The Edwards Aquifer Authority will open its North Side field research park to the public on Sept. 25 as the agency marks National Public Lands Day with a special event.
Participants and volunteers will gather to plant on a berm and help with landscaping activities, such as planting seeds for native grasses, composting, mulching, and planting live root grasses.
According to the EAA, the berm and swale in the park are designed to slow surface water runoff, improving both filtration and infiltration of that surface runoff.
Participants are encouraged to meet at 8:30 a.m. at Morgan’s Wonderland Camp parking lot, 23400 Cibolo Vista, San Antonio, and board a shuttle bus for the agency’s field research park at 23844 Cibolo Vista.
Breakfast will be provided at the park before the project kicks off. Lunch will be provided at 1 p.m. to cap off the day. Participants will also receive a bucket hat.
The research park is located in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone east of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.
In 2019, the San Antonio City Council voted to grant the deeds to 150-plus acres of land known as the Cibolo Vista Tracts 1 and 2 to the Edwards Aquifer Conservancy—a nonprofit that supports the EAA—to accommodate the park’s development.
The EAA uses the land to collect groundwater levels, water quality data, soil samples, and to map karst features, such as springs and seepage.
EAA General Manager Roland Ruiz has said acquisition of the land demonstrates the value of the agency’s protection program in incentivizing conservation of lands within the most environmentally sensitive parts of the recharge zone.
“The transfer of these particular tracts of land to the Edwards Aquifer Conservancy further raises the return on investment of the program because these properties will not only be conserved, they will now provide us a new and meaningful platform to conduct longterm scientific, field research along a critical stretch of the recharge zone,” Ruiz said in a news release about the land acquisition.
Volunteers wanting to take part in the Sept. 25 celebration may visit this link and sign up for free: https://bit.ly/EAAFRPCleanUpEvent.