Civic Park RenderingOn Tuesday, May 5th, all of San Antonio will come together to give to the non-profits that help our city run for the Big Give S.A. The 24-hour day of giving will take place from midnight to midnight and there are hundreds of local non-profits registered for the big day. The Hemisfair Conservancy, a program dedicated to elevating San Antonio by ensuring exceptional quality and longevity of Hemisfair for generations, is a participating non-profit in the Big Give S.A. We talked with Anne Krause, executive director at the Hemisfair Conservancy, to learn more about this amazing day of giving and the future of Hemisfair Park and all that surrounds it.

Twenty Something SA: In your own words, what is the Big Give S.A.?
Anne Krause: The Big Give S.A. is an opportunity to highlight and rally support for all the wonderful non-profit work that is being accomplished in our city. The 24-hour window inspires those with potential philanthropic inclination to take action.

20SA: What are the positive impacts Big Give S.A. has had on the community?
AK: The two biggest impacts Big Give S.A. has had on our community are increased awareness of a variety of local non-profit missions and millions of dollars raised for worthy causes right in our own backyard.

20SA: How can people get involved before, on and after May 5th?
AK: In addition to giving on May 5th, people can get involved by encouraging their friends to participate. There are a variety of ways to do this, but social media makes it really easy. Never, however, underestimate the power of a personal request.

20SA: How was the Hemisfair Conservancy started?
AK: The Hemisfair Conservancy was launched last year to raise philanthropic dollars for the transformational Hemisfair redevelopment project. We received our 501(c)(3) status in October of 2014. Charitable contributions are essential to take the entire district from good to great. While bond funds were used to lay infrastructure and get the first park, Yanaguana Garden, off the ground, both Civic Park and Tower Park will be built and sustained by the generosity of donors from our community.

20SA: What is the Hemisfair Conservancy’s vision of Hemisfair?
AK: Hemisfair is an urban district with residences, local businesses and multiple parks. Hemisfair is becoming sustainable, self-funded and filled with events authentic to San Antonio. Hemisfair will be our vibrant gathering place for everything from a day with friends to the city’s biggest celebrations.

Yanaguana Watercolor Hemisfair20SA: What will the first phase, Yanaguana Garden, consist of?
AK: Yanaguana Garden was conceptualized as a place for “play from pre-K to gray.” The 4+ acre park will have public art installations, water features, climbing structures, a winding promenade, plazas and green space. Picture young couples having picnics and families playing Frisbee on the lawn. Additionally, several historic homes are being preserved and will provide space for businesses such as food and beverage, which will be wonderful amenities for park-goers. Please note all the park names within Hemisfair are working names. There are park-naming opportunities for endowment donors.

20SA: What do you think Hemisfair will bring to the city when the three phases are completed?
AK: Great cities have great downtowns and great downtowns have great urban spaces. Hemisfair will be the crown jewel of our city. It will improve the quality of life for San Antonians of all ages. It will help reduce childhood obesity rates, encourage people to spend time outside, bring our community together, and serve as a catalyst for wellness by providing people an intimate experience with nature. From an economic standpoint, it will increase property values of the surrounding areas, generate new business developments, grow employment opportunities, as well as attract and retain a talented workforce.

20SA: What is the estimated date of completion for all of the phases?
AK: Yanaguana Garden is scheduled to open in July. Civic Park will open in 2018, the same year as San Antonio’s tri-centennial, the 50th anniversary of HemisFair (the ’68 World’s Fair) and the year San Antonio hosts the NCAA Final Four. Tower Park will open in 2020. Isn’t that exciting?
20SA: Yes!

20SA: Anything else you’d like to add?
AK: Large capital projects like this can sometimes intimidate donors who feel as if their contributions won’t make a difference. Although the Hemisfair Conservancy must solicit substantial contributions from major donors in order to complete the parks on schedule, broad public support is tremendously important to this project. Every gift makes the road a little shorter, so we encourage all San Antonians to invest in their park.

Visit the Hemisfair Conservancy website to learn more about the work of the Conservancy and to make a donation. Also, follow us on one of our social media outlets to get the most current information about Hemisfair’s transformational redevelopment project and philanthropy.

It’s time to give, San Antonio. What non-profits are you donating to on Tuesday, May 5th?