Address: 8400 N.W. Military Highway, 78230
Hours: (Park) Sunday - Saturday: sunrise - sunset. Facility by reservation and for programming. Hours vary.
Phone Number: 210.207.5320
Programs & Classes
Use the button below to view and register for classes at this location.
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View & Register for Classes
Si necesita asistencia en español para inscribirse en clases o necesita información sobre nuestros programas llame al 210-207-3047.
The Urban Ecology Center
The grand opening of the $6.3 million Urban Ecology Center at Phil Hardberger Park West, 8400 N.W. Military Highway, on Sept. 7 marks the latest milestone in the development of San Antonio’s prized 300-acre natural urban park. The community gathering place in the Northwest Military side of the park 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, additional parking and trailhead to the new 1-84-mile Savanna Loop Trail. Community leaders Phil Hardberger, San Antonio District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, Brent Leisure, Texas Parks and Wildlife Director of State Parks, and others participated in the dedication ceremony. The San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department organized a day of activities, starting with guided hikes at 8:00 a.m. and a series of nature activities and presentations by more than two dozen volunteer organizations.
The 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. It was built with local bond funding, a $1 million Urban Indoor Recreation Grand from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, $100,000 from San Antonio Water System for water conservation and storm water management features and with interpretive signage provided by the San Antonio River Authority.
"What people cherish most about this park is that you can interact with nature in its most primitive form," said Phil Hardberger, President of the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy. "It was important that the design of the Urban Ecology Center blend seamlessly with its surroundings and that its environmental footprint be as small as possible. Hopefully when people come here to enjoy the space, they will see things like rainwater catchments and solar panels and start to implement those things in their own homes and businesses."
The Urban Ecology Center was designed by Lake Flato Architects, Inc. and constructed by Guido Brothers Construction. The building’s highlight is the 7,580-square foot Gathering Hall and connected porches, which along with the nearby classroom will be available for the public to rent for meetings and events beginning in 2014.
Another unique feature of the Urban Ecology Center is an art installation called "Golden Age" by San Antonio artist, Anne Wallace. The artwork consists of a series of nine sculptures installed in the restored savanna that collectively honor the natural and agricultural history of the site. As the park’s grassland matures, the artwork’s gold reflectors will bounce light off the tops of grasses and create a dynamic effect alluding to the phenomenon of wildfire. The artist was selected through a public art selection process and her work is also featured in Brackenridge Park and the Lavaca Neighborhood Pocket Parks.