperature warmer). One of the features of Lincoln Green that drew my partner and me to settle in this neighborhood was the trees. We share the over-100-year-old oak tree in our backyard with our friends and neighbors and use the nature that surrounds us to teach our own children valuable lessons about our earth and its resources. I love that this giant tree will form part of so many of my children’s memories.

A 100-year-old-tree that straddles their backyard and their neighbor’s yard shades the family as they play in the backyard.
A 100-year-old-tree in Rayo-Garza’s backyard shades her family as they play in the backyard. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

We go on family walks around the neighborhood regularly. Last year, we welcomed a goldendoodle named Elvis to our family. He’s been an additional impetus for getting outside for more walks. I love that when we are out for walks, we will likely find another neighbor with their dog and we can stop for some much-needed dog socialization with friendly neighbors.

In late February, when the mountain laurels are in bloom, the entire neighborhood smells like purple kool-aid. The kids love the smell and we love that it’s another motivation for them to be outdoors, enjoying and appreciating their neighborhood. 

Lincoln Green is also closely connected to the Leon Vista Trailhead. By bike, it’s a five-minute ride. We love riding down to the trailhead, exploring, and visiting with deer. Not too far from Lincoln Green, we can access local community spaces, like O.P. Schnabel Park and the YMCA located next to the park. The park itself includes 202 acres, which were purchased by the City of San Antonio in 1964. Lucky for Lincoln Green and the surrounding areas, there are plans to expand the park and include additional community amenities to enhance the area. O.P. Schnabel is a jewel of House District 125 and an equally valuable part of the northern part of City Council District 7. 

Carlos Garza (right) gives his daughter Grace Garza (left), a guide up an incline along the Leon Creek Greenway where they enjoy walking and going for bike rides.
Carlos Garza (right) gives his daughter Grace Garza (left), 8, a guide up an incline along the Leon Creek Greenway where they enjoy walking and biking. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

On a personal level, where I live now is a daily reminder that seemingly ordinary things around us can also be little signs of grace. Where I live now is a reminder that a mundane walk can sometimes breathe gratitude through reminders of how far we’ve come (in my case, it’s been quite a long, difficult but beautiful journey). My neighborhood is also a reminder of how invaluable access to natural areas is, all the while acknowledging that not all neighborhoods have this. Recognizing the privilege that I hold today in writing about my own neighborhood, where I live now, is also a spur to continue the equity and opportunity work I currently do in my professional and academic career. 

When I meet people, I always share several of my points of pride: I am a fronteriza, born and raised in Laredo along the Texas-Mexico border. I also love to share that when I first moved to San Antonio over a decade ago, after having lived in Austin for many years, I felt the warmth I missed so much from my hometown. Lincoln Green has been a wonderful home, where we’ve watched our children grow from their infancy into their elementary years, and we’re so lucky to have found this little part of San Antonio. 

Coda Rayo-Garza is a researcher, mother, and Laredo transplant. She works as director of research and data for a nonprofit organization and is a Ph.D. student in applied demography. She has two young kids...