Greetings Friends,

Spring has sprung and the Friends of Barton Springs Pool Board of Directors is gearing up for another exciting year of protecting and preserving the Barton Springs Pool! We’re busy with projects inside and outside the fence and very excited to announce the return of our annual membership picnic in June. Stay tuned for more details!

Our first volunteer pool cleaning was a huge success and we want to carry that forward throughout the year by encouraging members to join us for these vital pool preservation efforts. Pool cleanings take place on the first Thursday of each month and allow volunteers to catch some rays and get their hands dirty in support of the pool. See the schedule below and sign up for the date and time that work for you. Snacks and refreshments are provided and the first ten people to sign-up for a cleaning get a free FBSP t-shirt!

See you at the Pool!

FSBP Board

Upcoming Pool Cleanings:

April 4                  (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)
May 2                   (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)
June 6                  (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)
July 11                  (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)
August 1               (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)
September 5        (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)
October 4             (9am-12pm or 12-3pm)

Have questions about pool cleanings? Contact us at president@friendsofbartonspringspool.org.

Not a member? Become one today! Contact us at info@friendsofbartonspringspool.org to get on our mailing list and to learn about upcoming volunteer events at the Pool.

PRESS RELEASE — Council Cleans Barton Springs Pool Thursday (Oct. 11)

PRESS RELEASE — Council Cleans Barton Springs Pool Thursday (Oct. 11)

(Austin, Texas) – With Austin’s population growing every year, the demands on Barton Springs, the Edwards Aquifer, and our water resources continue to grow.  Friends of Barton Springs Pool and Barton Springs Conservancy are pleased to join the Mayor and Austin City Council members on Thursday, October 11, 2018 to promote increased awareness of issues affecting our environment, parks, and pools, including specifically Barton Springs Pool.

The day’s events will kick off at 9 AM on the north side of the Pool with a press conference presentation promoting recent Barton Springs Pool projects supported by Austin City Council.  Mayor Steve Adler and Council Members Alison Alter, Jimmy Flannigan, Ann Kitchen, Leslie Pool, and Kathie Tovo will attend the event to provide information on the 2018 GO Bond package which supports our environment, parks, and pools and to discuss hotel tax funding for the rehabilitation of Historic Barton Springs Bathhouse.

Following remarks, Friends of Barton Springs Pool will conduct a tour of the Pool that includes the Historic Bathhouse, the Upstream Dam, a tour of invasive plants, new tree plantings, the reintroduction of aquatic plants, and the recently completed Eliza Daylighting project.

For more information about Council Cleans the Pool Day, visit http://friendsofbartonspringspool.org.

What: Austin City Council Cleans Barton Springs Pool

Who: Mayor Steve Adler, Austin City Council Members Alison Alter, Jimmy Flannigan, Ann Kitchen, Leslie Pool, and Kathie Tovo, Friends of Barton Springs Pool and Barton Springs Conservancy

When: Thursday, October 11 at 9 AM

Where: Barton Springs Pool, 2131 William Barton Drive, Austin, Texas 78746

For Immediate Release:
October 8, 2018
Contact: Steve Barnick
Friends of Barton Springs Pool
512-789-8512
president@friendsofbartonspringspool.org

Bathhouse Rehab Project Community Meeting (August 14, 2018) — Join Us!

As a friendly reminder, please join us tomorrow, Tuesday, August 14, 2018 (6-7:30pm at Zilker Botanical Gardens) for a Project Values and Program Workshop Community Meeting to discuss the Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation project.  At the meeting, city staff and the design architects (Limbacher & Godfrey) will to provide an update and discuss the bathhouse design issues to get community feedback and input.

Through the meetings thus far, we have emphasized the importance of making environmental education a key part of any final bathhouse design that improves the visitor experience.  In the community, there is strong agreement that the best and only way to preserve Barton Springs is by dramatically increasing our education efforts and public outreach to our growing population to educate the citizens and local officials about the threats to the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs, and how we as a community can protect it for future generations.  Currently, the competing needs at the bathhouse are in conflict and are squeezing the educational function, so we want expanded and improved education to be part of the bathhouse and any visitor education center.  Generally speaking, this can be achieved by advocating for the following design outcomes:

  1.  Implement the Master Plan’s recommendations for:
  •          returning the main entrance to the original entrances at the central rotunda,
  •          upgrading the gallery and creating a Visitor Center to provide a central organizing experience for all pool visitors, and
  •          updating the dressing areas and reconfiguring public restrooms for improved comfort and accessibility while respecting their historic architectural heritage.
  1. Implement the Feasibility Study’s detailed recommendations for protecting, enhancing and expanding the environmental education programming at the Bathhouse and/or a Visitor Education Center to improve the visitor experience by:
  •          reopening the rotunda entrances to enhance the entrance experience and to include environmental education exhibits, preferably while maintaining the current entrance,
  •          reopening (and restoring?) the Women’s Dressing Area to the extent possible,
  •          maintaining at least part of the central rotunda space and former basket room for public access (e.g., exhibits, environmental education, etc.), and
  •          dramatically increasing our education efforts and public outreach to our growing population to educate the citizens and local officials about the threats to the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs, and how we as a community can protect it for future generations, since this is the best and only way to preserve Barton Springs,
  •          providing visitor education to address the environmental impact of sunscreen and “best practices” for minimizing impact,
  •          reducing impervious cover and/or improving water quality outcomes as part of the overall process.

