The grand opening took place on Earth Day, April 22, 2014, with Bill Sinkin’s children, community leaders, Tobin Hill neighborhood residents, college students and administrators on hand to celebrate. Named for San Antonio College alumnus and clean energy champion, William R. “Bill” Sinkin, the center’s goal is to equip the citizens of this region with information on how to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
“A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,” according to Dave Tilford of the Sierra Club in a Scientific American article.
Environmental Sustainability is one of the 11 key areas of SA2020, a community vision for the future of San Antonio spearheaded by Mayor Julián Castro. To make the Alamo City even more awesome, local citizens set the following green goals:
- Increase Renewable Energy
- Increase Tree Canopy
- Improve Air Quality Index
- Reduce Water Use
- Reduce Energy Use
- Reduce Residential Waste
- Increase Recycling Rates
- Increase Development with Low Environmental Impact
Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and support from the Alamo Community College District (see Environmental Sustainability Policy B.10.1), Eco Centro, a 3,100-square foot LEED-certified building, will give San Antonio residents a place to gather and learn how to protect and heal our planet. Upcoming hands-on classes will include water catchment, food gardens, composting, tree care, vermiculture and xeriscaping. For more information on these classes or the use of Eco Centro as a meeting space, contact Steven Lewis, the center’s director, at (210) 486-1874 or via email. You may follow Eco Centro on Twitter and on Facebook.
When you’re at Eco Centro, be sure to soak in the 63-foot long outdoor mural created by Tobin Hill resident Luis Lopez. The artist paid homage to the Native Americans who lived in the area surrounding nearby San Pedro Springs more than 12,000 years ago.
A shout out goes to Edmond Ortiz of mysanantonio.com for his October 2013 and April 2014 coverage of Eco Centro. Public awareness is key to Eco Centro’s success. So are volunteers! Please spread the word. As the Lorax in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”