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Healing the Headwaters-Volunteer Workday with REI
September 29, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Headwaters at Incarnate Word is partnering with Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI San Antonio) to offer a volunteer event focused on the improvement of the sanctuary which is home to the head of the San Antonio River. This SA300 partner event coincides with the celebration of National Public Lands Day and we intend to work with students in removing invasive species and planting native plants to attract pollinators and nourish wildlife. Along with protecting and preserving natural resources, the Headwaters at Incarnate Word exists for the protection of our city’s cultural resources.
It is here that several springs come together to begin the waterway that was the reason for the settlement of our city. The head of the San Antonio River is located in a 53-acre sanctuary at the Headwaters at Incarnate Word, an urban wildlife refuge that connects people to the earth, themselves, and each other. Along with natural resources, the Headwaters protects important archaeological sites vital to the history of the first people of San Antonio and their ancestors. The native peoples here at the time of European contact called the river Yanaguana, or Spirit Big Water. Spanish explorers were so impressed with the cool springs, lush forests, tall prairies, and abundance of diverse wildlife that they wanted to settle the region. It is on this land that San Antonio was named, because it was on this feast day of St. Anthony of Padua that the Spanish visited the Headwaters. This SA300 partner event will help restore the landscape and bring the San Antonio spring area closer to its natural state at the time of colonization.
REI welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Headwaters at Incarnate Word to honor and preserve the birthplace of the San Antonio River as part of the Tricentennial celebration. REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Each year, REI dedicates a portion of its operating profits to help protect and restore the environment, increase access to outdoor activities and encourage involvement in responsible outdoor recreation. As a purpose-driven cooperative, REI’s business and core purpose are intertwined—we grow our business by furthering our purpose. We’re committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation. We work to ensure the next generation has a first-hand connection to the natural spaces we all share. REI cares for recreational places by participating in and coordinating hands-on volunteer service projects. Every year, REI San Antonio mobilizes tens of thousands of volunteers to build trails, clean up beaches, and restore local habitat, always participating in National Public Lands Day in a San Antonio green space each year.
National Public Lands Day works to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health. The Headwaters at Incarnate word has a similar mission of eco-restoration, education, and reflection. It is through individual and communal service to land and personal self-reflection that we begin to heal ourselves and the urban landscape. The Headwaters at Incarnate Word fosters health through offering walking trails which are open to the public dawn to dusk every day at no cost. We promote community service and healing of the urban landscape through eco-restoration volunteer days twice a week. Through youth and adult educational programming, we share with the public the cultural history of this region alongside environmental science curriculum. The Headwaters at Incarnate Word inspires stewardship of our shared natural and cultural resources which provide the foundation of the City San Antonio.