Earth Starts Moving

Groundbreaking ceremony at Phil Hardberger Park — City officials and residents who have long worked to create a public urban park out of the former Voelcker dairy farm in North Central San Antonio will soon see the fruits of their labor at last.

The city held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday at Phil Hardberger Park, marking, the first major physical step towards developing the 311-acre plot of land at Blanco Road and Wurzbach Parkway into a sprawling greenspace.

Mayor Phil Hardberger offered thanks, not only to his colleagues at City Hall, but also other dignitaries, business community members and residents for their various contributions made so far to this endeavor.

San Antonio voters in 2007 passed a bond issue that included money to buy the former dairy farmland. A series of meetings to gather public input on the park's master development plan preceded Friday's ground-breaking, and more such meetings will take place as things progress, officials said.

The site is covered with historic oak trees, streams, native plants, wildflowers, pastures and the original Voelcker homestead. Phase IA improvements will include parking facilities, trails, a play field, a pilot segment of the oak savanna restoration, an overlook above Salado Creek and a classroom pavilion.

The first trail is scheduled for completion by early May. A ribbon-cutting will be set to mark that occasion.

In order to bolster advance efforts to protect the site into the future, several volunteers have banded together to form the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy. It's a community based partnership with the city that will advocate renewal, recreation and learning through nature and in accordance with the master plan. Details can be gained by calling 736-6037 or visiting