Landa Park, the one hundred and ninety-six acre city park located in New Braunfels, was once the location of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, a Spanish mission established in 1756. The site was also known as Las Fontanas (Spanish for “the fountains”) as its most prominent feature included the flowing waters of Comal Springs, home to the fountain darter and the San Marcos salamander (both now endangered). Until purchased by the city in 1936, the springs and surrounding property passed through private hands, including New Braunfels’ Landa family. The Landas operated the site as a resort and picnic spot, promoting its attractions with enough success to warrant two railroad spurs that brought tourists to the park. Today, Landa Park includes the original Landa acreage as well as Panther Canyon (a test well location for the Edwards Aquifer) and additional acreage purchased from the Lower Colorado River Authority. Visitors may access hiking trails under the shady branches of giant oaks, ride the local miniature train, play mini-golf, rent a paddle boat, tour the outdoor Schumann Arboretum with its over 80 species of trees, or do what humans have been doing around the springs for centuries – go for a swim.