SAN ANTONIO -- Salado Creek features fresh-water springs, minnows meandering through clear water, and willow trees waving at a bright blue sky.
In short, it is one of east San Antonio's most alluring hidden treasures.
It’s a reach of the Salado Creek Hike and Bike Trail underneath I-10 and just west of Martin Luther King Park.
Jim Jackson says that he brings his 3-year-old daughter Riy’mae to this special place to teach her what his father taught him.
“I've been living in San Antonio all my life on the east side, and my Dad used to bring me through this park a lot, like often, so I just wanted to bring my daughter,” Jackson said.
While Riy’mae squealed with delight, her mom Asteria helped find an arsenal of stones so her dad could teach her the finer points of skipping flat rocks on the gently flowing stream.
“I just wanted to bring her here and just show her how I grew up and the environment that I stayed in,” said Jackson in between loving stones downstream. “I think it's real important for her to know where I come from.”
While at water level the spot is a natural wonderland, just a few feet away on street level, it's been a different world of illegal dumping for years.
Aransas Street runs under the interstate on the south side of Salado Creek, and because it’s an isolated, hard-to-reach spot, it’s been a magnet for dumping.
But now, for the first time, the city has just taken steps to protect this special place, installing surveillance, warning the illegal dumpers that their behavior is not acceptable.
The signs were just installed within the past couple of weeks, so it’s too soon to say if they will have a measurable impact. But for little Riy'mae and those who will follow her, hope, like the river, flows.
If you want would like to take your family to this special place, the best approach is to park at Martin Luther King Park and take the trail west for a short distance until you reach I 10.