“Council Fixes the Pool” Day on September 19, 2013

On Thursday, September 19th at 9 am, Austin City Council members joined volunteers from the Friends of Barton Springs Pool, city staff, and other pool stakeholders (including Clean Water Action, Environment Texas, Preservation Austin, Save Barton Creek Association, Save Our Springs Alliance, and Sierra Club of Austin) at the first official “Council FIXES the Pool Day” to review the many Council-approved improvement projects for Barton Springs Pool and the surrounding area for the purpose of recognizing City Council for their work to support Barton Springs.  The event kicked off at 9 am with a short press conference presentation by pool stakeholders of recent Barton Springs Pool projects supported by City Council, followed comments from the City Councilmembers in attendance.  After the press conference, a “pool snorkeling tour” was conducted with Councilmembers Morrison and Tovo to review firsthand the pool features and improvements.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and City Council Members Mike Martinez, Laura Morrison, Chris Riley, and Kathie Tovo all attended, with Bill Spelman would have attended but for a last-minute family commitment.

The following projects were recognized by the indicated pool stakeholder speaker:

  • Welcome & recognition — Mike Cannatti, FBSP;
  • 2012 Bond Package with $30M for open space and watershed protection funds – Steve Beers, SBCA and/or Dick Kallerman, Save Our Springs Alliance;
  • 2012 Bond Package with $2M for Bathhouse Renovation funds – Mike Cannatti, FBSP;
  • Bypass tunnel repairs – Johnnie Price, City of Austin Watershed Protection Project Manager;
  • New inlet grate to the bypass tunnel paid for with the TCEQ grant of $300,000 – Tom Weber, FBSP;
  • Barton Springs Habitat Conservation Plan and updated federal permit – Laurie Dries, City of Austin Evolutionary Ecologist, Watershed Protection Dept.;
  • Status Update on Short Term Projects from Barton Springs Pool Master Plan – Tom Nelson, City of Austin Division Manager, Aquatics;
  • Grounds Improvement Project – Robin Camp, City of Austin Project Manager;
  • Grounds Improvement Project:  The Public Process – Roy Waley, Sierra Club of Austin;
  • City funding of a Preservation position at PARD for work to recognize historic assets in Zilker Park – Jacqui Schraad, Preservation Austin;
  • Presentation of $10,000 check from FBSP to the city for the purchase of additional trees inside Barton Springs Pool – Mike Cannatti, FBSP;

Additional information from the Press Release are posted here.

Pictures from the event are posted below:

Read the full Press Release here.

Final Fundraising Effort to Complete “Living Springs”

As many of you know, Karen Kocher is producing Living Springs, a documentary about the history, science, culture and spiritual practices at Barton Springs, the crown natural jewel of Austin.  With the turquoise water and cool breezes embodying many important values for Austin, so the Living Springs project will be used to reach out to our community and keep the Springs in people’s minds.

Previous fundraising proceeds have been used to created six new videos to the interactive documentary and three screenings at the Springs, including an August screening for 242 people.  She is now trying to complete the project so that it can be installed at SPLASH! In order to facilitate this, the project is having an on-line fundraiser. I hope that all of you will be able to contribute this time around. No amount is too small. You can either do it on-line at www.rally.org/livingsprings or send a check to the address listed on the web site. The goal is $12,500 by September 30th. Karen says, that she never thought she would sound like they do on KUT during pledge drive, but as John Aielli says, “If you don’t give, who will?” The site for giving is www.rally.org/livingsprings or you can go to their website www.livingspringsaustin.org and click on the Donate button. Thanks to those of you who donated last July!

Also, there will be a Full Moon screening on Thursday, September 19th at Barton Springs (north entrance) at 8pm.  Please come and then go for a free, late night dip.  The screening will feature new videos from the Living Springs project, so come see a preview!