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Attention Birders! Friedrich Park's new entry pavilion and kiosk are now open. The maps and bird brochures will be located in the new kiosk. We ask that birders begin reporting all their Natural Area sightings at

Crown Ridge!

CrownRidge Canyon Natural Area is a well kept secret of the Natural Areas. For a virtual hike and an invitation to visit this special place, see AN INVITATION.

Educator Resources

Please visit “Educator Resources”, our growing selection of activities to enjoy along the trail and in the classroom or at home. Some of these activities are designed to happen in one of our Natural Areas, some can happen in any outdoor location and some can be wherever you want them to happen! Anyone can be an outdoor educator and we are here to help you!

Pass it On

The most precious treasure we possess is the lifetime of knowledge stored in our memory bank. The most precious treasure the world possesses is the potential in the life of a child. The greatest resource to sustain the environmental movement is the knowledge gained from lives lived close to the land. The most effective tool for growing a child with a consuming desire to nurture the environment is the passing of that knowledge to them.

At a recent Explore program in the Natural Areas, an Education Volunteer guided the hands of a young class participant in the grinding of a batch of cochineal insects. The ground insects would be dissolved in water to produce a dye for yarn that would be wound into a model of a coral snake. The insects ground by someone else colored the strawberry banana juice we drank that day. The students will not soon forget ?bug juice?. They will remember that the white fuzzy stuff on cactus is the protection around those cochineal insects.

One connection to the natural world that will help grow a child who will enjoy, appreciate and care for that world. One volunteer who shared his knowledge and ?passed it on?.

Got Rocks?



Yes we do! Our Natural Area Parks & the Hill Country have very interesting geology with an important relationship with our water source, the Edwards Aquifer. Dr. George Veni provides information on our geology in the series, "Geology of Friedrich Park".



She Walked the Walk

The Natural Area Parks of San Antonio Parks & Recreation has a mighty Education Department, reaching thousands of children and adults. An amazing thing about this is it is a department of one person with her scores of volunteers. Now, after a long career of connecting people with nature, Peggy Spring retires. Peggy's legacy will continue into the future through those she taught to feel, understand and love nature. Thank you, Peggy.

New Nature Talks
Friedrich Wilderness Park
Naturalist in the Park

Before or after most Saturday walks at Friedrich Park, stop by the pavilion for a nature talk from our interpretive guides. Topics include the windmill, mammals, geology and plants. Check here for dates and topics!

March 14, 2015

The Trail Mix
Trail Safety for Families
9 - 11 am
Medina River Natural Area

Come join us at beautiful Medina River Natural Area for a hands-on exploration of part of the Howard Peak Greenway Trail for a short hike, trail safety information and fun activities. Perfect for families with children ages 7-12 years of age. For more information, email: HERE or call 207-8603.

No registration required. A donation of $3.00 per individual or $5.00 per family is suggested.

April 11, 2015

Butterflies and Beetles
Medina River Natural Area
9 am - 11 am

Joanne Wells, also know as the Butterfly Lady will show us the butterflies that can be found in the park and what plants they are attracted to. Also Dan Sunburg, Bug Man will discuss and show us his large beetle collection. Kid friendly activity included. A donation $3.00 per individual or $5.00 per family is suggested.

See Programs for more info.

Volunteer Days

Hardberger Park's diversitys of flora and fauna is being threatened by exotic invasive weeds. WE NEED YOUR HELP on Weed Wednesdays at from 8:30 to 10:30 am. See Programs for more info.


1) Preserve and manage San Antonio's Natural Areas to protect natural ecosystems,
2) Promote inclusive and transformative relationships between people and natural systems.

Playing recordings or pishing to attract birds is harmful and illegal. Learn more here:Responsible Birding.

Invader Thistle

This one is really taking over many of our native landscapes! Learn more about Malta Star-thistle in this refence by Park Naturalist Wendy Leonard:Malta Star-thistle.

Love my Soaps

As you have walked the Natural Area trails the last few months, you might have noticed small trees loaded with bright yellow fruits. This is the western soapberry that grows throughout Texas along fencerows, near streams and on woodland edges. Learn more about this interesting and useful tree in this article by Peggy Spring, Soap Operas!

Riparian Area?

Have you hiked along the river at Medina River Natural Area? If so, you were walking in a riparian area. These are some of the most important ecosystems in Texas. Unfortunately, they are also misunderstood and under-appreciated by many Texans. See the article by Peggy Darr, What's a Riparian Area?

Pictures of GCW

Golden-cheeked Warbler

A presentation featuring a Golden-cheeked Warbler family as they build their nest and raise their young in the spring of 2011.


"EXTREME DROUGHT" means that even your native trees may be in trouble without your help. See this article from International Society of Arboriculture for more information.

Mountain Lion

mt lion

Mountain Lion (also known as puma, cougar and by other names) is a native animal of Bexar County. They have always been here and continue to survive in reduced numbers. As our communities expand and wild areas become more rare, these large cats are being forced into areas they would not normally inhabit.

The Natural Areas are nature preserves. Our goal is to preserve the natural landscape and its native flora and fauna, including mountain lions. However, human safety comes first. For your protection we are providing this information.

Please review the Texas Parks and Wildlife's "Mountain Lions in Texas" for more information and the best reaction for you if you have the rare occurrence of a meeting with this animal.

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San Antonio Natural Areas