Special to SHALE Magazine
The San Antonio River Foundation is pleased to announce a landmark $2.4 million gift from leading global resources company BHP Billiton. The gift was raised as part of the foundation’s Capital Campaign to build Confluence Park and will be provided the funds necessary to construct and name the “BHP Billiton Pavilion” and “BHP Billiton Multi-Purpose Room” at the park. Moving the Capital Campaign beyond the halfway mark, the gift is significant enough that it kicks off Phase II of the foundation’s Capital Campaign to raise funds for the design and construction of the park located at the intersection of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek on the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River.
“One of our charter values as a company is sustainability,” says Rod Skaufel, BHP Billiton Asset President, Shale. “It’s defined as ‘putting health and safety first, being environmentally responsible and supporting our communities.’ Within that community support priority, we place a strong emphasis on education. The foundation’s educational vision for Confluence Park is well aligned with our priorities and we’re proud to be able to play a part.”
The San Antonio River Foundation’s most ambitious project to date, Confluence Park will transform a former Southside industrial laydown yard into a unique, interactive learning and recreational space. The park will include an educational pavilion, a large-scale water catchment system, ecotype demonstration quadrants, interactive educational play stations and an inviting gateway to hiking and biking trails along the historic Mission Reach portion of the San Antonio River. The entire park is envisioned as a life-sized, interactive teaching tool that will inspire a greater understanding of Texas ecotypes and their relationships with one another, encouraging students and adults alike to become more involved with the preservation and stewardship of our waterways.
“With environmental education as its core purpose, Confluence Park is designed to inspire students and visitors to become more involved with the river, practice environmental stewardship and gain a greater understanding of Texas ecotypes,” says San Antonio River Foundation Executive Director, Estela Avery. “This generous gift from BHP Billiton is instrumental in moving Confluence Park from concept to construction.”
Confluence Park takes its name from the intersection of two waterways — the San Antonio River and Apache Creek. BHP Billiton’s involvement in the project is similarly the result of a confluence — between its deep commitment to the Eagle Ford region of South Texas and its worldwide commitment to sustainability and the integrity their operations.