About us

together, 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.

Your contribution helps support our core values.


We promote and activate environmental efforts to preserve and enhance our public lands.


We unite people of all backgrounds in shared spaces, fostering pride and ownership in their neighborhoods.


We foster an appreciation for the multicultural aspects of people, arts, and historic areas of the city.


We enable and encourage outside activity that inspires the health, wellness and joy integral to the quality of life for our residents.


We share knowledge with the community so nature can be better enjoyed and appreciated by people of all ages.


We advocate for inclusivity and accessibility so our parks can be enjoyed by all.

since 1981, we strive to nuture pride in our parks.

We have organized free, public outdoor festivals and events that engage the community and improve quality of life.

Through a collaborative effort with community business leaders, we updated the Medina River Natural Area’s headquarters.

We assisted groups such as Friends of McAllister Park and Milam Park, who rely on the Foundation to process their funding needs quickly and securely.

Thanks to donations, we 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.

The Foundation brightened up the downtown jewel of Travis Park with new lighting, which locals and tourists can all enjoy.

Installed floating islands of lilies and cannas in the Japanese Tea Garden to help conserve water in the 100,000 gallon ponds.

parks bring people together

At the San Antonio Parks Foundation, we actively invest in a culture of excellence that values and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization’s thought processes, structures, and spaces. In our vision, everyone deserves to live in a neighborhood with healthy land and water, and access to quality parks, trails, and civic infrastructure that fosters a nurturing environment as we collectively strive to become better learners living in a more connected community.

We enthusiastically seek opportunities to work in tandem with underserved and under-represented communities to identify and implement appropriate action to fully realize these equity, diversity, and inclusion objectives. Opportunity and access, for all residents and visitors, to all programs, services, and employment, regardless of age, race, gender or gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status is integral to our values and mission.

lila cockrell endowment

Lila Cockrell has always advocated for the enhancement and preservation of public green spaces and led the San Antonio Parks Foundation from 1981 until her retirement in 2012.

The Lila Cockrell Endowment Fund for the Parks was launched in 2015 with a $1,000,000 gift from Alamo City-based Valero Energy Foundation.  Donations to this permanent endowment will provide long-term financial stability for the work of the foundation, are fully tax-deductible as a 501(c)3 charitable gift, and help to realize Mayor Cockrell’s vision in perpetuity.

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our staff

mary jane verette

president and ceo

libby day

                                      chief impact officer

melanie planas

                                         office manager

samantha perez

japanese tea garden venue manager

2023 board of officers

board chair

ken kuwamura, jr.




jennifer regnier


denise salzman, cpa

immediate past chair

laura powell

board of directors

Anne Alexander

april ancira

jo ann andera

Cristina Bazaldua

Joann boone

Mary Rose Brown

Bonnie Conner

Ann Enkoji

kelley farwell

Cecilia Garcia

Melba Harris

marcie ince

Clyde Johnson IV

David Kinder

Daniel S. Koehl, CPA

Ray Knox

brandon logan

Jane Macon

julie mccarty

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, lll

Rosemary Kowalski

John L. Nau, lll

thank you to our sponsors