2nd Annual Picnic by the Pool!

You are invited to the Second Annual Picnic by the Pool on June 25, 2011 — a fun, casual gathering in appreciation of all our members and volunteers.  We will be grilling up hot dogs and veggies, serving up ice cold beer, handing out door prizes, and having a grand time – you don’t want to miss it!

BSP icon treeWe will have a pre-picnic swim at the pool starting at noon (don’t forget to stamp your hand in case you fancy a post-picnic swim as well!).  Then head up the hill to the picnic tables above the Zilker Hillside Theater.  We’ll have the grill fired up and the beer flowing (don’t worry, there will be plenty of water and refreshing limeade for those not of age/not wishing to imbibe!).

There will be plenty of games on hand, and we’ll be handing out door prizes including gift certificates to local businesses and FBSP t-shirts.  We’ll also let you know the latest on the Master Plan and what the Friends are up to.

Noon to 1pm
– swim with the Friends (meet at the bottom of the stairs below the dressing rooms)
1-4:30 pm
– Picnic, games, prizes and refreshments!  Find us at the picnic tables above the Hillside Theater.

Thank you sponsors! We would like to acknowledge our very generous sponsors for their donations of food and prizes.  Thanks to  Amy’s Ice Cream, North by Northwest Brewery, Sun Harvest, Sweetish Hill, Uncle Billy’s, Whole Earth Provision Co., and the City of Austin Parks Department.

President’s Report

Every year offers a new lesson in stewardship at Barton Springs Pool.

by Robin Cravey, president

This year May brought record heat again.  Drought lies like a burning brown blanket over the hill country.  Global warming is up.  Springflow is down.

Despite all that, the Pool looks good.  The water is clear and sweet.  It’s a far cry from 2006, another drought year, when the water was slimy and green.

Several things have conspired to bring the Pool to this healthy state.  Our first Thursday springs cleaning parties have become more and more effective.  The plantlife in the Pool that was in a state of riot last year has been tamed.  And the removal of a huge load of flood debris from the deep end has allowed the lifeguards to perform a real thorough cleaning down  there.

Not all of the Pool looks good.  It’s easy to find the habitat areas, now, because they look like swamps.  They look like experiments in benign neglect.  They need some serious attention, and soon.

The bad news is that the global warming curve is pointing up.  Scientists say a hotter dryer climate is coming to Austin.  We ought to start taking this into account as we plan for Pool maintenance and improvements.  For example, everything we plant should be drought-tolerant.

We should also stop talking so much about keeping Austin weird and start talking more about keeping Austin cool.  That means reducing the urban heat island effect.  Stop the generation of urban sprawl and the commuter lifestyle.  Plant a lot of trees.

Of course, the focus for FBSP will always be the Pool, the Pool grounds, and near surroundings.  We’re going to apply our stewardship to whatever comes out of the springs and down the creek.  Cool springs: it’s our bubbling jewel!

Quick Dips

2010 Picnic by the Pool

The FBSP Picnic by the Pool is coming up Saturday, June 25th.  It’s going to be great fun.  We’ll have it at the rock garden above the Hillside Theater, where we can have beer! (in moderation, of course)  Join us for some good family fun.

I attended an interesting meeting on the grounds improvements.  Architects Brian Larson and Brad Burns were there, along with arborist Don Gardner, city staff, and others.  We had another rehash of ideas for the tree court.  It’s time we move forward with that.

The Joint Subcommittee of Parks and Environmental held a productive meeting.  Environmental Board chair Mary Gaye Maxwell invited staff members to work on an improved reporting system for the short-term projects.

BSPCC member Emily Little and I have been meeting with the staff to talk about the project to restore the Pool entrance to the central rotunda.  Emily and her colleagues are volunteering a huge amount of professional service to get this project going.

Board Member Profile: Jennifer Malone

Read on to get to know our newest board member, Jennifer Malone!  Jennifer moved in to fill the Secretary position, previously held by Mary Yarrington (now Fun Chair).  Jennifer’s doing a great job in her first few months on the board and we’re so glad to have her.  Welcome, Jennifer!

How long have you been in Austin?
I’ve been in Austin my whole life: born and raised.

Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool?
I joined FBSP to help make a positive difference at Barton Springs.

What do you do during the day?
I’m a nursing student at Concordia University.

What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you?
Barton Springs is a state of mind where you can always find a friend and a relaxing moment.
Continue reading “Board Member Profile: Jennifer Malone”