The City of San Antonio recently unveiled “Museum Reach,” a 1.3-mile-long extension to the downtown Riverwalk. Highlights of the extension are a colony of about 8,000 bats that roost on the underside of IH-35, illuminated fiberglass sunfish hanging from the underside of the highway, and a grotto. My 18-year-old daughter deemed the project “not very exciting.” However, when we visited on a recent warm summer evening, a less-jaded crowd had gathered to watch the bats fly out of their roost and many people were enjoying a stroll along the river.
San Antonio has been suffering from a severe drought for the past two years. Strolling along the River provides a welcome glimpse of water. However, the drought has resulted in a tremendous growth in green algae in the River caused by the sun, heat and lack of flowing spring water. The San Antonio River Authority crews have been working to remove the algae but the nutrient-rich treated wastewater used to augment the spring water continues to feed the algae.
Following is a photo of the underside of IH-35 where the bats roost and where the sunfish, designed by artist Donald Lipski, hang.
A variety of properties are curently located along the extension. The San Antonio Art Museum constructed a new barge landing in the back of the museum. VFW Post 76 seems to be enjoying a renaissance (or I just never noticed it before) with music and drinks for sale. And the Pearl Brewery, currently being redeveloped, also backs onto the River. However, along other stretches of the extension are a vacant unfinished development, parking lots and a nightclub property posted for sale.
San Antonio Art Museum river barge landing
VFW Post 76
Vacant unfinished development