Friends Of the River San Bernard is a non-profit [I.R.S. 501(c)3] organization set up by citizens who live on or around the river. We have many goals to achieve, but our main concern is to keep the river clean and its mouth open. Our mission is to restore, protect, promote and ensure a clean, healthy, flowing San Bernard River for the sanity and enjoyment of present and future generations.
FOR San Bernard hosts a variety of events; i.e. a yearly river clean up, Adopt-a-Highway trash pick-ups, monthly breakfasts on the river, two boat parades and a men vs women fishing tournament. In 2010, FOR enacted their first conservation easement on the San Bernard watershed. Also FOR San Bernard conducts classroom presentations for fifth grade students at local schools through its FOR Ranger program. FOR San Bernard also offers a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors living in the San Bernard Watershed.
However, environmental activities are our main focus and our reason for existing. The team is active in many areas, so please visit their web tab. We have a fund raiser referred to as the "Escape to the Tropics". This event is held annually in the fall and is an opportunity to get involved and help with the mission of FOR San Bernard.
In 2004, a core group of people attended the Christmas Boat Parade meetings. Some of the same people, along with some new faces, reunited to volunteer as captains at the River Clean Up in April, 2005. At that event, a few extra tables were set up and manned to help gather signatures for the initial "Opening of the Mouth" petition.
Over the next few months, friendships developed and the next boat parade was fabulous! The river mouth activities continued and generated a considerable amount of press. A positive energy force on the river was gaining ground and it caught the eye of the inactive San Bernard River Foundation president. The president of that group asked to speak at the 2005 Christmas Boat Parade Awards presentation and proposed the reactivation of the Foundation.
A group, consisting of 16 people, became the original Organizing Committee, set the plan in motion. Public meetings were held, private counsel was sought and, ultimately, the organization we have now was officially born on February 24, 2006.
The headwaters of the San Bernard River is a small spring located on private property just south of the town of New Ulm, Texas (29°52' N, 96°29' W). It flows 125 miles to the southeast where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of the few rivers in Texas that empties directly into the Gulf, rather than into a coastal bay system. For more than 100 years, locals have reported hearing the wail of a violin coming from the San Bernard River. The mystery has never been solved, although some say the musical sounds are caused by escaping gas. The phenomenon has caused the river to be called the Singing River.