The park kicked off World Heritage Week last Saturday with a bike ride from Mission Concepción Portal Park to Mission San José, where Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued an official proclamation announcing April 27th to May 4th as World Heritage Week in Bexar County and San Antonio.
Occurring simultaneously at Mission San José this past weekend were two other events. The first was the third annual History and Genealogy Day, where mission descendants, indigenous organizations, and several historical and genealogical societies shared their information about individual and group histories of families who once lived in any of the five Spanish Colonial missions in San Antonio. The other event occurring was the third annual Mexican Folk Art sale sponsored by Western National Parks Association, which drew over 4,000 people to the park’s visitor center.
Other events occurring throughout the week included the City of San Antonio’s kickoff event for Historic Preservation Month at Mission Concepción on April 30th. This event featured an evening lecture by George Papagiannis from UNESCO on the World Heritage nomination process.
On May 1st, the park is hosted an alternative fuels kickoff event as part of the NPS’s pilot phase of the Director’s “Green Rides Tool Kit.” This event also recognizes the park’s long term sustainability and partnership efforts with the Alamo Area Council of Governments Clean Cities Coalition and the unveiling of the park’s first electric car charging station, made possible from a grant from the Department of Energy.
World Heritage Week will end with a series of special tours at all five mission sites in San Antonio with an emphasis on the qualities and characteristics that make the Missions of San Antonio eligible for consideration for inscription as a World Heritage Site. For more information please visit http://www.missionsofsanantonio.org/.