These seem like good guiding design values that leave plenty of room for design options that can be developed by the architects.

For the latest information on the Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation project, be sure to visit the city’s Bathhouse Rehabilitation website for information on project goals and timeline for upcoming community meetings where you can join the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works Department, and other Barton Springs Stakeholders to provide input for the design process for the historic Barton Springs Bathhouse, extending the work of the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan, the Zilker Park Bathhouse Zone Feasibility Study, and 2012 Bond Package.

New Board Member — Ashley Todd

On July 25, 2018, the board voted to elect Ashley Todd to serve on the board as our Fundraising Chair.  Ashley grew up in Austin, Texas, studied at UT, is a long-time swimmer at Barton Springs, and is an attorney with Husch Blackwell!  Plus, she’s a childhood friend of our own Sarah (Sheffield) Williams.  How cool is that?!!!  We are delighted to have Ashley join our board to help with our work to return the Barton Springs Pool to its rightful glory.

FBSP President’s Message — April 2018

President plants peck on plastic Anas platyrhynchos!

Friends,

Our year of volunteering at the pool officially started with It’s My Park Day on Sat(3/3) where we had an amazing group of volunteers that got the chance to work on a weekend.  We were able to distribute several yards of mulch, did some amazing ligustrum removal in the area behind the diving board, and all the gardens got some much needed TLC.  The pool was partially drawn down which was a treat for our volunteers to see the springs exposed.  Our April 5 cleaning will be the first Thursday cleaning of 2018, and we are excited to help with reducing algae, and do whatever it takes to put a shine on the pool.

We are advocating for a lot of little projects inside the fence this year, including planting more trees, and our Advocacy Chair (Nelson Guda) is spearheading this effort.  We attended a meeting with the team of folks replanting aquatic plants in the pool, and from what we learned after our 2nd attempt to make this work, we are optimistic we will find the right protocol for future planting success.  There is also a wall that is degrading near the pump station on the north side and the sediment accumulation at the bypass tunnel entrance that we are going to inquire about what can be done.  As always, our volunteer efforts are the main mechanism to learn about the pool, raise awareness to any issues we encounter, and advocate for changes to make the pool the best it can be.

On Tuesday, April 3, the Bathhouse rehabilitation design discussion was kicked off, and for me personally and for FBSP as a group advocating for the pool, this is a proud moment in moving forward what was laid down in the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan.  The bathhouse project was a main topic of the BSP MP in 2009, and was also addressed extensively in the Feasibility Study in 2016 where all the challenges that entangle any development at BSP were documented.  And now in 2018, we are going to embark on developing a design for the bathhouse that will insure its place in landscape of BSP for the next 50-70 years.  We encourage all our members to get involved in this process!!  This is the time to speak out about your concerns, issues, and what you think is important about the bathhouse. To find out more about this project or sign up for project updates you can visit the website (http://www.austintexas.gov/bartonspringsbathhouse).   If you wish to comment to me at (president@friendsofbartonspringspool.org), I would love to hear from you and carry your message the best I can as we advocate for the best design we can.

We are anxiously awaiting Give5 to Mother Earth Day on Friday (April 20), the fundraiser for Austin’s environmental non-profits, including FBSP.  At last count, we had over 200 businesses signed up to dedicate 5% of their sales to the fundraising effort.  If you want to know more about this and who the sponsors are that are participating go to https://austingive5.org/.

Have you swam at the pool lately?  Before our large downpour at the end of March, the spring flow was on a steady decline to about 45cfs, and with the onslaught of spring weather, we are experiencing an algae bloom at the pool.  Thankfully, with that 3-5 ” of rain, the spring flow is up to just shy of 70 cfs.  This will help with stripping the algae from the surfaces of the pool and allow it to move on down the creek.  If you ever want to know about pool flow or the latest about the aquifer, check out the links on the right side of our website to see the USGS Barton Springs Weekly Water Flow and Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.

And last but not least, we have been a supporter of the efforts to replace the tile facade at the Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater with a mural by the team headed by Wanda Montemayor.  If you do not already know about her work, check out the murals at Deep Eddy, and Barton Hills Elementary. I hope to have some of the concepts in our display case soon. So check them out and if you get a chance add your support to this effort.

See you at the pool,

Steve Barnick, FBSP President

Give 5% This Earth Day!

Earth Day 2017 will take place on Friday, April 21st, and Friends of Barton Springs Pool (FBSP) is joining with other local environmental non-profits to harness the day for giving back to Mother Earth.Give5Graphic-1024x592

Together with local non-profits, Shoal Creek Conservancy, Hill Country Conservancy, Austin Parks Foundation, Sustainable Food Center, Waller Creek Conservancy, Pease Park Conservancy, TreeFolks, and Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund, FBSP is looking for local area businesses to take part in a campaign that will see 5% of their revenue from that day donated back to the non-profits.

These non-profits work tirelessly to ensure that the environment, which is a huge part of why Austin is Austin, and remains green, clean, and healthy!  So for the eighth Give 5% year in a row, get ready to eat, shop, play and more on Friday, April 21st at participating businesses and make a personal and significant contribution towards a great cause.

If you would like to sign up your business to participate in the Give 5% campaign or find out more information, click here!