2nd Annual Treeathlon a Splashing Good Time

Enjoying post-Treeathlon burritos

On a beautiful Austin Spring day on April 30, 2011, the Second Annual Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon was held to celebrate and support Barton Springs Pool.  By all accounts, the Treeathlon was truly a blast.  We had a larger turnout of “treeathletes” this year with lots of families and young kids trying out their first triathlon-type event and really enjoying the opportunity to splash across the pool and trot around Zilker Park in this semi-silly fundraising event.

After a rousing a capella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, Council Member Laura Morrison led eighty-plus participants in a short swim across the Pool and helped folks up the steps.  Participants then hopped on their bicycles for quick loop around Zilker Park, and then ran around the Polo Field to the finish line party at the Moonlight Tower.  Down the final run stretch, treeathletes were inspired by the enthusiastic drum and percussion music from Rhythmic Force.  After this daunting athletic endeavor, participants enjoyed piles of donuts, root beer drinks from Maine Root, coffee from Caffé Medici, burritos from Freeb!rds World Burrito, and a keg or two of fine beer from Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company.  The festive and fun finish line party was made possible by the generous donations from these fine local businesses, so please support them.

In addition to the day’s fun, the Treeathlon raised almost $15,000 for the Barton Springs Pool which will go toward improvements at Barton Springs Pool, including efforts to restore the original rotunda entrance to the Bathhouse and other pool-related work of Friends of Barton Springs Pool.  The success of the event would not have been possible without the generous financial support from Save Barton Creek Association, our Grand Tree-ty Oak sponsor, as well as the generous support from Vinson & Elkins, Hamilton & Terrile, Sheridan and Perry Lorenz, Barton Place Condos, Meridian Solar, Silicon Labs, Abe Cutter, HDR Engineering, and many other generous sponsors.  We are truly grateful for their support for Barton Springs Pool.

President’s Report

Volunteers on the Earth Day broom line

April was a frantic month for FBSP.  It’s the month of Earth Week and the Treeathlon.  And our regular activities didn’t stop.

Everyone who’s my age (okay, no comments from the peanut gallery) remembers the first Earth Day in 1970.  It was the first spring after astronauts stood on the moon and looked up at our home planet.  That was the spring that I got active in the environmental movement.  A lot of things started that day.  Things are still starting on that day.

Last year Hill Country Conservancy started a whole week of events called Earth Week.  They offered FBSP the honor of participating, and we have done it with enthusiasm.  This year, Tom Weber and I recruited businesses (Alamo Draft House, Zax Pints & Plates, Red’s Porch, and Strange Brew Coffee) to donate funds on the Give 5 for Mother Earth.  Jonathan Beall organized and led a special Earth Day Springs Cleaning Party.  Emma Cravey got the message out.

Councilmember Laura Morrison kicks off the Treeathlon

On top of that, Mike Cannatti (and his estimable wife Ann Phipps) threw a heck of an event with the second annual FBSP Treeathlon.  This fun family romp raised about $15,000 for the pool, meeting our goal to double the amount raised last year.  The work that goes into this event is huge, and just about every member of the board (and many other members) lent a hand.

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Thank You Members for Your Support!

The Friends of Barton Springs Pool Annual Donation Letter was sent out at the end of March. The letter highlighted the events and achievements of FBSP for 2010 while also highlighting the goals for 2011. We sent out approximately 275 letters and quite a few of you responded. To date we have received $795 in donations from the mailing.  Thank you so much for your support!

These donations will be put to good use whether it is buying new equipment for cleanings, helping to fund the central rotunda project, or purchasing foods and supplies for the cleanings and other FBSP sponsored events.

The Friends of Barton Springs Pool would like to extend our gratitude to all of our members, especially those that participated in the donation letter fundraising drive.

If you forgot to mail your donation back or did not receive a letter you can always log onto friendsofbartonspringspool.org, click on the donation tab, and follow the directions to donate online or you can simply mail a check to P.O. Box 685286; Austin, TX 78768-5286.

P.S. If you did not receive a donation letter there is a good chance we do not have your current address. If you need to update your address please email it to membership@friendsofbartonspringspool.org.

Gravel Bar Removal Summary and Update

Storm debris removal started late in January.  The company in charge of the project built a crane pad on the south hill using a chain link fence as the base layer and about a two foot layer of rock above that.  There was a one week delay after Barton Springs had closed awaiting the first of two cranes to arrive.

The first crane  (20 ton capacity) arrived and proceeded to build the coffer dam.  Building the dam they would take three inner tubes and float pieces (braces) of the frame to a small, one-man barge.  Once they got them out there a diver would attach the braces at the bottom.  Also, they were limited to a 10 foot high coffer dam.  The expectation was a 12 foot high dam.  Sand bags were used in the deeper areas to raise the base and set the dams on top of, to increase the height.  The building of the dam took approximately two weeks.

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