Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center
Phil Hardberger Park is a natural oasis in the heart of an urban area, making it the perfect place to demonstrate how the two can work together for the benefit of both.
The study of the interaction between urban life, people and native elements is known as Urban Ecology. Phil Hardberger Park was purposefully designed using environmentally sustainable concepts to protect the diverse ecosystem within its boundaries. The presence of a living and working ecological system in the midst of the city should inspire generations to care for Phil Hardberger Park and ultimately, the larger environment.
Urban Ecology Education
The park is in a unique position at the convergence of the Edwards Plateau Savanna, Blackland Prairie and South Texas Plains, which gives it the potential to support elements of each of these regions’ habitats. The surrounding urban settings combined with the ecological potential of the site enables the park to serve as an environmental model and learning facility of urban ecology for the South Texas Region.
The opening of the $6.3 million Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center marked a milestone in the development of San Antonio's prized 300-plus-acre natural urban park. This community gathering place in PHP West teaches about issues of sustainability and ecology in 18,600 square feet of recreation and education space that includes a classroom, Gathering Hall, restrooms, picnic areas and additional parking. Behind it is the trailhead to the 1.84 mile Savanna Loop Trail.
The Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center was designed and constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards with features including solar panels, a rainwater collection system, LED lighting and a low-impact design. Its water conservation and storm water management features have interpretive signage provided by the San Antonio River Authority. The building's highlight is the 7,580-square foot Gathering Hall and connected porches.
The Gathering Hall and classroom are available for the public to rent for meetings and events. They are also the site for many of the educational programs offered by the park in partnership with the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy, Alamo Area Master Naturalists and the Sierra Club.
The PHP Urban Ecology Center classroom and Gathering Hall are available to rent for community events, educational programs and private functions. Call 210-207-5320 for information.