23 Feb


Please join us as we Amplify Austin by donating to Friends of Barton Springs Pool through the Amplify Austin campaign on March 1-2, 2018.  Your donation supports our work to protect, restore, improve and maintain Barton Springs Pool – Austin’s Crown Jewel and natural treasure. You can schedule a donation NOW by visiting our Amplify Austin page at this link, https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/friendsofbartonspringspool2018 to make a donation!  Thanks!

Our volunteers are happy to help clean the springs, and are even happier to have your Amplify Austin donation. Your donation will support Friends of Barton Springs Pool in our work to help restore and renovate the Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse, and to help organize monthly cleaning events that bring in scores of swimmers and friends of Barton Springs to work beside the staff to clean the Pool.  Such funds are used in our monthly volunteer pool cleanings to to purchase cleaning equipment and tools, food, and refreshments. Friends of Barton Springs Pool also raises funds to purchase new trees in the pool area.

22 Feb

President’s Report — March, 2018



We kicked off the new year with a board retreat in February where we discussed some very ambitious goals for 2018.  But first I would like to welcome our new Vice President, Ryan Cox.  Ryan expressed interest in getting involved with FBSP and we are all excited about having him on the board.  We are still seeking a membership chair so if anyone would like to get on board please get a hold of me and we will talk.

Fundraising is FUN

Fundraising is the main vehicle for us to supply tools and equipment used during our volunteer pool cleaning efforts. There are three very important fundraising events happening that we are proud to be a part of.

  • Amplify Austin is our city’s annual community wide day of online giving that’s  happening on March 1-2.  To make a donation for Friends of Barton Springs Pool, click this link https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/friendsofbartonspringspool2018 and make donation!  Thanks!
  • Give5 Austin to Mother Earth is an event specifically dedicated to benefit 9 local nonprofit organization FBSP being one of them. A first part of the campaign involves finding business sponsors that will pledge to donate to 5% of their revenue on Fri(4/20) Mother Earth day.  If you business would like to participate as a sponsor, please click this link, https://austingive5.org/signup, and sign up!
  • FBSP Booth is our chance meet folks, and spread our message at the south side pool entrance.  We offer an assortment of products for a donation and plan on sponsoring the booth on the Sunday before each of our first Thursday of the month pool cleaning events.  We are working on a new design for our t-shirts and other products so please come by and listen, learn and contribute to our cause.

Spring Cleaning is Fun, Too!!!!

In 2018, we are kicking off our year of volunteer cleaning at the pool by participating in the biggest city-wide volunteer event known as It’s My Park Day on March 3, 2018.  Sponsored by Austin Parks Foundation, participants can sign up for a shift at the Austin Parks Foundation site link, https://austinparks.givepulse.com/event/69299-Barton-Springs-FBSP-Barton-Springs-Volunteer-Pool-Cleaning. Just click the “Register” button, create an account (with name, zip, email, and password), provide the requested information (t-shirt size, allergies, emergency contact, DOB, address), click the waiver agreements, and you’re in!  Please share information with others using this link, https://givepul.se/u8hm3

This is a chance for our members to participate on a Saturday while the pool is closed for spring cleaning.  Our regular volunteer pool cleaning events on the first Thursday of the month will run from April to October.

Ongoing Challenges for Friends

We have a multitude of challenges both inside and outside the fence at Barton Springs Pool. As an nonprofit organization our true calling is inside the fence sponsoring volunteer pool cleanings. We take the knowledge and experience gained from these events to raise awareness of issues, advocate for change and work with the BSP Staff to find solutions. This year we have challenges that include planting trees, repopulating plants in the pool, removal of 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 also giving support to many outside the fence activities that in part are integral to the goals of the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan. This involves the renovation of the bathhouse, a Zilker Park visitors center, and feasibility studies on how to improve pool water flow.  We are also in support of the HOT funding for historic preservation, the city bond initiative for purchasing aquifer land, and stopping our neighboring communities from dumping treated sewage into the aquifer. If you have a chance please add your name in support of these very important challenges to Barton Springs Pool.

We are all about finding ways to put big smiles and foster good feelings at the pool. The celebration of the completions of Eliza Springs Day Lighting project , the annual FBSP member picnic, and organizing Council Cleans the pool will hopefully keep everyone smiling and wanting to make the pool the best it can be this season.

See you at the pool,
Steve Barnick, FBSP President

6 Dec

Public Input Opportunity: 2018 City Bond Funding of $100M for Park and Watershed Protection Lands

FBSP supports city bond funding of $100M to buy park and watershed protection lands in the Onion and Barton Creek watersheds as part of the City’s 2018 Bond Referendum.  While there are many worthy projects under consideration, the recommendations from City Staff and the Bond Election Advisory Task Force (BEATF) Open Space Working Group don’t go far enough to provide watershed protection funds, so Friends urges that the BEATF include $100M of funding to take more Barton Springs watershed lands out of the development pool and help protect the springs and prevent flooding in the lower Onion and Slaughter Creek watersheds.

