Environmental education programs abound in many of the natural areas in and around San Antonio with attention to native plant communities and wildlife.
A rare remnant of degraded, yet undeveloped land in the midst of urbanized and urbanizing areas of San Antonio, Phil Hardberger Park can both cooperate with and supplement the programs that exist in the area. Phil Hardberger Park is also in a unique position at the convergence of Edwards Plateau Savanna, Blackland Prairie and South Texas Brush, with the potential to support the habitats of each of these regions within the Park. The juxtaposition of urban conditions with the ecological potential of the site enables the Park to serve as a complimentary environmental model, research laboratory, and learning ground for San Antonio.
Proposed restoration of the various plant communities and habitats creates a foundation and vitality for living laboratories and monitoring stations at the Park. An enhanced live oak woodland and its oak motte community forms the forest research and learning center, while grass identification, living prairie exhibits and a seed bank grows out of the restoration of Edwards Plateau Savanna and Blackland Prairie ecosystems. Wildlife studies of rare and endangered species, as well as urban critters, enables a deeper understanding of how to maintain and cohabitate with all creatures in the City. Data collection of native plants, butterflies, birds and insects can help enrich the knowledge of the native habitants of Bexar County.
Engagement and study of the native ecology fosters respect for these systems, while other aspects of the Park may be able to demonstrate the ability to live ecologically within a city. Lessons from the field, in addition to sustainable and green infrastructure throughout the Park finds its nexus at the urban ecology center where water reuse methods, sustainable energy strategies, and real-time environmental monitoring becomes explicit and accessible. Urban agriculture engenders the appreciation of an urban productive landscape and attention to healthy food and bodies.