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San Antonio's Hardberger Park Will Soon Feature An Artistic Way To View Wildlife

City of San Antonio rendering
One of the blinds at Phil Hardberger Park

Before long, the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge will open at the Phil Hardberger Park on San Antonio’s North Side. At either end of that bridge will be public art installations.

Ashley Mireles is one of two artists chosen to help with the plan.

“I was asked if I was interested in being a part of the team to create a design for a blind at Hardberger Park,” she said.

If you don’t know what a blind is, in this case it’s a three-walled structure that has a very specific purpose: to keep you hidden.

Ashley Mireles at Hardberger Park Land Bridge.jpg
City of San Antonio rendering
Ashley Mireles' design at Hardberger Park Land Bridge

“It gives people a place to stop and see the animals in their natural environment, but also to not distract the animals,” she said.

The Tobin Land Bridge will allow animals to pass over the Wurzbach Parkway from its northern acreage to its southern and vice versa, safe from traffic. Those two blinds at either end will be a great place to view wildlife.

“There's going to be a water feature about 30 to 50 feet away from the blind, viewable from the blind, and that should attract animals to it,” Mireles said.

200528 Blind A interior render.jpg
City of San Antonio rendering
Ashley Mireles blind at Phil Hardberger Park

The artistry of Mireles and the other artist Cade Bradshaw is in how the steel-paneled walls will allow for wildlife viewing.

“There are openings all around it at different heights and different sizes,” she said. “The cutouts themselves are images (of) plants that are found at Hardberger Park and in the San Antonio area.”

Bradshaw’s blind cutouts show different geological aspects of the 311-acre park, as well as animals living there. Explanatory signage will detail what those at the blinds are seeing.

“A lot of community engagement went into it, including safety, and accessibility for anyone being in a wheelchair,” she said.

The land bridge and the two artworks are slated for opening in mid-December.

Cade Bradshaw at Hardberger Park Land Bridge.jpg
City of San Antonio rendering
Cade Bradshaw's design at Hardberger Park land bridge

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii