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.

President’s Report — March, 2018



We kicked off the new year with a board retreat in February where we discussed some very ambitious goals for 2018.  But first I would like to welcome our new Vice President, Ryan Cox.  Ryan expressed interest in getting involved with FBSP and we are all excited about having him on the board.  We are still seeking a membership chair so if anyone would like to get on board please get a hold of me and we will talk.

Fundraising is FUN

Fundraising is the main vehicle for us to supply tools and equipment used during our volunteer pool cleaning efforts. There are three very important fundraising events happening that we are proud to be a part of.

  • Amplify Austin is our city’s annual community wide day of online giving that’s  happening on March 1-2.  To make a donation for Friends of Barton Springs Pool, click this link and make donation!  Thanks!
  • Give5 Austin to Mother Earth is an event specifically dedicated to benefit 9 local nonprofit organization FBSP being one of them. A first part of the campaign involves finding business sponsors that will pledge to donate to 5% of their revenue on Fri(4/20) Mother Earth day.  If you business would like to participate as a sponsor, please click this link,, and sign up!
  • FBSP Booth is our chance meet folks, and spread our message at the south side pool entrance.  We offer an assortment of products for a donation and plan on sponsoring the booth on the Sunday before each of our first Thursday of the month pool cleaning events.  We are working on a new design for our t-shirts and other products so please come by and listen, learn and contribute to our cause.

Spring Cleaning is Fun, Too!!!!

In 2018, we are kicking off our year of volunteer cleaning at the pool by participating in the biggest city-wide volunteer event known as It’s My Park Day on March 3, 2018.  Sponsored by Austin Parks Foundation, participants can sign up for a shift at the Austin Parks Foundation site link, Just click the “Register” button, create an account (with name, zip, email, and password), provide the requested information (t-shirt size, allergies, emergency contact, DOB, address), click the waiver agreements, and you’re in!  Please share information with others using this link,

This is a chance for our members to participate on a Saturday while the pool is closed for spring cleaning.  Our regular volunteer pool cleaning events on the first Thursday of the month will run from April to October.

Ongoing Challenges for Friends

We have a multitude of challenges both inside and outside the fence at Barton Springs Pool. As an nonprofit organization our true calling is inside the fence sponsoring volunteer pool cleanings. We take the knowledge and experience gained from these events to raise awareness of issues, advocate for change and work with the BSP Staff to find solutions. This year we have challenges that include planting trees, repopulating plants in the pool, removal of sediment at the bypass tunnel inlet, keeping algae in the shallow end under control, eliminating non-native plants, and of course putting a shine on the pool railings and the diving well ducks. We are also giving support to many outside the fence activities that in part are integral to the goals of the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan. This involves the renovation of the bathhouse, a Zilker Park visitors center, and feasibility studies on how to improve pool water flow.  We are also in support of the HOT funding for historic preservation, the city bond initiative for purchasing aquifer land, and stopping our neighboring communities from dumping treated sewage into the aquifer. If you have a chance please add your name in support of these very important challenges to Barton Springs Pool.

We are all about finding ways to put big smiles and foster good feelings at the pool. The celebration of the completions of Eliza Springs Day Lighting project , the annual FBSP member picnic, and organizing Council Cleans the pool will hopefully keep everyone smiling and wanting to make the pool the best it can be this season.

See you at the pool,
Steve Barnick, FBSP President

President’s Report — December, 2017



We capped off our 2017 volunteer pool cleaning effort by planting 3 pecan, and 2 oak trees that were dead or damaged on the south side entrance of the pool.  We worked in cooperation with PARD’s Urban Forestry Program to coordinate this effort. It  was a real pleasure to purchase and plant these trees where needed. We hope to plant more in the very near future.

For the year we sponsored (7) six hour first Thursday pool cleaning events that resulted in an estimated 300(~1500 hours) people volunteering to put a shine on the jewel of Austin.

For several years, we have reached out to the corporate community to help with volunteer cleaning and our list continues to grow. This year we had the pleasure of working with Whole Foods, C3 Presents, BRC Recovery, American Youth Works, and ABGB.  We also received support with food donations  from Tacodeli, and Austin Pizza.


As always, we learn from these volunteer experiences and use that knowledge to raise awareness and advocate for change.  This year was no different.  We noticed the irrigation issue and pressed PARD on what  was the cause and how it could be fixed.  PARD responded by implementing a better plan for irrigation until a replacement pump was installed.  This new pump should take care of all our irrigation and pool cleaning needs of the future.

We continue to push for better management of the plants in the pool and in cooperation with a group of stakeholders led by Barton Springs Conservancy (BSC) and supported with a grant from Austin Parks Foundation (APF) to fund another aquatic plant re-planting effort in the pool on Nov. 16.

