1,308 Acres, Thousands of Trees

At Brooks we take a campus-wide focus on nature. Throughout the campus, whether an existing space or newly cut roads, our landscape team ensures that trees and plantings will take root and enhance the area for generations to come. Since 2016 when 1,000 trees were accounted for on campus, we have grown to more than 3,000 trees providing shade, oxygen and beauty for the community. Along The Greenline in particular, the care and attention to the natural world can be seen coming to life.

The Greenline: From fitness stations to amazing art pieces, The Greenline has it all. But just what goes into making one of San Antonio’s favorite parks a great place to explore nature? Brooks is dedicated to preserving the environment and has come up with beautiful ways to do it.

Most of what you see at The Greenline is taken care of by an internal team led by Landscape Manager Mark Cook, Assistant Landscape Manager Johnny Sanchez, and Landscape Technician Matthew Tapia. The landscaping staff puts a lot of work into ensuring The Greenline has a positive environmental impact, while still giving you an Instagram-worthy place to take pictures. Here are some of the best landscaping features to look out for next time you’re at The Greenline:


The Greenline treesSince Brooks is more than 100 years old, there were already some trees at The Greenline ranging in age from 50 to almost 100 years old. During construction of The Greenline, Brooks added approximately 265 new trees to the 43-acre space, interspersed among the established trees. These new plantings include a variety of species including red oak, pecan, desert willow, and many more. In addition to providing shade cover, these beautiful trees improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide from the air while generating oxygen.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff recently reinforced the importance of trees in our local ecosystem, laying out a plan for the establishment of a tree-centric botanical garden and education center on the South Side. Plans for the arboretum, including the establishment of a location, are still in the early stages.

Native Plants

The Greenline native plantsPart of what makes The Greenline so wonderful is its use of native plants within its 43 acres of greenspace. Native plants are best suited to the weather, soil, and water conditions in the area. These plants are also acclimated to the bugs at The Greenline so they don’t require pesticides and other harmful chemicals to ensure their survival. The landscaping staff makes sure that The Greenline’s greenery flourishes by selecting plants that they know will thrive in the environment they are in. The greenery includes several perennial plants that return each year, like the firecracker plant and the Gregg’s mist flower.

Native plants are also important because some of them attract butterflies. Butterflies are not just bugs with pretty wings — they are also signs of a healthy environment. Butterflies help pollinate and act as natural pest control. The Greenline is along the Monarch butterfly migration path and they’ll be attracted to plants like the butterfly blue pin cushion flowers that are planted at the park.

You might notice that some native plants, like the grass, grow long. While it might seem like it’s overgrown, the ten acres of grassland is actually manicured and helping the environment around it. The long native grass improves the water quality and gives a safe home to the wild life. Keep an eye out for maiden grass, Mexican feather grass, and all the other native grasses next time you’re out at The Greenline.


Having a park in South Texas is difficult. In the harsh summer heat, you want to ensure the grass stays green, but you also want to save as much water as possible. The Brooks irrigation team uses software to keep The Greenline green. They maintain more than 18 irrigation systems with about 550 irrigation zones. The Greenline is also planning to include some low impact development (LID) features that will help filter the storm water before it hits local rivers and streams.

Another water feature at The Greenline are the five terracing ponds. The ponds are stocked with fish that are evaluated for health and size annually. Stocking these ponds with the right fish is important because it helps keep a balanced ecosystem. Also, the fish allow park visitors to try their hand at fishing. Just keep in mind that whatever you catch, you have to throw back because The Greenline allows catch and release fishing only.

Next time you visit this awe-inspiring park on San Antonio’s South Side, take a moment to observe the ecosystem that is home to The Greenline. The natural San Antonio beauty, paired with the hard work of the Brooks landscape team, is the reason that The Greenline is such a nice place to spend an afternoon.