A new park is in the works for San Antonio — and it's a big one.
On Thursday, the city council unanimously approved a plan to purchase 165 acres of prime land in the Stone Oak area. This hefty parcel off Texas State Highway Loop 1604 and U.S. Route 281 will not only help protect the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and keep the land from being developed, but it will also be home to a new park.
"It's rare that this much pristine land is available on the north side, directly over the recharge zone. With this acquisition, we are protecting the Edwards Aquifer and ensuring that most of this beautiful, rugged green space remains untouched for generations to come," said Mayor Ivy Taylor in a statement.
This impressive deal is just the first half of what will hopefully become the acquisition of the entire 204-acre property, currently owned by the Classen-Steubing family. Funds for the approved portion come from the Conservation Advisory Board as well as District 9's Hardy Oak extension project for a total of $6.3 million. The option to buy the remaining 39 acres will be placed in the 2017 bond package. In all, the project should cost $10.1 million.
"The Classen-Steubing family made today possible by their desire to preserve this green oasis for all San Antonians. They could have sold this property to the highest bidder. Instead, the family agreed to sell this acreage to the city at no more than its appraised value," said District 9 councilman Joe Krier.
To help maintain the environmental integrity of the area, most of the land will remain as untouched green space. However, the city also plans on turning the second half of the purchase into a park, complete with baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and plenty of trails.
"Generations from now, as residents on hike-and-bike trails explore the natural beauty of this property, they'll have no idea this mayor and this council made it possible," said Krier. "Nevertheless, they will be thankful for the chance to experience the wonders of San Antonio's natural history."
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