Interpretive Boardwalk Trail crossing San Jacinto marsh opens April 20

Alligators, coyotes, otters, diamondback terrapins, peregrine falcons, wood ibises (storks), brown pelicans, reddish egrets, roseate spoonbills, great blue herons, osprey, mottled ducks and American avocets are among the creatures that observant visitors to the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site might eventually spy from a new boardwalk. Opening to the public during San Jacinto Day celebrations on Saturday, April 20, the ADA-accessible boardwalk spans a portion of the newly restored marsh that barred the escape of many of General Santa Anna’s troops during the 1836 battle.

At the time of the Battle of San Jacinto, the San Jacinto River was a slow-flowing river barely deep and wide enough to permit modest river commerce. Barges loaded with bales of cotton from farms and plantations were floated down the Buffalo Bayou to the river. In the middle of the 20th century, the river and bayous were dredged to facilitate commerce. Through the years, most of the area’s marshland and many of its estuaries so critical for various stages of life of marine animals subsided, buried under layers of sediment. Among the species dependent on the estuary habitat for breeding, egg-laying or larva development are shrimp, blue crabs and numerous sport and food fish.

The reclamation of this delicate ecosystem has been the result of the efforts of government, corporate and community partners over the past seven years. Eagle Scouts first erected poles in the marshy area in 1999 to serve as perches for birds. Following a $20,000 grant from Texaco, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was able to begin fortifying the shoreline.

The US. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) contributed $39,000 to help help return the historic Battlefield to its 1836 appearance.

In addition to the San Jacinto Interpretive Boardwalk Trail, visitors can explore a treasure-trove of artifacts from early Texas housed in the San Jacinto Museum of History, located at the base of the San Jacinto Monument. They can ride to the top of the monument to get a bird’s-eye view of the 1,000-acre park, and they can also see Texas Forever!!, a rapid-fire show utilizing 42 projectors to tell the story of the Texas Revolution in hourly screenings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission to the museum and park is free. Nominal fees are charged for monument elevator rides and for Texas Forever!! The Battleship Texas, anchored near the monument, also can be toured. The ship served in combat in World War I and World War II.
For more information on the battleship and park, call 281-479-2431. For the museum and all other information, call 281-479-2421.