Board Member Profile: Nathan Jones

Get to know Nathan Jones, FBSP’s Membership Chair!

How long have you been in Austin? I have not lived in Austin long. However, having grown up in a small town close to Austin, many of my fondest memories are driving here to spend summer days swimming at the Springs and picnicking with my family at Zilker until the Hillside Theatre began.

Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool? I care about preserving the Pool and I was drawn to the Friends because they have sweat equity here.

What do you do during the day? I work at a local coffee shop and I study Geography at Texas State University.

What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you? The Pool is a special place for me. It always made for a special occasion and today it still holds that charm. Except now I can come here and swim all the time!

Favorite local band or artist? I like the peoples at the Annie Street Arts Collective.

Any hidden talents? I can pour pretty pictures in lattes.

How long have you been a member of FBSP? I joined FBSP this summer in 2012.

Besides BSP, where is your favorite hangout in Austin? My second favorite hangout in Austin is probably my house. Lame? Probably. But that is where I can chase around my two dogs and hang out with my soon-to-be wife. It’s pretty rad.

Favorite author? Recently: John Steinbeck, Susanna Clarke, and Umberto Eco.

Favorite quote? “Outside a book, a dog is man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read!”

Beer of choice? I do like beer. A lot. I like anything Schlafly brewery in St. Louis produces and Austin Beerworks is one of the most exciting brewers around. I can’t decide on a favorite beer so I’ll have to settle on two of my favorite breweries!

Favorite philosopher? John Maynard Keynes. He was not the dreary, stuffy economist I thought he was. 

President’s Report

Master Plan and General Grounds Improvements Update: Report on the Parks and Recreation Board and Environmental Board Joint Committee Meeting

by Gary Beyer

On Monday, February 6, the City of Austin provided a status update on the General Grounds Improvement Project, Barton Springs trees, and the Master Plan Short-Termed Projects. The General Grounds Improvement Project continues toward its start date of fall of this year. Great News! The number of trails has been reduced so that now the original trail from the south gate to the diving board has been eliminated. This will allow for the infilling of the gully and restoration of the critical root zone of the large pecan tree nearby. All direct traffic to the diving board beach will be through the area known as the South Woods, an area formerly located outside the fence. The trail through the South Woods will be ADA accessible. There will be another ADA trail from the south gate to the memorial area, but it has been changed from concrete to decayed granite. These improvements will reduce the impervious cover and will not detract from the natural, open aesthetic uncluttered with lots of manmade distractions.
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President’s Report

“2011, What a Year” or, to parody Dr. Strangelove “How I Learned to Stop Worrying about the Heat and Love the Algae”

by Gary Beyer

What was that, anyway?  I’m talking about this last summer, Summer 2011.  100 plus temperatures for weeks, no, make that months on end.  If it wasn’t for Barton Springs, I would have spent the entire summer inside the air conditioning watching Bonanza re-runs.  Thank God (or the Goddess, or the Dharma) for Barton Springs.  Apparently everyone else felt the same way.  The attendance at Barton Springs this summer doubled as nature lovers who wanted to get outside and didn’t want to die from heat exhaustion took refuge in the cool, refreshing waters.  And poor old Barton Springs welcomed our presence in record numbers, but not without wear and tear.  The record drought has devastated the trees and grass, and reduced the spring flow to a trickle, resulting in the lowest water quality in a long time.  Still, our intrepid volunteers have fought on, sweeping record volumes of algae.  Thanks to you, we logged in over 900 hours of volunteer service to help keep the pool clean and clearer that it would have been otherwise.  Hats off  (or Namaste!)
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Board Member Profile: Thomas Schiefer

New Service Chair Thomas Schiefer, center, with Advocacy Chair Tom Weber, left, and an FBSP member
New Service Chair Thomas Schiefer, center, with Advocacy Chair Tom Weber, left, and an FBSP member

Meet our newest board member, Thomas Schiefer!  Thomas has taken over as Service Chair from dedicated board member Jonathan Beall, who is now Vice President.

Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool?

I always like to be an active participant in the community that I live in. Barton Springs being both the most special place in Austin as well as the most under attack from numerous factions makes FBSP a perfect fit for getting involved in issues I care about in the community.

What do you do during the day?

I run a not-for-profit teen radio program called Youth Spin. It is a program for teens from all over Austin who come together to make quality radio programming about music, politics, school and teen issues as a whole. We have our live show every Friday on KOOP 91.7FM at 6:00 to 7:00pm.

What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you?

Everything. Bikes rides, warm summer nights, childhood, tans, snorkeling, and Austin.

Favorite local band or artist?

Meghann Rosales…she does nail art!

Favorite moment volunteering for FBSP?0

When there were just a few of us sweeping in the water a baby snapping turtle swam by, giving us a really special show. You just do not see that when there are lots of people there.

Describe your first experience at Barton Springs Pool…

I cannot remember, but I bet it felt amazing, just like it does today.

How long have you been a member of FBSP?

I joined FBSP this summer 2011.

Besides BSP, where is your favorite hangout in Austin?

The French Legation. I love quaint things.

Favorite author?

James Baldwin, Larry McMurtry, Edward Abbey

Beer of choice?

I do not drink beer. I never liked the taste…please do not judge.