- Chris Belcher
There’s a Dam in My Park, Why?
Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Dark clouds fly across the sky, thunder shakes the air around you and then the sky bursts open as rain pours down onto the drought parched ground. Flash flood warnings start streaming across the television screen.
Should you be worried?
If you live in San Antonio paying attention to flooding is a must. According to the San Antonio River Authority San Antonio, Flood Risk Mitigation | San Antonio River Authority, is in one of the most flood prone areas in the country.
But there’s good news. San Antonio, Bexar County and the San Antonio River Authority work to protect San Antonians from floods. They do that by protecting the flood plains that exist across the city. One way to protect the flood plains is by developing parks in the flood plains, building flood mitigation structures where needed and improving stream flow.
The San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department website says the city is responsible for over 240 parks and 17,000 acres of land, The City of San Antonio - ParksAndRec .
Chris Espinoza, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson said, “Approximately ½ of San Antonio parks are located in the floodplain, most if not all of the greenway trails are located in the floodplain.”
Wayne Tschirhart, Senior Technical Engineer, San Antonio River Authority, said, “flood plains are good places for parks."
McAllister Park is a good example of a park developed in a flood plain. It was built in the Salado Creek flood plain where Salado Creek and Mud Creek converge.
McAllister Park has flood mitigation features built into the flood plain to protect lives and structures downstream of the park.
According to Tschirhart, the linear parks are also flood mitigation projects, but they’re also designed to make the creeks accessible for recreation.
“We want people to appreciate the value of the creeks. We want them to understand the creeks. So we support building parks in flood plains,” Tschirhart said.
The parks are one way of making sure the citizens of San Antonio can access the creeks but are protected from flooding when it rains and the creeks overflow.
Take some time to enjoy the park, nature and fresh air. But also take some time to appreciate the protection the parks help provide when there’s a potential for flooding.