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Lone Star Green

Public Lands Day shines spotlight on our sacred Yanaguana

Photo: Greg Harman, License: N/A

Greg Harman

Into the wild: SARA employee Chris Svoboda hits the San Antonio River.


They have to do some of it, but they try to capture that [water]."

And while some were tentative when SAWS started injecting large volumes of treated recycled water into the river back in 2000, in part to speed the river through the River Walk, the river has seen other improvements up in the headwaters, Hayden said. "There's more fish than ever there, and I know some sensitive species are returning.

"It's never gonna be Blue Lagoon," Hayden continued. "It's not a swimming pool." And thank God for that. She's our living Yanaguana. Those who need a reminder that she is a vital force — or need to be freed from the stain of Cuban's slur once and for all time — should join SARA this Saturday at its new 12-mile Saspamco Paddling Trail in celebration of Public Lands Day. If you don't have a canoe, meet the group at the outtake, SARA's new 98-acre Helton Nature Park in Wilson County, where you can find live music, geocaching, hay rides, and a casting clinic to keep you busy.

Public Lands Day organizers expect more than 170,000 volunteers at more than 2,000 sites around the country to pitch in by improving and restoring parks and gardens and beaches that the public owns in common. So if you hit the Saspamco, bring a bag or two to collect trash as you float. Other local opportunities include removing invasive species at Brackenridge Park, upgrading trails at Canyon Lake, preparing a new campground at Government Canyon State Natural Area, and planting native grasses at Phil Hardberger Park*. For even more events and ways to help visit publiclandsday.org. For more on paddling, hit up sara-tx.org.

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* Most Public Lands Day events around San Antonio, including this one, are being cancelled in anticipation of rain. Watch publiclandsday.org for updates.

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