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.
In the winter of 2017, my wife and I decided to sell our starter home. Colleen was embarking on a new career as a nurse after having worked as a zookeeper at the San Antonio Zoo. As excited as we were for this new chapter, it also meant that our lives were drifting farther and farther from our hometown of Schertz. As a firefighter, with long shifts but less travel time, my job seldom required a commute as time-consuming as hers. The next step was clear: it was time to move into the city.
For months, we spent our weekends exploring San Antonio, and it wasn’t long before we stumbled upon the Greenway Trails and instantly fell in love. We quickly became avid fans of the picturesque biking trails and the numerous nature parks. It was an absolute must to find a neighborhood with direct access to our favorite pastime, and it wasn’t long before we found it. Nestled along the northern border of Hardberger Park East, and just a stone’s throw from the Salado Creek Greenway, was Churchill Forest. A quaint but lively neighborhood, it was close to great schools for our two girls with more than enough dog-friendly spots for our growing pack of canines.
To our surprise, our house in Schertz sold in one week, and it just so happened that a house came up for sale in Churchill Forest at the same time. But it was the only house for sale in the area and had seven offers already. Luckily our realtor was willing to do whatever it took. At the time, this seemed to be a rather extreme experience, but little did we know what would lay in store for those trying to buy homes in the next few years. We feel lucky to be here.
Churchill Forest is centrally located between Loop 1604 and Interstate 410 on the North Side. U.S. Highway 281 is less than five minutes from our house, and Wurzbach Parkway gets us east or west quickly. Downtown and La Cantera are both 15 minutes away. Getting around the city from here is a breeze. You can shop at the Whole Foods in The Vineyard or the Alon H-E-B for your groceries, get breakfast tacos at Blanco BBQ, walk up Blanco Road to Ito Ramen, or down to Bitters for brunch at Meadow. You can take the greenway south by bike and hop off at Two Brother BBQ for lunch, or a coffee at Clear Light Coffee Co. We take friends to El Mirasol and then head south and stop at What’s Brewing for afternoon coffee.
On Saturdays, we wave and say hello to the vibrant Jewish community as they walk to synagogue. The neighborhood is diverse with people of all different beliefs and political leanings. Every July 4th we have a short parade through the neighborhood to celebrate and get to know one another better.
Red-shouldered hawks hang out in the live oak trees often as barred owls stand guard along the creekway hiking trails. Deer set up camp every night on lawns throughout the neighborhood. In the mornings you can find them making their trek into the park to look for food.
The real highlight here is all the outdoor activities right in our backyard: biking and running on the Salado Creek Greenway, hiking through Hardberger Park and crossing over the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge, walking the dogs to the dog park, fitness in the park programs, and the Urban Ecology Center.
An Audrey Hepburn quote at the entrance of the neighborhood reads, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Gardens from many years past have grown and matured here with towering live oak trees seen from the Salado Creek Overlook. The overlook stands over the creek at the Voelcker Homestead Trailhead, which looks over homes occupied by original residents from the 1970s to young homeowners alike. Empty nesters take long walks while holding hands. New parents take their children for walks in the sun. The neighborhood grows, slow and steady. A reminder perhaps that we do too.