Improvements at the popular cooling splash pad at Hemisfair downtown, as well as other initiatives, are courtesy of a half million dollar donation announced today by Union Pacific Railroad, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. Other improvements the donation will cover include artificial turf, shade structures, lighting and furniture.
“The splash pad is a special place for residents to build memories with their families and neighbors, providing a unique space that reflects San Antonio’s character,” said Scott Moore, Union Pacific Senior Vice President—Corporate Relations and Chief Administrative Officer. “We believe vibrant spaces, like Hemisfair, help attract businesses, tourists and skilled workers, and, ultimately, strengthen the community.”
The rail company says it is making the donation in honor of the railroad workers who labored in the same type of heat we are experiencing today to bring the railroad to San Antonio in the 1870s. The U.P. says creating public spaces is one of its priorities.
Mayor Nirenberg says Hemisfair, which was the center of Hemisfair '68 as the location of pavilions and exhibitions, is rapidly becoming one of the premiere public spaces in the country.
"In the heart of the center of San Antonio where the deepest history lies, we want to put a place to play," he said.
Hemisfair, with its Yanaguana Garden and other attractions is rapidly becoming one of the premiere public parks in the country.
State Sen. Jose Menendez says Hemisfair speaks to the kind of city San Antonio is.
"Because any city can have a park, but not every city can have this park," he said.
Hemisfair has grown thanks largely to the efforts of the Hemisfair Conservancy, a non profit which raises money and promotes growth at the park. In the shadow of the iconic Tower of the Americas, Hemisfair sees more than 600,000 visitors annually, 85% of whom are from San Antonio.. In addition to the splash pad, Yanaguana Garden is home to several local food, retail, and beverage tenants