We are kicking the 2019 season with a board retreat in March where we will discuss our goals for 2019. But first I would like to welcome our new Fundraising Chair Renee Weissend. Renee reached out to us expressing interest in getting involved with FBSP, she lives in the Zilker area and enjoys swimming at the pool. To make room for Renee, we moved Ashley Todd from “Fundraising Chair” to “Vice President.” We are all excited about having Renee on the board and having Ashley take on another role at FBSP. In addition, we are seeking to fill vacancy with our Membership chair if anyone is interested in being a part of an awesome team please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday, March 7, we are kicking off our year of volunteer cleaning at the pool from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Our volunteer pool cleanings will happen on the first Thursday of each month from March through October, and we hope you all take the time to participate. This first cleaning in 2019 will happen during the multiple day spring cleaning of the pool (Monday, March 4 until Friday, March 15) when the pool will be drawn down for a variety of projects and so this will be a rare opportunity to see the springs in their natural form along with getting involved with some rather unique cleaning opportunities at the pool.
We have many challenges both inside and outside the fence at Barton Springs Pool. As a nonprofit organization, our true calling is “inside the fence” where we organize volunteer pool cleanings. In addition, we take the knowledge and experience gained from these events to raise awareness of issues, advocate for change, and work with the Pool Staff to find solutions. This year we have challenges that include planting trees, repopulating aquatic plants, removing sediment at the bypass tunnel inlet, keeping algae in the shallow end under control, eliminating non-native plants, and of course, putting a shine on the pool railings and the diving well ducks.
We are driven to supporting our outside the fence goals by the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan. This involves identified projects in the Master Plan, such as the rehabilitation and restoration of the bathhouse and the opening of the pool to creek flow at the upper dam. We will be involved with advocating for funding from historic preservation funds, the city funding for the 2020 budget and any other sources that will help to finance the causes that consider important to making the pool the best it can be. We have also been actively involved with the Zilker Park Working group that was created via a resolution by city council to come up with recommendations for parking and traffic challenges at the pool and Zilker Park. This effort is a precursor to the Zilker Master Plan project that is slated to begin defining the scope sometime this year. Our role in the process is twofold. First, we have experience with advocating for a master plan because we got one approved in 2009 for BSP. Second, BSP might be the crown jewel but the ring it sits on is Zilker Park, so our involvement in this process is very important in advocating for the future of BSP.
We are all about finding ways to put big smiles and foster good feelings at the pool. Last year’s “Council Cleans the Pool” event was a huge success in raising awareness to the challenges at the pool and resulted in getting funding for the Barton Spring Bathhouse Rehabilitation Project. We are proud of the fact that we could play a role in getting that approved and look forward to making that happen again this year.