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LEARN

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WHAT IS AN ARBORETUM?

An arboretum is a specialized botanical garden devoted to specimen plantings of trees and shrubs.

 

It is a living museum for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of all people.

WHERE IS THE ARBORETUM?

Arboretum San Antonio is on Southeast Military Drive at the former Republic Golf Course, between I-37 and 410, less than two miles east of Brooks, and a quick 10-12 minutes from downtown San Antonio. We are not yet open to the public and are currently engaged in a year-long master planning and community input process through mid-2025 to design and develop a plan for Arboretum San Antonio.

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ABOUT OUR SITE

  • Arboretum San Antonio is the city’s and South Texas’ first arboretum - a green space sanctuary dedicated to trees.

  • The 188-acre site is located on our city’s southeast side at the former Republic Golf Course, less than two miles from Brooks. It is a quick 10-12 minutes from downtown with easy access to major highways.

  • The site was purchased in November 2023.

  • Arboretum San Antonio will be the second-largest arboretum in Texas and serve as a leading recreational, ecological, economic, and educational resource for residents and visitors of all ages.

  • It will offer pedestrian and bicycle trails, a nursery to propagate native and climate-resilient trees, nature-based programming, event spaces, and public art displays. 

  • The site includes multiple Indigenous (Coahuiltecan tribes) seasonal camping grounds.

  • Salado Creek runs through the site and is an important tributary of the San Antonio River and historically fed local acequias.

  • The site is home to the rare Blackland Prairie and sits at the crossroads of three local eco-regions, making it well-suited to showcase the trees and ecologies of all three regions, truly making it South Texas’ arboretum.

  • It will connect to the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System (a growing network of 101 miles of accessible, connected trails), adding to our city’s continuous ring of hike and bike trails.

WHY AN ARBORETUM?

San Antonio Legacy

All organic species thrive under ideal conditions, just like the first pecan, elm, and oak trees that flourished and beautified our city centuries ago. Arboretum San Antonio celebrates this rich botanical heritage and, as a living museum of trees, will inspire a green future for everyone who calls our city home by reflecting on the stories of our deep cultural heritage that can be told through trees.

Sustainability

Trees absorb carbon emissions and filter air pollutants, which purify our breathing air. As San Antonio continues its rapid growth in population and development, it is important that we balance our numerous construction projects with green spaces to maintain a healthy environment in which all residents can live and thrive

Research & Education

The Arboretum will be a valuable educational resource for San Antonio and beyond, offering hands-on opportunities to view and study a wide variety of species native to our region; gain greater understanding of the relationships between the trees, animals, and resources that make up our ecosystem; and allow us to learn more about the ecological characteristics that influence healthy growth of our trees.

Wellness

Arboretum San Antonio offers tranquil and beautiful settings for exercise, recreation and relaxation.  Current research supports the link between time spent in nature and increased happiness, feelings of well-being, and positive social interactions. Evidence also suggests that walking in natural settings can enhance mental and physical well-being and motivate a sense of purpose and meaning, helping create a more positive overall quality of life.

Equity Balance

Arboretum San Antonio will strive to ensure equitable access for all members of the community. Locating an expansive natural area in the Southeast quadrant of San Antonio and one dedicated to increasing our tree canopy citywide will provide an appropriate investment balance as well as a green equity balance throughout the city. Arboretum San Antonio will reflect the diversity of the communities we serve in our staff, volunteers, and decision-making bodies involved in the Arboretum's management.

Public Art

Natural beauty from various tree species provides acres of recreational outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy. The expansive 188 acres with a variety of different landscapes will afford spectacular venue for large public art.

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