Mays Family Foundation Grants Hemisfair $1 Million Gift in Honor of Peggy Mays

First-ever seven-figure gift received by the organization will construct garden along East Nueva Street between historic homes, two parks

Hemisfair announced today it received a generous gift this holiday season: one million dollars from the Mays Family Foundation to construct a garden along East Nueva Street, which stretches between Yanaguana Garden and the future Civic Park. The “leadership gift” is the largest and first-ever seven-figure charitable donation to the Hemisfair Conservancy.

Named in honor of the family’s matriarch who passed away on Nov. 11, the “Peggy Mays Garden” will be a series of heavily planted areas, small trails and rest areas with a mix of plant species to attract pollinators.

“My mother was devoted to adding beauty and improving life for all San Antonians,” Kathy Mays Johnson said. “Our family cannot think of a better way to honor her than with these exquisite gardens at Hemisfair that everyone can enjoy for generations.”

The grant will fund the design, construction and maintenance of the garden, including planting, trees, lighting and ample seating to pause and reflect on the beauty of nature.

“It has been a privilege to work with Kathy and the Mays family to honor Peggy’s memory in this thoughtful and meaningful way,” said Anne Krause, executive director of the Hemisfair Conservancy. “The Mays Family Foundation is leading the way in helping us accomplish our aspirational vision of creating one of the world’s great public places here in San Antonio. Philanthropy is at the heart of Hemisfair, and we hope this transformational gift inspires other donors to support the redevelopment.”

The garden design, to be finalized in the coming months, will reflect Peggy’s love for family, nature and her desire to leave the world a better place. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2021.