As detailed here and on the City’s Bond Election Advisory Task Force website, city staff’s current 2018 bond proposal package of $640M would require an additional 1-2 cent tax rate increase.  From this amount, the bond package proposal would allocate $30M to PARD for open space and parkland acquisition (against a request for $25M), and would allocate $20M to WPD for open space and parkland acquisition (against a request for $150M).  In short, city staff is recommending $50M for open space and parkland acquisition.

As detailed here, the Parkland/Open Space Working Group is recommending $85M for land acquisition, including $50M  for WPD “Watershed Protection Land Acquisition” and $35M for PARD land acquisition all around town.  See, Open Space Working Group Report, II(B)(2) and III(B).  Better, but not enough.

We urge all Friends to support City Bond Funding of $100M to buy park and watershed protection lands in the Onion and Barton Creek watersheds.  Your next opportunity will be at the Community Input meeting tomorrow (Dec. 7, 6:30pm at Hampton Branch Library in Oak Hill) where participants are given $800M in “bond fund” cash to hand out to the various bond categories with explanatory notes.  At the meeting, you can weigh in with (at least) $100M in “cash” to support buying Barton Springs watershed lands to take them out of the development “pool” and help protect the springs and prevent flooding in the lower Onion and Slaughter Creek watersheds.  You can also take the 2018 Public Input Bond Survey by clicking here to express your bond funding priorities.

Please let the BEATF that the amount for parkland and open space should be doubled, noting that there is a strong argument that parkland/open space  bond projects are very successful in getting voter approval for bond elections.

6 Dec

President’s Report — December, 2017



We capped off our 2017 volunteer pool cleaning effort by planting 3 pecan, and 2 oak trees that were dead or damaged on the south side entrance of the pool.  We worked in cooperation with PARD’s Urban Forestry Program to coordinate this effort. It  was a real pleasure to purchase and plant these trees where needed. We hope to plant more in the very near future.

For the year we sponsored (7) six hour first Thursday pool cleaning events that resulted in an estimated 300(~1500 hours) people volunteering to put a shine on the jewel of Austin.

For several years, we have reached out to the corporate community to help with volunteer cleaning and our list continues to grow. This year we had the pleasure of working with Whole Foods, C3 Presents, BRC Recovery, American Youth Works, and ABGB.  We also received support with food donations  from Tacodeli, and Austin Pizza.


As always, we learn from these volunteer experiences and use that knowledge to raise awareness and advocate for change.  This year was no different.  We noticed the irrigation issue and pressed PARD on what  was the cause and how it could be fixed.  PARD responded by implementing a better plan for irrigation until a replacement pump was installed.  This new pump should take care of all our irrigation and pool cleaning needs of the future.

We continue to push for better management of the plants in the pool and in cooperation with a group of stakeholders led by Barton Springs Conservancy (BSC) and supported with a grant from Austin Parks Foundation (APF) to fund another aquatic plant re-planting effort in the pool on Nov. 16.

We responded to a request by Watershed Protection Department (WPD) to take on the removal of Ligustrum from the area behind the diving board and ran into a problem with poison ivy which by seeking members that are not allergic to help out we were able to knock down a lot of these non-natives and hopefully the native plants will have a better chance to thrive and take over that area.

The BSP Master Plan is our guide to the long term projects important to BSP.  One such effort is  opening up the upstream dam to creek flow to improve water quality in the pool.  A presentation to the Joint Committee on Thurs (Nov. 16) spearheaded by BSC and supported by FBSP and other stakeholders to get this process started was made.  Another project is the renovation of the bathhouse.  We continue to support the efforts of BSC to seek HOT money for historic preservation that will be a huge funding source for this effort.

We have been able to apply and receive grant money for tools and equipment for our volunteer cleaning that have made the job easier for BSP staff and our team.  Many thanks to Austin Parks Foundation and the generous membership donations that help fund this.

Our year officially ends/begins on New Year’s Day celebrating the POLAR Splash event at the pool where we will be sponsoring a booth at the south side entrance from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We encourage y’all to come by chat, get involved or make a donation to our cause in exchange for t-shirts, and towels. Come joins us, it is going to be a blast!!

See you at the pool,
Steve Barnick
FBSP President

BSP Poster 12-17

13 Nov

Barton Springs Water Quality Improvement Volunteers needed for Aquatic Planting at BSP (Nov. 16, 9am to noon-ish)

We need 2-3 volunteers for an aquatic planting project at Barton Springs Pool on Thursday, Nov. 16 (9am to noon-ish). Funded with a grant from Austin Parks Foundation, volunteers will help Aaron Schad (Restoration Program/Project Consultant) prepare and install native plants in the pool under the knowledgeable guidance of city staff from Watershed and PARD.

If interested, please contact Mike Cannatti (communications@friendsofbartonspringspool.org)

10 Oct

Clarke Hammond memorial

Clarke HammondClarke Hammond passed away on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 66 years of age.  Having served on the FBSP Board as Fun and Fundraising Chair, Clarke was a charismatic guy who would light up any space he was in and we had the pleasure of having him on our team.  He will be missed at the New Year’s Polar Bear Plunge, but rest assured, we will be thinking of him.

R.I.P. Clarke


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