One of the things that amazed me in San Antonio was the changes I noticed in the river. You would expect that a river flowing through the downtown core of America's fastest growing city would be lined with concrete, litter, and invasive species. I took the opportunity to walk along the river beyond the touristy riverwalk to see what was happening.
Apparenlty progress in the city's massive ecosystem restoration project was hard to detect until recently, when seeded wildflowers bloomed and native grasses took hold alongside some undesirable varieties that appeared on their own.
As egrets, hawks and ducks linger nearby, the riverbanks are splashed with color from bluebonnet, horsemint, Indian paintbrush, and primrose flowers. Thousands of native trees will be planted soon.
It'll take several decades for the 320 acres of riverside land to become riparian woodlands again, with mature pecan, cypress, oak and cedar elm trees along with shrubs and grasses, but the process had to start somewhere.
Given the scenes in these pictures you can see that the ripparian habitat is quickly returning to the oncebarren andpolluted river!