ACMB Cares: Landa Gardens Conservancy

Throughout 2019, Alamo City Moms Blog will be spotlighting local nonprofits as part of its ACMB Cares campaign. Our goal is to familiarize readers with nonprofit organizations that are making an impact in San Antonio through their connection with moms and/or children. Today, we are featuring the Landa Gardens Conservancy. 

For more information on being featured, please click here.

Just off the bustling highway of 281, tucked behind Trinity University, lies an oasis within our city of 1.3 million people.

The property, located at the corner of Bushnell and Shook Avenues, was donated by Harry Landa in 1946 to the City of San Antonio as a memorial to his wife, Hannah. The house was to be used as a public library, and the grounds as a playground for children and public area for the community. Located in the heart of Monte Vista, Landa Library has five acres of grounds surrounding the Mediterranean-style home.

In 1994, a group of neighbors, organized under the name of the Landa Library Alliance, began raising money to build the playground Mr. Landa envisioned. Four years later, the Alliance successfully completed a $70,000 campaign and constructed the playground, fulfilling Mr. Landa’s dream.

In 2001, the Monte Vista Historical Association, in conjunction with the Landa Library Alliance, formed the Landa Gardens Committee. Working in partnership with the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Public Library Board, the Landa Gardens Committee created a master plan for Landa Gardens. On August 13, 2004, Landa Gardens Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed to raise the funds necessary to implement the plan and establish an endowment for perpetual maintenance of the grounds. More than $1.5 million was raised by the end of 2007.

On May 1, 2008 Landa Gardens Conservancy celebrated the grand opening of the Gardens. The grounds include the Valero Pavilion, a concrete sculpture designed and created by nationally renowned artist Carlos Cortés. The Pavilion can accommodate a concert, can be used as a stage for children’s theater, story hour, or puppet show, or even host a wedding or birthday party. The Gardens include beautiful landscaping, walking paths, benches, playground improvements, more than 7,000 new plants, and a community garden.

It is the hope of Landa Gardens Conservancy that the entire community uses and enjoys Landa Gardens.

In fact, May is known as Landa Gardens Month, and the community is invited to participate and enjoy the grounds as it hosts various events including: story time with Miss Anastasia, a performance by The Magik Theatre, and social cocktail hours. This weekend, the community is invited to enjoy an evening of family-friendly cinema, face-painting, pizza, and paletas!

The hope is that the Conservancy can continue to build connections within the community and around the city by providing a green space for everyone to enjoy. Often, families, graduates, and even brides can be seen having their portraits taken on the grounds, which are funded, managed, and maintained by the nonprofit. The current focus of funds is to move toward a green, pesticide-free, and sustainable maintenance program so generations to come can continue to enjoy the gift of Landa.

Celina is a “professional volunteer” serving on multiple nonprofit boards and advisory groups. In her former life she started a nonprofit, which she left last year in the most capable of hands where it continues to thrive. In another past life she was a host and reporter for Texas Public Radio. She’s a “native” Texan and life-long San Antonio Girl. She attended school in Chicago where all she did was talk about how great Texas is. Her husband, Luke, is her high school sweetheart and the most supportive spouse you’ll ever meet. They have two children whom words can’t currently describe, but keep reading and you’ll get a pretty good idea who they are becoming.