Campus Landmarks - Mission

The Headwaters

The Headwaters at Incarnate Word preserves, restores, and celebrates the rich natural, cultural, historical, spiritual, and educational values of the headwaters of the San Antonio River, especially within the 53-acre Headwaters Sanctuary.

The Headwaters Sanctuary at Incarnate Word is widely revered as a beautiful, quiet, historic sanctuary at the headwaters of the San Antonio River with the Blue Hole spring as its centerpiece. The Blue HoleWhile privately owned and managed, it is free and open to the public. Walking trails invite exploration of the sanctuary and connect it to adjacent parks and natural areas. 

The river is connected from its historic “source” at the Blue Hole to the southernmost Mission Espada. Interpretive signs and educational programs reflect on the area’s ecology, hydrology, history and pre-history. Appropriate scientific inquiry benefits nearby universities, schools, and visitors. The sanctuary is a safe haven for native plants, animals and city-weary souls. 

A growing community of volunteers contribute countless hours to restoring as much of its native biodiversity as possible. They discover that in working to heal the land, we heal something deep within ourselves. Exploring our spiritual connection to Earth fosters a greater appreciation for nature and our moral obligation to Earth care. Headwaters is a place with a mission

Our main goals are to:

  • Establish a sanctuary for all Creation
  • Restore health to its land and water
  • Offer the gifts of education and spiritual reflection
  • Share the stories of this place and it people
  • Connect the Blue Hole and Sanctuary to the community by way of the "Spirit Reach" of the San Antonio River.

For more information on the Headwaters at Incarnate Word, please visit their website

St. Brigid's Oak

 St. Brigid's Oak can be found along St. Brigid's Path behind the Village of Avoca Apartments

It is a live oak tree that is approximately 600 years old. It is dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare (451-525 AD) by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, and the University of the Incarnate Word.

The Grotto

The GrottoThe Lourdes Grotto honors our Lady of Lourdes, and the original grotto in Lourdes, France which is well known for its healing powers.

In pleasant weather, which is frequent during the fall and spring semesters, the Grotto's intimate auditorium-style seating often serves as an outdoor classroom.