Phil Hardberger Park
San Antonio, TX 2013
Hardberger Park was created as part of an international competition to design a 311-acre park for the City of San Antonio. Previously operated as a dairy farm, the Park dedicates 75% of the site to preservation and restoration of the native landscape and 25% to low-impact recreation. This involves the preservation of heritage oaks, the restoration of woodlands and brush, and the reintroduction of the endangered oak savanna, all integrated with an expansive trail system, playfields, playgrounds, picnic areas and outdoor classrooms. The concept of the Park as a ‘cultivated wild’ interprets and integrates the rich cultural history of San Antonio with the diverse and resilient ecologies that are native to the region. The Master Plan for Hardberger Park was completed and adopted by San Antonio’s City Council in May 2008, and within three months, Phases IA, IB, and II were simultaneously in design. The Park has been open for City-wide use since 2010, with an Urban Ecology Center currently under construction. Hardberger Park is an important milestone in the history of park-making in Texas, offers a new model for embracing suburban ecology, and has become a living laboratory for healthy living and sustainability in south Texas.