Volunteer for a Pool Cleaning Party on Thursday June 3rd

Free Swim Pass!
Summertime comes in blazing glory! The city of Austin will be celebrating the beginning of the summer season with a free swim day, Saturday June 5.  The Friends of Barton Springs will be celebrating the same occasion on Thursday June 3 with a full body of water scrub down on our beloved pool for a much needed cleaning and optimum sparkle.

Everyone and everything loves the heat when you’re soaking in the Springs.  It brings out the best and the worst in our pool – beautiful bathers and obnoxious algae.

*ALL VOLUNTEERS WILL RECEIVE A FREE SWIM PASS redeemable Saturday June 5 for an extra satisfying soak in the pool knowing you made it look sooooo goood!

Please contact Jonathan Beall, service chair with any questions. service@friendsofbartonspringspool.org

Volunteers cleaning algae in March
Volunteers cleaning algae in March

May President’s Report

Envisioning the landscape of the future

by Robin Cravey

General grounds improvements are the next of the short term projects to get underway.  They’re in the public input process now.  This is our chance to dream of what we would like to see at the pool.

2010-2011 Board Members
2010-2011 Board Members

The broad outline of the project involves infrastructure improvements and livability improvements.  Infrastructure improvements include: electrical upgrades; water pumping upgrades; burying the unsightly and unsafe hanging powerlines; and installing new lighting.  Livability improvements include landscaping throughout the grounds; accessible trail from south gate to pool deck; and new fence around the grounds.

Some general goals apply throughout the grounds.  Better maintain the trees, and plant new trees, and diversify the species of trees.  Replace St. Augustine where possible with more native turf grasses or planting beds.  Upgrade the automatic sprinklers.  Reduce or eliminate invasive species and replace them with native vegetation.

On the north side, outside the fence, we should preserve and beautify the tree court.  Redesign the planters and pavement in the tree court and reduce foot and bicycle traffic over the root zone.  Restore the entrance to the rotunda, and relocate the bike racks to the front yard west of the rotunda.  Connect the tree court to Eliza Springs.

Inside the fence, above the pool, the improve treatment of the old oak, and install a boulder garden on the steep slope.  Add a stone patio at the bathhouse corner near the dressing rooms.

On the south side, inside the fence, improve lawn maintenance and reduce runoff.  Bring the south woods into the pool area with an extended fence, and improve drainage in the ravine there.  Build an accessible trail from south gate to pool deck to allow all users to go there. Continue reading “May President’s Report”

Get to know board member: Emma Cravey, Fun Director

How long have you been in Austin?

Emma Cravey, Fun Director
Emma Cravey, Fun Director

Since I was born!  I did live in Washington, DC for four years after college, but I’ve been back in Austin for three years and I’m glad to be back.

Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool?

To help keep this beautiful natural resource in the best condition possible for the whole community to enjoy.

What do you do during the day?

I work at the state bike advocacy and education group, BikeTexas.

What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you?

It is one of the best assets Austin has to offer.  Growing up in Zilker, I have always thought of Barton Springs as my neighborhood pool.

Favorite local band or artist?

I love to go dancing on Thursdays at the Broken Spoke, when Jesse Dayton plays.

My parents live about a mile away from me in Zilker, in the house where I grew up.  I also have a cat, Mr. Biscuits.

Favorite moment volunteering for FBSP?

Our Earth Day pool cleaning – we had such a great turnout, and it was fun to watch how much fun all the volunteers were having!  Least favorite moment is

Any hidden talents?
Cooking good food from produce I grew in my garden… I’m also surprisingly good at skeeball.

Describe your first experience at Barton Springs Pool…

I don’t remember, because I have been going there since I was very young.  I do remember the simultaneous excitement and apprehension of jumping off the diving board as a kid!  Other fond childhood memories are swimming across the pool with friends and paying for our concession stand burritos with wet dollar bills, chasing minnows in the shallow end and lying on my towel under the cottonwood trees with the cotton fluffs floating in the air.

How long have you been a member of FBSP?

Since March 2010.

Besides BSP, where is your favorite hangout in Austin?

