5th Annual Council Cleans the Pool Day on August 12

Council Cleans the Pool Day in 2009

Contact: Robin Cravey, 236-9655


Date: July 26, 2010

Event Date: August 12, 2010

Event Time: A tour of the Pool 9:15 – 9:40 a.m.
Press conference 9:40 – 10:00 a.m.
Elected Officials clean the Pool 10:00 a.m.

5th Annual Council Cleans the Pool Day

On Thursday, August 12th at 9:15 am, Austin City Council members and other elected officials will join volunteers from the Friends of Barton Springs Pool and city staff to clean algae and silt from Barton Springs Pool.  The cleaning session will kick off at 9:15 a.m. with a short tour and press conference with a check presentation to the Friends of Barton Springs Pool to be used to fund a Barton Springs Pool Master Plan project. The elected officials will then be stepping down into the cold spring waters to work with volunteers to clean Barton Springs Pool.

Officials who have confirmed their attendance include: Mayor Lee Leffingwell; Senator Kirk Watson, County Commissioner Karen Huber, State Rep. Donna Howard, and a few city council members.

It will be the Fifth Annual Council Cleans the Pool Day put on by Friends of Barton Springs Pool (FBSP).  The group formed in 2006, another drought year, to respond to the algae blooms that clogged the pool that year.  Since then FBSP volunteers have worked side-by-side with pool lifeguards to help keep the pool clean.  Inviting council members to the pool to see conditions first hand quickly became an annual tradition.

“Last year, we had eight elected officials who got in the water with us to help clean Barton Springs and show their support of preserving the Pool for generations to come,” commented Robin Cravey, FBSP president.  “We’ll have an important announcement regarding funding that Senator Kirk Watson helped FBSP get to pay for improvements to the bypass tunnel. This year the event will be unique because we will be cleaning the Pool while it’s drained.”

The day will begin with a short tour of pool cleaning facilities and a look at problems with the bypass tunnel. Senator Kirk Watson will be the keynote speaker at the press conference to announce the funding. The press conference is often an opportunity for officials to comment on the progress of the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan, which envisions an array of improvements to the pool, grounds, and facilities.

Talking done, the officials will begin their watery work.  They will work in water up to their waists, pushing brooms and buffers to scrub the bottom, and dragging nets to skim the surface. They will also be tending to the plants that grow on the bottom of the Pool. For more information, please visit our website at www.FriendsofBartonSpringsPool.org.

A special thanks to our sponsors:

Continue reading “5th Annual Council Cleans the Pool Day on August 12”

FBSP mentioned in the Community Impact Newspaper

To read the full article with pictures included, click here.

In response to pressure from the FBSP, the city crafted a Master Plan Project in 2006 to improve the conditions at Barton Springs. The city has set aside roughly $6 million for short-term projects that include fixing the roof, removing algae and testing the dams.

“The significance of the master plan is that it is an expression of love and honor for the pool,” Cravey said. “It says that Barton Springs is a natural work of art that should be surrounded by manmade works of art. It should be a first-rate public facility.”

To this day, Barton Springs continues to serve as an oasis for the hundreds of thousands of people who swim there each year, and many are working to preserve its splendor for future generations.

July President’s Report

by Robin Cravey

I had the opportunity to tour the Zilker Park maintenance barn recently. Emily Little and I asked for the tour. The maintenance barn is proposed to be the new location for the Splash! education center, and it would be a good one.

Maintenance barn at Barton Springs Pool

Emily is an architect, a member of the Austin Heritage Society, and a member of the Barton Springs Plan Coordinating Committee. Naturally, she has a special interest in the buildings, and their historic nature. She is a leader in the effort to move the pool entrance back to the rotunda where it belongs.

Moving the entrance back to the rotunda will necessarily take some space away from the existing Splash classrooms. The classrooms are on the opposite side of the rotunda from the Splash Exhibit. They’re two dingy little rooms where visiting students learn about nature.

The maintenance barn is an old quonset hut enclosed in a fenced compound near the playground. The compound contains gas tanks and equipment in open sheds. One look is enough to tell you that this mechanical facility is a little too close to Barton Creek. Moving the compound has been planned for years, and the staff is close to taking bids on the project.

Staffers John McKesson, Gary Gregson, and Clark Hancock conducted the tour. Clark is the director of the Splash Exhibit and classrooms. He sees the move as an opportunity to expand and improve the education facility.

It will be great to tear down the tall fence around the compound and turn that into a people place again. Of course, it will also take some serious cleanup to remove the residue of decades of equipment repair and other maintenance activities. But, envision young kids skipping down from that area to the creek, then climbing back with their samples to examine.

Back at the bathhouse, envision three or five cashiers at admission windows at the rotunda, with short lines or no waiting. Swimmers will enter through the center again, as was intended. And soon, when the major bathhouse renovation is done, we’ll have a visitor center. It’s a lot to look forward to, and to work for. Continue reading “July President’s Report”

FBSP July Treasurer’s Report

FBSP July Treasurer’s Report (click on the link to see the full report)

FBSP/Treeathlon Beginning Balance: $9,518.52
Hospitality Tent-June: $245.00
Membership Picnic: $125.00
T-shirt Sales Picnic: $  30.00
Income for this period: $400.00
Total Income: $9,918.52
Hospitality Tent: $  56.65
Membership Picnic: $417.74
Cleaning Equipment $  49.12
Postage: $  88.82
Donation to Austin Parks Tree Fund : $7,500.00
Total Expenses: ($8,112.33)
FBSP Balance: $1,806.19

Get to know board member Maria Weber, Treasurer

Maria Weber, Treasurer
How long have you been in Austin? 1991

Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool? I just can’t say no.

What do you do during the day? I’m a librarian.

What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you? Favorite place to swim laps.

Favorite local band or artist? The old timers: Townes, Doug, the Jimmys,  Willie…

Family? My wonderful son, Luke.

Favorite moment volunteering for FBSP? They’re all favorites.

Any hidden talents? I can wiggle my ears.

How to Donate to FBSP

You can donate online at the Austin Parks Foundation donation website HERE.  You can also make a check out to Austin Parks Foundation with “Friends of Barton Springs Pool” in the subject line by mailing the check to Austin Parks Foundation, 507 Calles Street, Suite 116, Austin, Texas  78702.


Thanks!  Your donation goes to fund projects at the Pool, tools for volunteers, and our tree planting initiatives to ensure that Barton Springs Pool will be preserved for generations to come. Continue reading “How to Donate to FBSP”