ON EARTH DAY, April 22nd, 2011, local businesses around Austin are banding together to support several non-profit organizations committed to protecting the environment and preserving the culture of our community. Friends of Barton Springs Pool is one of those organizations! So you can eat, shop, and play at designated local businesses on Earth Day and they have pledged to donate 5% (or more!) of their gross sales to local environmental and community non-profits.
Other beneficiary organizations include the Hill Country Conservancy, Texas Land Conservancy, TreeFolks, Clean Water Fund, and the Sierra Club. Click here to see the list of participating local businesses. So on April 22nd, eat, drink and be merry for a great cause! For more about the AustinGive5 campaign, click here.
The 2015 Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon is a fun way to support Barton Springs Pool, Austin’s most famous and cherished swimming hole. As shown in the course map below, the Treeathlon will be a very, very short and fun event in and around Barton Springs Pool, starting with a short swim across the width of Barton Springs Pool (maybe 50 yards), a short bike ride around the park from the pool (about 2/3 mile), and then a run (1/4 to 1/2 mile) inside Zilker Park. There will also be a finish line party at the Polo Field Picnic area for anyone who manages to complete this grueling course. Hence, the name Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon Fun-raiser. (Insert groan here).
New Life for the Tree Court
by Robin Cravey
That oblong stretch of hardscape and pecan trees between the parking lot and the north fence received a new name in 2007: the Tree Court. Naming it didn’t make it important, but it did focus attention on its importance. Now, we are preparing to give the Tree Court a new, softer focus.
As FBSP, in 2006, began to advocate for long-delayed maintenance and improvements at the Pool, we continually pointed to the sad state of the trees around the Pool. Working through the Master Plan with the consultants, we insisted that the trees should receive care. When the consultants issued their draft master plan in 2007, they made note of all the trees, but they made special note of that newly recognized place: the Tree Court.
Preserving the Tree Court became a goal of the Master Plan. The thought of that place without the towering trunks and fluttering crowns of the pecan trees there was a bleak thought. Through long and deep study, we learned that the trees there suffer from long lack of care, but they also suffer from the tramp, tramp, tramp of hundreds and thousands of feet packing the soil above their roots.
Continue reading “President’s Report”
FBSP is hosting an event with the Austin Parks Foundation for their annual It’s My Park Day, and guess what we’re doing!? Spring Cleaning down at the pool! It’s the last Saturday the pool is scheduled to be closed before opening for the 2011 swim season and we need everyone’s help to put the sparkle in the Springs!
Please register through the Austin Parks Foundation website, or go directly to the event by clicking here. The event will take place Saturday, March 5, 2011.
Continue reading “Register Now for It’s My Park Day at Barton Springs Pool, Saturday, Mar. 5!”
So where does Barton Creek go when it gets to Barton Springs Pool? It disappears into the sidewalk beneath your feet on the north side of the Pool into a structure known as the Bypass Tunnel or BT. In its entire 35 plus year history, it has had little or no major maintenance, has endured countless floods, use and abuse, but still it survives, and looks pretty darn good from the topside. When the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan was created, $250,000 was set aside for maintenance of the BT based primarily on its good looks on the outside.
But go inside the BT and the story changes. It is then that you realize that it is an aging, cracking, 35 year old leaking tunnel that is full of holes which drain the pool and threaten the salamander. It was clear that the BT was going to need more than a facelift. In 2009 the City of Austin commissioned the engineering firm PKA to develop various options, including total replacement. FBSP representatives attended many public meetings that year to provide input on the various options until a final option was selected, to the tune of $3.5 million. Everything seemed to be going fine, when suddenly sometime in the summer/fall of 2010, the City of Austin (COA) pulled the plug on the final option and hit the restart button, do not pass go, go back to square one.
Continue reading “The Bypass Tunnel Update, or Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?”