South Austin!  Specifically, Polvo’s and the Barton Springs Saloon.

Favorite author?
For fiction, I love Jane Austen.  For nonfiction, I like to read Michael Pollan’s books about our food system.

Favorite quote?
I am never any good at remembering things like this!

Collegiate days?

I went to UT, and graduated in 2001 with a BA in History and Spanish.

Beer of choice?
512 Wit – local and delicious.

Membership Meeting will be on June 19th


On June-teenth, June 19, 2010, you and your friends are all invited to the FRIENDS OF BARTON SPRINGS POOL ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND PARTY EXTRAVANGAZA!  Food, Fun, and Friends for everyone!

Get one of our cool new T-shirts, free to new and renewing members.

If you’re not a member, you can join!  As a member, you can have the satisfaction of knowing you are a member of one of the most active organizations promoting the upkeep of Barton Springs Pool.  YEAH!

Learn and celebrate!

Join the FBSP in celebrating our many accomplishments this year, including

  • Giving the Austin Parks Foundation Tree Maintenance Program over seven thousand dollars gathered from the highly successful TREEATHLON, a fun race held this last March.

We have also made progress on implementing other short-term projects in the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan.

  • Winning approval and scheduling removal of the gravel bar that is filling up the pool;
  • Promoting repair of the damaged Bypass Tunnel that funnels water from Barton Creek around the pool.

This is your big chance this year to get together with other civically motivated people who LOVE BARTON SPRINGS POOL!

Visit Barton Springs of the Future!

AND HELP DECIDE HOW BARTON SPRINGS WILL LOOK. You have the unique opportunity to tour the grounds and listen to our wonderful, famous, highly motivated City of Austin staff explain the grounds improvement program as we tour the areas to be affected.    The grounds improvement will include:

• burying overhead power lines
• electrical power upgrades to provide more lighting and power for cleaning
• pump improvements to facilitate pool cleaning and irrigation
• landscaping, removing exotics, and protection from runoff
• an access path from the south gate to the pool deck
• tree court landscaping improvements near the main gate
• a new fence to surround the pool

Afterwards, you will be able to provide your written opinion in a design workshop that will be used by the City of Austin to decide how Barton Springs will look.

Get in on the action!

You can meet the members of the FBSP board and ask questions as you munch down on free food and drinks.

You can learn about new volunteer opportunities.

We will hand out awards to exceptional volunteers who have worked to make Barton Springs what it is today, the most unique swimming pool in the Universe.

We are also collecting your favorite stories about Barton Springs to become part of the historical record.  What can be better than that?  But wait, there’s more!

Relax with a brew!

Later on that afternoon we will move the party to Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que on Barton Springs Road so that you can meet other fellow FBSP members and fall in love all over again.  DON’T MISS OUT!  BARTON SPRINGS FOREVER!

Barton Springs Pool is Open

We’re glad to see that Barton Springs Pool reopened on Friday.  So far there have not been any bad readings of contaminants entering the pool from the sewage spill upstream.

So enjoy the pool.

Meeting Notice, Monday May 17

FBSP received the following notice from Wayne Simmons

General Grounds Improvements Project
(Open to public)
Monday, May 17, 2010
6:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Parks and Recreation Main Office – Boardroom
200 South Lamar Blvd.

Come and provide your input on the project that includes:
• Landscaping improvements •
• Electrical power upgrades and burying overhead power lines •
• New pump to facilitate pool cleaning and irrigation •
• New perimeter fence •
• Access path from south gate to pool deck •
• “Tree court” landscaping improvements •

View the AGENDA for the May 17th Design Charrette. (pdf format; posted 5/12/10)

View the presentation provided by the design consultants at the May 3rd meeting. (pdf format)

NOTE: The May 17th meeting of the JOINT COMMITTEE (Parks/Environmental Boards) has been canceled, although a quorum may be in attendance for the design charrette. The next Joint Committee meeting will be scheduled for the week of June 28.
Wayne Simmons, MS, CPRP
Aquatic Program Coordinator
City of Austin – Parks & Recreation Department
Office: (512) 974-9326
Fax: (512) 974-9344