What We Do

We Make Parks Better.

The San Antonio Parks Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to support and enhance parks in San Antonio and Bexar County. Our efforts improve the quality of life for the whole community.

We strive to achieve excellence in parks in many ways:

  • Raise funds for park projects through individual and corporate giving, as well as grant requests
  • Operate the Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park as a free, public, pet friendly attraction and offer multicultural programs including unique artistic and culinary experiences and seasonal music performances
  • Serve as an ex-officio representative on the Parks & Recreation Board
  • Assist individual park “friends” groups and conservancies through best practices education, accounting support, and improved social engagement
  • Promote and activate conservation efforts
  • Acquire land for dedicated park space and natural areas through the donation of land or purchase
  • Produce large free events that reach 300,000+ community members annually, including:
    • Celebrate San Antonio® on New Year’s Eve in Downtown SA
    • Fest of Tails®, a kite festival and dog fair in McAllister Park
    • Chaparral Music & Heritage Festival®, Texas-centric western heritage and cultural storytelling and experiences and an official Fiesta® event
    • 4th of July Celebration at Woodlawn Lake Park – a red, white and blue salute
    • Jazz’SALive®, a music festival in Travis Park since 1984 featuring national and regional talent

What We Have Done

How We Made Parks Better

  • Installed floating islands of lilies and cannas in the Japanese Tea Garden to help conserve water in the 100,000 gallon ponds
  • Organized free, public outdoor festivals and events that engage the community and improve quality of life
  • Collaborated on a new dog park plan that will revitalize Maverick Park and provide pet friendly recreation space, an agility course, water bowls and more
  • Assisted groups such as Friends of McAllister Park and Milam Park, who rely on the Foundation to process their funding needs quickly and securely
  • Updated the Medina River Natural Area’s headquarters through a collaborative effort with community business leaders
  • Brightened up the downtown jewel of Travis Park with new lighting, which locals and tourists can all enjoy

Our Staff

Mary Jane Verette

President and CEO

Libby Day

Director of Communications

Guadalupe Mata


2021 Board Officers

Board Chair and Chaparral Chair

Ken Kuwamura, Jr.


Laura Powell

Immediate Past Chair


April Ancira


Denise Salzman, CPA

Fest of Tails Chair

Kelley Farwell

Jazz’SAlive Chair

JoAnn Boone

Japanese Tea Garden Chair

Marcie Ince

Board of Directors

 Anne Alexander

Leroy Alloway

 Cristina Bazaldua

Mary Rose Brown

 Bonnie Conner

 Cecilia Garcia

 Melba Harris

Clyde Johnson IV

David Kinder

 Daniel S. Koehl, CPA

 Ray Knox

 Brandon A. Logan

 Jane Macon

 Jennifer Regnier

 Dr. Sylvia Reyna

 Sylvia Rodriguez

 Joe Santamaria

 Sam Bell Steves II

 Kristin D. Tips

 Ed L. White, Jr.

 Homer Garcia (ex officio)

Advisory Board

Evangelina Flores

Tom Frost, III

Rosemary Kowalski

John L. Nau, III