DOI / VISTA Team Projects

San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

DOI / VISTA: Kristian Browning
Supervisor: Anna Martinez-Amos
Address: 2202 Roosevelt Ave., San Antonio, Texas 78210
County: Bexar
Voice Telephone: 210-534-8875 x. 258
Web site:
Congressional District: 35
Bureau: National Park Service (NPS)


The mission and purpose of San Antonio National Historic Park is to preserve and interpret four 1730’s Spanish colonial mission compounds as well as acequias (irrigation features), labores (farm fields), a rancho, and other lands associated with the Missions.  These four NPS missions are also active church parishes for the surrounding community and are located along an 8-mile stretch of the San Antonio River in the middle of residential neighborhoods.  The river was once the life-blood of these missions and the introduction of agricultural and engineering practices by the Spanish transformed the hunter/gatherer population to a centralized society that ultimately led to the development of San Antonio.

About the Surrounding Community

The Park is located in an economically depressed area of San Antonio. Residents surrounding the missions earn an average of $30,630 annually compared to $41,593 annually citywide. Also, 21% of the residents around the missions live below the poverty line compared to 6% citywide. Citywide population demographics consist of 63% of Hispanic origin, 26% are white non-Hispanic, nearly 7% are African American, nearly 2% are of Asian descent, and less than 1% is of American Indian descent. Surrounding the missions are the three separate school districts that demographically represent predominantly a mix of socioeconomically low and lower-middle class Hispanic families. Obesity is also of significant concern to San Antonio Metropolitan health officials, particularly for families and children within the geographic area of south San Antonio. 

Project Overview

Developing community gardening initiative on portions of a working 70 acre Spanish colonial farm, the DOI/VISTA, Kristian Browning, builds capacity by cultivating partnerships, identifying strategic initiatives, and pursuing community outreach and opportunities that increase local knowledge of fresh produce and living healthy in the south San Antonio community. Kristian also coordinates river and trail connection events on public lands.

Sponsors and Partners

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