a serene setting
Walnut Springs Park – Seguin, Texas
The Seguin Walnut Springs Park (also known as the Walnut Branch Walk) is a network of walkways and bridges along the banks of the Walnut Branch ( a spring-fed tributary of the Guadalupe River), about one story lower than the streets of downtown Seguin, Texas. The park is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a historic attraction in its own right.
In the late 1920’s plans came into play when San Antonio native and environmental architect Robert Hugman submitted his plans for what would become the Walnut Springs Park.
Federal Depression-relief funds became available in the spring of 1933 to beautify the stream and create a park. The project was planned by Hugman, the architect who later designed the San Antonio River Walk, which was completed by the Works Progress Administration in 1941.
In June of 1933, workmen began building walkways and bridges along the waterway and lined the exterior with stone walls. Dams, falls, and ponds were built along the natural springs of the waterway, that winds through the center of the city. Landscaping though necessary was minimal, due to the natural beauty of the location.
The park eventually fell into ruin in the late 1940s and during the droughts in the 1950s. Fear that breeding mosquitoes in the pooling ponds could possibly spread polio, lead to the demolition of the dams along the waters walkways. With the flow of the waters limited and the loss of the beautiful falls, the area would be almost forgotten in the decades following.
However during the 1980s, ideas to revitalize the area began to flourish. The Federated Women’s Club of Seguin took the first steps and began placing plants along the old walls of the park and in the area along Donegan and Travis Streets, which became known as the Memorial Rose Garden. In late spring, Seguin annually holds a romantic Moonlight and Roses Festival at the site.
The city then formed a master plan for renovation in 1995. By 2002, voters had approved the initiation of the project. However, delays in funding postponed major renovations until 2006, when funds from the Destination Seguin bond package was approved by voters. The project was brought to the attention of Government officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers formed the plan of design for the park.
On May 14, 2011, the central section of the park was completed and the city celebrated the rebirth of the Walnut Springs Park. Commemorative plaques mounted to the entrances on the park’s pedestrian bridge were placed and now honor the contributions of the people who made this project possible.
Plans are currently underway to extent the park walk, deemed the Walnut Branch Linear Park Trail, further north to Highway 78 and south of the city to Convent Street.