April President’s Report

26 Apr 2010 by admin, Comments Off on April President’s Report

By Robin Cravey

Our Earth Day cleaning party was a huge success, drawing out over eighty regular volunteers.  The entire staff of the Hill Country Conservancy came out to work a shift.  In addition, several dozen junior high kids from the deaf school came out and worked two shifts.

We began the day with live television broadcasts with Nic of Fox7News.  Then, producers from News8 and KVUE to cover the presentation of a check for $8,000 from Save Barton Creek Association to Pool Manager Wayne Simmons for the purchase of cleaning equipment.

Volunteers Cleaning Barton Springs Pool on Earth Day

Volunteers Cleaning Barton Springs Pool on Earth Day

The students from the Texas School for the Deaf mulched flowerbeds both inside the fence next to the bathhouse and outside in the parking lot.  They mulched  tree roots of existing trees and some new trees provided by Austin Parks Foundation.

Our bumper crop of regular volunteers filled every two-hour shift from 10 am to 6 pm.  We had crews clearing invasive species behind the diving board, weeding the flowerbed in the women’s dressing room, skimming algae, and scrubbing handrails.  Most important, we had a full broom line of a half dozen volunteers scrubbing the bottom of the shallow end all day.  We were able to  scrub the entire shallow end twice.

At the end of the day, the Pool was the cleanest it has been since at least spring cleaning.  Congratulations to Jonathan Beall, who led the effort; to Emma Cravey, who secured the comestibles; and to Chasity Keen Larios, who got the word out.  Thanks to our shift leaders, Jonathan, Emma, Mary Yarrington, and me.

Earth Week was a chance for Friends of Barton Springs Pool to work with some new coalition partners.  Hill Country Conservancy worked with Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s office to coordinate an entire week of events.  Hill Country Conservancy put together a coalition comprising Austin Green Art, Friends of Barton Springs Pool, Save Barton Creek Association, Sustainable Food Center, Sierra Club, and Austin Film Festival.  In addition, over seventy local businesses pledged a portion of their sales on Earth Day to benefit the coalition partners.

A check for $8,000 from Save Barton Creek Association to Pool Manager Wayne Simmons for the purchase of cleaning equipment.

A check for $8,000 from Save Barton Creek Association to Pool Manager Wayne Simmons for the purchase of cleaning equipment.

The Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon was great fun and raised a nice sum of money to care for trees around the pool.  Scores of participants from seven to seventy turned out to swim across the pool, bicycle up the hill, and run around the polo field.  The kids showed a special enthusiasm.  Councilmember Laura Morrison turned out to lead the swim across the pool.  Thanks to our many sponsors, including Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez and Councilmembers Chris Riley and Randi Shade who sponsored the parking fee waiver for our participants.  Congratulations to Mike Cannatti and his committee for a great event.

The board retreated to the home of Tom and Maria Weber last month to spend a Saturday pondering our history, our dreams, our goals, and our methods.  Leon Barish of Friends of Deep Eddy gave us an inspiring pep talk.

Our annual membership meeting is coming up, and we’re planning now.  Watch the website and the bulletin board for announcements.  And, if you want to help, drop an email to Mary Yarrington at secretaryt@friendsofbartonspringspool.org.

We’re recruiting for a membership director.  Thanks to Gary Beyer and Mary Yarrington for sharing those duties in the meantime.  If you think you’ve got the moxie, drop me an email at president@friendsofbartonspringspool.org.

The short term projects for the pool continue to move forward.  Public meetings to talk about the general grounds improvements begin next week.  These improvements include landscaping, improved water and electric service to power pool cleaning, burying power lines, new lighting, and the accessible trail on the south side.  Contractors have just about finished replacing the bathhouse roof.  And preparations are growing critical for removal of the gravel bar and repair of the bypass tunnel this fall.  Contact Advocacy Director Tom Weber at advocacy@friendsofbartonspringspool.org.

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