What is new for San Antonio’s parks in 2023

San Antonio Parks Foundation holds second annual media preview

Lauren Hernandez, Contributor

Formed in 1981, the San Antonio Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, equity, inclusivity and the expansion of San Antonio’s parks. Recently, the Parks Foundation held its second annual media preview to inform the public about its accomplishments in 2022 and plans for the upcoming year. In addition, they have a variety of events planned for 2023 that will incorporate San Antonio’s culture and art in order to “demonstrate the power and purpose of parks.”

San Antonio is home to 257 parks, and in 2022, the Parks Foundation provided amenities such as basketball courts, skateparks and upgraded playgrounds to ten different parks. Additionally, the foundation rebranded to focus on facilitating conversations surrounding equity and inclusivity in San Antonio’s outdoor spaces. For example, recently, at Outside for All, an educational event hosted by the Parks Foundation at the Japanese Tea Garden, the topics discussed by the foundation’s board members and the people of San Antonio have focused on race and equality. Libby Day, the director of communication for the Parks Foundation, illustrated that the conversations at these events must be “responsive to what is happening in the community.” 

For this upcoming year, the Parks Foundation has been approved for a bond from the city in addition to grants and donations from the Tres Grace Family Foundation, Toyota manufacturing, the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts and Culture and Play SA. These donations will fund amenities such as urban gardens and upgraded sports equipment for the parks around the city that need them most. 

Additionally, the foundation is introducing a new event series entitled “Go All Out.” Day pointed out that “You sometimes have to give folks a reason to get out to the parks,” and to do this, the Parks Foundation is hosting a variety of free community events in 2023. In March, they are hosting the Fest of Tails at Mcallister Park, inviting the public to bring their dogs and fly kites. In April, the foundation is hosting Chaparral, a music and heritage festival at Hemisfair Park. Outside for All will be continuing at the Japanese Tea Gardens in order to “acknowledge the complex histories of parks,” such as how many outdoor areas in San Antonio became parks in the first place. A Fourth of July event will be held at Woodlawn Lake Park, and Travis Park and the new Civic Park will host the 40th annual Jazz’SALive music festival. 

“We are really passionate about putting cool stuff together at parks, and at the end of the day, that is really one of our specialties,” Day shared. 

For Day, going to college in San Antonio introduced her to the city’s music scene. Now that she is working for the Parks Foundation, she can put this knowledge to use by incorporating art and music into outdoor spaces to ensure that they will continue to be used and improved upon. 

Parks Foundation works night and day to host unique events and ensure that San Antonio has high-quality and accessible green spaces. Be sure to keep up to date with all that they are doing at https://saparks.org.