“A tremendous thank you to the National Park Trust for helping us to increase the protection of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.  As the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas and located within the seventh-largest city in the United States – it is so critical that we are able to preserve the dynamic, living landscape aspects of the site while simultaneously protecting the resources from the encroaching urban interface…THANK YOU!”

Christine Jacobs, Superintendent, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

In 2020, the National Park Service contacted the National Park Trust seeking help to acquire a 44.58-acre parcel of land. Adding to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park has protected the cultural landscape and historic agricultural lands that provided food to support life at historic missions from the Spanish Colonial era. The project is now complete – read the press release.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves and protects four of five Spanish Colonial Missions around the city.  The oldest dates from the early 1700s; the fifth mission, not in the park, is the Alamo.

Gate on the San Juan Acequia

The UNESCO named the park and Alamo a World Heritage Site.  It qualified because the missions and grounds have an accurate cultural and historical landscape, “authentic” mission structures (i.e. they and enough original construction and are using the same material for repairs as the missionaries did), and are formally protected by the NPS and other governmental bodies.

The property is part of the area around the missions that was cultivated and fed by the historic canals or acequias. The east edge of the property includes a section of the San Juan Acequia.  This project closed in May 2021.

Project Details:

Project  Years: 2020-2021 

Parcel Size: 44.58 acres  

Project Cost: $453,800

Park Trust Role: Buy and Hold

Long Term Significance of the Acquisition:
  • Permanently preserved, undeveloped, the historic farmlands cultivated by the colonial missions.
  • Protects the historic cultural landscape views from the missions.
  • Continues a large greenspace buffer for the San Antonio River.
  • Allows greater protection of the historic San Juan Acequia, a portion of which runs through the property.
Value to the Park and Public:
  • Maintains greenspace in a developing urban area.
  • Property can be used as a demonstration area that replicates the historic cultivated crops from the mission Colonial era.
  • Adds to parklands, increasing amount of and accessibility to public
Map of the project area.