Earth Day at the Springs!

Friends of Barton Springs Pool will be hosting our annual Earth Day cleaning on Thursday April 21st, in conjunction with the Hill Country Conservancy’s Earth Week celebrations.  Please come down and help out the Earth by giving some attention to your favorite swimming spot, from 10 am to 6 pm.  Wear clothes you don’t mind working and getting wet in.  Bring sunblock.  Please let us know what 2 hour shift you would like to attend so that we may plan for tasks and refreshments.   Sign up for this event by clicking here!

The Austin Parks Foundation is also organizing an event for grounds improvement around the pool on Saturday, April 23rd and Saturday April 30.   Charlie McCabe is leading a great project to clean up the grounds around the pool with activities such as invasive species removal and mulching to enhance our idyllic park environment.  Volunteers who are interested will need to wear long pants, closed toed shoes, bring a hat and a refillable water bottle.   Volunteers who are interested will need to wear long pants, closed toed shoes, bring a hat and a refillable water bottle.

You can sign up for these events through the Austin Parks Foundation:
Click here for April 23 event.
Click here for April 30 event.  (But don’t forget about the Treeathlon!)


City of Austin Proclamation for Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon on April 30, 2011

By official Proclamation from Mayor Lee Leffingwell, April 30, 2011 has been proclaimed the Second Annual Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon, “a fun triathlon-like event to celebrate Austin’s sacred playground, Barton Springs.”  You can watch the  City’s Treeathlon proclamation at the April 7, 2011 by clicking, and go to minute 18:45.   The mayor has some nice things to say about Friends of Barton Springs Pool.

President’s Report

Board recharges the wellsprings of action

by Robin Cravey

FBSP Board
Board members, clockwise from top left: Emma Cravey, Jennifer Malone, Jesse Malone, Mary Yarrington, Mike Cannatti, Tom Weber, Gary Beyer, Robin Cravey, Jonathan Beall. Not pictured: Maria Weber.

I never cease to be amazed at the dynamic energy of our board.  We held our annual spring retreat at the Ginger Man on March 26th. (Thanks Ginger Man!)  Once again we laid out an ambitious agenda for the year, worked out a schedule, and took team assignments to get everything done.

Before getting down to the action, we had to spend some time thinking big.  We kicked that off with a little slide show I put together back in 2007, when the organization was barely a year old, called “FBSP: creating a community,” and a discussion of our visions and goals.  Gary Beyer reminded us of our mission statement, and our bylaws.  And Emma Cravey recounted our achievements from last year.

Charlie McCabe from the Austin Parks Foundation (APF) was our guest speaker.  Charlie is on the Barton Springs Plan Coordinating Committee, our group of advisory allies.  And of course, APF is our fiscal partner in all things financial.  Charlie talked about his experiences working with the Parks Department, friends groups, and parks users.
Moving to the tactical, we laid out our schedule for the rest of the year.

Much of the year is already set.  Our participation in Earth Week activities is underway.  Mike Cannatti and his team are already hard at work on our fun fundraiser, the Treeathlon, which will be April 30th.  And the First Thursday volunteer cleaning parties are on the calendar.

That left us with the Picnic by the Pool, Council Cleans the Pool Day, and the Fall Social.  Roughly, those fall in June, August, and October.  We talked about dates, but still have some bases to touch before setting them definitely.  We also have yet to set a schedule for the hospitality tent outside the pool entrance.

Finally, we all chose up teams, so that every event has at least three board members working on it.  There’s still more room on each team, so write to me if you want to help with one of these events.

Future for the Tree Court is Being Shaped

Sketch of new entry

We all treasure the majesty of the remarkable tree grove that greets us as we pass to the main entrance to Barton Springs Pool. As the Master Plan for the pool area developed, it became crucial to address the poor condition of the Tree Court, an area broadly bounded by the bath house and the snack bar between the parking lot and chain-linked fence “pool overlook”. Reports in 2009 documented the big pecans are not altogether healthy. The causes include heavy foot and bike traffic through the court, inattentive tree care, and impervious sidewalks and crushed but compacted granite.

What to do? Restoration of the Barton Springs Pool trees in the Tree Court became a priority for the general grounds improvements. Extensive public involvement resulted in input at three design charrettes sponsored by PARD and their lead architect, Brian Larson (of Larson, Burns and Smith). An additional committee meeting by the Joint Committee of the Austin Environmental Board and PARD approved moving forward on the drafting of 30% design plans last Fall.

Friends of Barton Springs Pool has advocated for foot traffic relief by restoring the main entrance to the pool through the centrally located Rotunda, bringing patrons into the pool between the men and women’s shower rooms and away from the trees. To support this unfunded alternative, the Friends and other organizations are seeking to fund a third party architect to design the plans.
Continue reading “Future for the Tree Court is Being Shaped”

February/March Treasurer’s Report

FBSP Beginning Balance: $4,195.76
Capital Fund (see note below): $300,000.00*
Balance: $4,195.76
Membership/Donations: $90.00
Sub-total new income: $90.00
Total Income: $4,285.76
No expenses recorded for January/February
Total Expenses: ($00.00)
Capital Fund (see note below) $300.000.00*
FBSP Balance: $4,285.76

*$300,000 for Bypass Tunnel Project: In 2010, the Austin Parks Foundation applied for a SEP (Supplemental Environmental Program) grant on behalf of the Friends of Barton Springs Pool through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). As a named entity to the Hamilton Pool Road Settlement, the Foundation received a check for $300,000 to be specifically used for a portion of work for Bypass Tunnel Repair Project at Barton Springs Pool. This project is currently in the latter stages of detailed design and is expected to go to construction later this year (2011). Again, this sum is for the bypass tunnel project and is not part of the Friends’ regular fundraising efforts.