President’s Report

3 Mar 2011 by admin, Comments Off on President’s Report

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.

Now we are working with new consultants to design general grounds improvements, and their charge includes redesigning the Tree Court.  We believe the trees should be surrounded not by a sterile hardpack, but rather by a beautiful selection of the natural vegetation that grows above the aquifer that conducts the water from the hills to the springs.  To accomplish that, the Tree Court cannot be a milling concourse for through traffic.

The redesigned Tree Court can still be a place of gathering, rather than a place where impatient swimmers stand in line for a half hour.  It can be a place of contemplation and wonder.  And the trees can be strong and healthy again.

Quick Dips

It’s great to get back into the pool to clean again!  And this first Springs Cleaning Party I’m introducing my new song, the Barton Springs Work Song!  Sign up for a shift at the next cleaning, so you can sing it with us!

At this point, spring flow is down.  The pool is full of algae.  We’ve been here before.  We’ve got the brooms.  We’ve got the nets.  We’ve got the determination.

You may have heard jackhammers in the bathhouse.  That was a crew working to expand the accessible restroom in the ladies dressing room.

Pool manager Wayne Simmons has a shadow these days, and her name is Gabby.  She’s an intern from Florida State, and she say she’s learning a lot at Barton Springs.

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