Most cities have a river:
San Antonio has a river walk.
The San Antonio river has been an important resource since long before the arrival of the Spanish when the area was home to Native Americans. The first mission, San Antonio de Valero, was established here in 1718. Following the flood of 1724, the mission, which we call the Alamo, was moved to its present site. As San Antonio expanded into a major city, floods continued to disrupt the area. A Downtown flood in 1913 forced the city to study the problem. An engineering report in 1920 forecast serious damage and losses of life if a big flood occurred. 1921 proved the engineers right, when more than 50 lives were lost and millions of dollars of damage occurred during a flood. San Antonio took steps to reduce the risk of floods; Olmos Dam was constructed upstream to trap incoming flood waters and the horseshoe bend through downtown was cut off.
What to do with the bend became the big question. Many people wanted to fill it in and pave it over. But the San Antonio Conservation Society took up the fight to save the beautiful tree lined bend that we now enjoy. Once the bend was saved, San Antonio became a truly unique city. Beautification and development of the bend started with a plan proposed by Robert H.H. Hugman in 1927 and has continued through today.
The City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the San Antonio River Authority, Bexar County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Citizens of San Antonio have worked together to create a unique environment and to solve a geologic problem flooding. Without this cooperation, there would be no river walk.