Public invited to see conceptual design

The team of consultants tapped to create a master plan for Phil Hardberger Park on the North Side will unveil a conceptual design Monday for the 311-acre former dairy farm.

Officials emphasize no plans for 311-acre site are written in stone.

The consultants - Stimson Associates and D.I.R.T. Studio - will use feedback gathered from residents to further tweak the plan, said Krystal Strong, a special projects manager for the city Parks and Recreation Department.

"The consultants are going to unveil a conceptual design plan as well as their recommended options for Phil Hardberger Park," she said. "This is going to be the first opportunity for citizens in the community to look at the design framework and how it will play out as a plan for the park."

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Barshop Jewish Community Center at 12500 Northwest Military Highway.

"I think that anyone who has interest in parks or interest in our trees or air quality, the future for our children, should be involved in the development of this one-of-a kind park within the San Antonio region," said Chuck Saxer, president of Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development. "I think we are really blessed to be able to have this land in the middle of the city available for use by the citizens rather than to be used in development."

Over the past few years, San Antonio has spent nearly $50 million to acquire the two tracts along Wurzbach Parkway, east of Northwest Military Highway and west of Blanco Road.

Since October, the design consultants have gathered community input, studied the land itself and created the conceptual design. But city officials say the plan could evolve based on comments they'll receive Monday. Residents can also address park issues through other venues, such as at City Council or Parks and Recreation board meetings, Strong said.

"There's not been a final design yet to determine what's going to be on the site... However, some of the popular features that citizens have asked for are walking trails, running trails, and then areas where there could be opportunities for sporting activities," she said. "There's also been a request by a lot of citizens to incorporate the Voelcker farmstead and somehow maintain those structures and possibly incorporate them into some educational features, but again, no decisions have been made yet. It's just conceptual."

The city will roll out a final plan this spring at a public meeting, where residents will again be able to offer feedback.