Overlooking the Headwaters of the San Antonio River, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, UIW President Dr. Thomas Evans, and others symbolically planted a "Compassion Tree" https://saccvi.blogspot.com/2019/11/compassion-tree-planting-san-antonio.html as part of the city Compassion movement. See https://saccvi.blogspot.com/2019/07/compassion-lab-about-global-and-local.html They united with the global Climate Reality Day, October 10, 2020. See and listen to the local ceremony in a film created by Alejandro DeHoyos.
Dr. Sally Said, secretary of the board of directors for Headwaters at Incarnate Word https://www.headwaters-iw.org/ explained that it is a non-profit Earth care ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. "It is responsible for a nature sanctuary of 53 acres adjacent to the UIW campus, including the Blue Hole Spring. The Blue Hole because of its free-flowing spring, was the site of native encampments beginning twelve thousand years ago, according to archeological evidence, and Native groups continue to visit the spring, which they consider sacred, to this day. During Spanish colonization from the early 18th century, acequias, stone-lined ditches, carried water from the Blue Hole and San Pedro Springs to the civilian community, the presidio, and the missions. After the Texas War of Secession from Mexico, ownership of the headwaters passed to the City of San Antonio, which sold the springs to city alderman J. R. Sweet. Sweet sold the springs and adjacent land to George W. Brackenridge in 1869. After the drilling of artesian wells made spring ownership less critical, Brackenridge sold some 283 acres, his Head of the River Estate, to the Incarnate Word Sisters in 1897. Today the Sisters retain about 155 acres, including the campus of UIW; the retirement community; land surrounding the Sister’s offices, chapel, and Brackenridge Villa; and the Headwaters Sanctuary. On July 22, 2020, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and Headwaters at Incarnate Word signed a conservation easement agreement with Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas. The easement will preserve in perpetuity a 50-acre natural area encompassing the Headwaters of the San Antonio River and guaranteeing the continued existence of the only nature sanctuary in the urban core of San Antonio. The tree planted today overlooks the Blue Hole, included in this easement."
Darshana Gupte, a Climate Reality Leader and a Chairwoman of San Antonio Chapter, said: " The Climate Reality Project was founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2006. Since then, he has trained over 31,000 Climate leaders in more than 170 countries worldwide. Today is a very special day for us, as it begins, 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future! A Day of Action! For 24 straight hours, Vice President Gore and his trained Leaders will lead Digital Presentations and Discussions across the planet. They will explore the historic connection of Climate Change, COVID-19, and Systemic Racism that touch our lives. They will highlight, what we can do, to face these challenges and build the better future together? It is a Massive community event intended to foster an urgency to act and push through actions NOW. With the world asking what comes next, this year, we are partnering with the outstanding team of TED for Countdown- Turning Ideas into Action. Also, this year, Climate Reality Project will Plant a tree, around the globe, on behalf of each attendee of the Presentation at North American Branch-California; Africa Branch-Ghana; Canada Branch- British Columbia; Japan, china and Amazon Rainforest. Forests are not just trees; they provide food, water, livelihoods, and employment opportunities while capturing the Carbon from the air. They are imperative to the global ECO system. Locally, our SA chapter is partnering with Compassionate Tree Project to fulfill our Act of leadership & commitment to making San Antonio Green. So far, my team has already planted 239 trees and we are committed to do more. Finally, what do trees, bees, butterflies, and Climate Reality have in common? Well, they are all Nature’s Essential Workers!! So, in addition to this Ceremonial tree planting today, as climate conscious citizens of the world, let us vow to plant as many trees as possible in our lifetime and encourage our friends and family. My special thanks to Ann Helmke for arranging such a wonderful event. Our host University of Incarnate word (UIW), President, faculty, ground staff and Sr. Martha her relentless work. Last but not least, Mayor Ron Nirenberg for his support and presence at this special event on October 10, 2020"