San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, TX

National Park Trust recently received a donation of 0.3476 acres of historically important property in San Antonio, Texas, adjacent to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The Park Trust is working to transfer the property to the National Park Service as part of the Park.

A property owner in Bexar County, Texas recently donated 0.3476 acres of land in San Antonio to the Park Trust. The historically significant parcel is directly adjacent to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (NHP), and specifically to property that the Park Trust transferred to the National Park Service (NPS) in 2021.

The property includes a portion of the east bank of the historic acequia (irrigation canal) that supported the cultivation of food crops for historic missions from the Spanish Colonial era. Four out of five Spanish Colonial Missions around San Antonio are protected by the San Antonio Missions NHP, the oldest of which dates from the early 1700s. The fifth mission, which is not in the Park, is the Alamo.

UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) named the Park and Alamo a World Heritage Site. San Antonio Missions qualified because the missions and grounds have an accurate cultural and historical landscape, “authentic” mission structures (that is, they had enough original construction and are using the same material for repairs as the missionaries did) and are formally protected by NPS and other governmental bodies.

The Park Trust plans to transfer this important piece of historic property to NPS for inclusion in San Antonio Missions NHP.

Portrait of an acequia at work in Spanish Colonial time

Long Term Significance of the Acquisition
• Permanent preservation of a portion of the historic acequia that provided water to support cultivation of food for historic missions from the Spanish Colonial era.
• Protection of the historic cultural landscape views from the missions.

Value to the Park and Public
• Adding this property to the Park would maintain greenspace in a developing urban area.
• The property could be used as a demonstration area that replicates the historic cultivated crops from the mission Colonial era.
• Incorporating this property into the Park would increase the amount of land accessible to the public.

Map of site location in relation to San Antonio, Texas and close-up of locations