Seeing Green

H-E-B gifts $1 million to San Antonio's Brackenridge Park for new trail

H-E-B gifts $1 million to beloved San Antonio park for new trail

Brackenridge Park Pumphouse
The Brackenridge Park Pumphouse will be one of the historic highlights on the H-E-B Cultural Trail. Photo by Charlotte Mitchell

Texas’ favorite grocery store is once again investing in greener spaces for Texans. On June 16, San Antonio-based Brackenridge Park Conservancy announced it is the recipient of a $1 million gift from H-E-B that will go toward the park’s revitalization.

The gift will be used to create the H-E-B Cultural Trail, a new ADA-accessible pathway designed to tell the story of 12,000 years of historic treasures in the park, from the time of indigenous peoples' habitation to present day cultural groups still making their imprint on the landscape. Highlights will include historic structures like the 1930s era river channel walls at Lambert Beach, the 1878 San Antonio Water Works Pump House No. 1, and the raceway to the 1776 Spanish Upper Labor Colonial Dam and Acequia.

As a self-guided experience, the new trail will serve a wide variety of visitors, including thousands of school groups annually. The H-E-B Cultural Trail will be equipped with educational signage featuring historic photos and bilingual text to educate visitors while they take in Brackenridge Park’s natural beauty.

“Brackenridge Park is essential to the fabric of San Antonio and holds special memories for generations of families and South Texans,” said Julie Bedingfield, H-E-B public affairs manager. “H-E-B is passionate about investing in public spaces where our community can gather, play, and learn. We’re thrilled to partner with the Brackenridge Park Conservancy to provide a new way for future generations to experience this historical mainstay.”

In 2021, the Brackenridge Park Conservancy launched its first-ever capital campaign to supplement the 2017 bond infrastructure and aid in restoration work in six acres of the upper reach of the park. The private funds raised will ensure that necessary enhancements can be incorporated into the plans that extend beyond the city, county, and Conservation Society of San Antonio’s commitments. H-E-B’s gift will help ensure that those improvements can be made to benefit visitors for years to come.

“I express our deep gratitude to H-E-B for its meaningful impact on the renaissance of the 123-year old Park,” said Lukin T. Gilliland Jr, co-chair of the capital campaign and Brackenridge Park Conservancy vice president. “The partnership with an established and beloved company like H-E-B elevates the importance of the work of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy. I’d also like to extend my thanks to Co-Chair Honorable Senator Leticia Van de Putte and Capital Campaign Honorary Chair Corinna Holt Richter for their assistance in securing the funds we need to improve the park.”