We responded to a request by Watershed Protection Department (WPD) to take on the removal of Ligustrum from the area behind the diving board and ran into a problem with poison ivy which by seeking members that are not allergic to help out we were able to knock down a lot of these non-natives and hopefully the native plants will have a better chance to thrive and take over that area.

The BSP Master Plan is our guide to the long term projects important to BSP.  One such effort is  opening up the upstream dam to creek flow to improve water quality in the pool.  A presentation to the Joint Committee on Thurs (Nov. 16) spearheaded by BSC and supported by FBSP and other stakeholders to get this process started was made.  Another project is the renovation of the bathhouse.  We continue to support the efforts of BSC to seek HOT money for historic preservation that will be a huge funding source for this effort.

We have been able to apply and receive grant money for tools and equipment for our volunteer cleaning that have made the job easier for BSP staff and our team.  Many thanks to Austin Parks Foundation and the generous membership donations that help fund this.

Our year officially ends/begins on New Year’s Day celebrating the POLAR Splash event at the pool where we will be sponsoring a booth at the south side entrance from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We encourage y’all to come by chat, get involved or make a donation to our cause in exchange for t-shirts, and towels. Come joins us, it is going to be a blast!!

See you at the pool,
Steve Barnick
FBSP President

BSP Poster 12-17

Oct. 5 — Last Volunteer Barton Springs Cleaning — EVER!!!!

OK, it’s not the last cleaning ever, but it is the season finale cleaning event for Barton Springs Pool this year. 

For this last event, we’ll dispense with the red tape and shift sign-up rigamarole, but we’re expecting GREAT BIG flippity turnout from the good folks at Benchmark Recovery, Austin Youthworks,  and our stalwart supporters at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, so we look forward to seeing you at the Springs!

Volunteers can help clean Barton Springs Pool by push-brooming shallow end gunk and algae into the giant sucking vortex at the pool drain, scrubbing the pool side steps and wall, yanking weeds from the lovely lawn, removing /clipping/destroying/napalming Ligustrum from the (poison-ivy infested area behind the diving board), aerating and weed the gardens, spreading mulch, and other do-goodie type stuff to help tend the pool area. All this hard work helps contribute to the cleaning, well-being, and beautification of Barton Springs Pool.

Bring your happy and helpful attitude, and we’ll have pizza and snacks, refreshments, and one amazing immersive experience for giving a little back to Barton Springs!!!

Bathhouse View comic


Barton Springs Volunteer Cleaning — August 3, 2017 (9am – 3pm)!!!!

In keeping with our recent tradition of sorts, here is the latest (and lamest) poetic invitation from Friends of Barton Springs Pool to join us at next Thursday’s volunteer pool cleaning:

There was once a place called Barton Springs Pool,
with water so clear and so deep and so cool,
but to give back we must…
show up on the third of August.
to brush broom the city’s crown jewel!

OK, it ain’t high quality poetry, but you get what you pay for, and if this helps grab your attention, please help us organize our upcoming activity by clicking the link below to learn more and sign up to help. Thanks for making a difference!

We’re expecting big turnout from the good folks at Benchmark Recovery and our stalwart supporters at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, so we look forward to seeing you at the Springs!

You Are Invited to Attend the 2017 Give 5 to Mother Earth Day Kickoff Event!

Friday, April 21st, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. // JuiceLand, 2828 Guadalupe (29th & Guadalupe)

Join us for a morning celebration of the 8th annual Give 5 to Mother Earth Day at JuiceLand! Eat, Shop & Play at more than 160 business locations donating 5% of sales this Friday to Give 5 to Mother Earth’s 9 nonprofit beneficiaries.

Mayor Pro Tem Tovo will read the City Council’s Proclamation declaring April 21st to be Give 5 to Mother Earth Day in the City of Austin, and speakers from JuiceLand and Alamo Drafthouse will present as well. The morning will be emceed by George Cofer of the Hill Country Conservancy.

JuiceLand will provide free Yerba Mate shots and a 10% discount to all attendees between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and breakfast tacos will be available.

ALL ARE INVITED! Please feel free to spread the word.

Give 5 Day Kickoff Agenda

Give 5 Day 2017 Participating Businesses

Following the kickoff celebration, our friends George Cofer of the Hill Country Conservancy and Colin Wallis of the Austin Parks Foundation will be leading the Magical Mystery Bike Tour, a day-long bike cruise around town to visit some our sponsors and business partners. Everyone is invited to attend! 

Magical Mystery Bike Tour Agenda

City Council’s Give 5 to Mother Earth Day Proclamation