So it has been awhile since I sat down and put pen to paper and wrote one of these, so I have a bit of catching up to do. First off, we have been really successful with our efforts to enlist corporate or team sponsors to participate in our volunteer pool cleaning events. For the past couple of years Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company(ABGB) and BRC Recovery, have had a team of 15-20 volunteers every month. Wholefoods had a team last year and really stepped up this year with a team of 30 in May followed up with a team of 10 in June. They also made donation to allow us to invest in the consumables for cleaning, and will be one of our sponsors for our next FBSP t-shirt donation drive. June also had a big turnout from ACL Live. FYI: We offer our t-shirts, towels and other apparel for donations that are used for tools and other equipment used at the pool. Having the tools to efficiently and safely do the cleaning is essential to our volunteer cleaning success.
For as long as FBSP has been in existence, we have based our efforts on inside and outside the fence activities that we support. Our primary objective has been to focus our energies on inside the fence efforts, like cleaning algae from the pool, planting trees, planting aquatic plants, and keeping all the invasive plants in and around the pool under control. This is a never ending job that our volunteers take on with a passion that always makes one proud to be a Friend of Barton Springs Pool.
Another equally important objective is supporting outside the fence activities that for the most part are driven by the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan. Things like the recently-completed Day Lighting of Eliza, advocating for the Bathhouse Rehabilitation Project, advocating for funding a feasibility study for upgrading the upper/lower dams, advocating for bond funding for parks and open space protection, and Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funding for historic preservation — all of these causes have an impact on how we as friends continue to insure that Barton Springs Pool is here for folks to enjoy for the next generation of swimmers. As members of FBSP, I implore all of you to find a way to support these efforts by writing the mayor and council in support, or getting involved with our board to advocate for these causes. We need your help and we cannot do it without you.
I was fashionably late in getting settled into my routine of a daily sunrise swim at the pool, but as of Sun (6/24), I am back! Whenever I rekindle this routine at the pool, I kick myself for not getting my butt out of bed and getting my daily pool fix sooner. My ritual is to swim with a mask and snorkel for one lap, checking out the plants and fish and occasionally picking up litter that catches my eye, and then top it off with one dive, and one jump off the diving board. This year’s routine includes a variation of inspecting and brushing algae off the 4 cages that have been planted with aquatic plants in the pool. We are on the 4th round of trying to successfully introduce aquatic plants into the pool, I see some green inside at least 2 of the 4 cages so it could be we are on the right path…. I will keep you updated when we remove the cages and see what has survived. Another very important part of my morning ritual is just sitting, people watching, enjoying another amazing sunrise, letting the morning sun dry me off, and relishing in that core cooling effect that the pool has on you. This is a time when I sometimes engage in conversation with anyone that is within earshot, there is a lively group of us “south side by the diving board regulars” that seem to really enjoy sharing our daily experiences. We are not alone in this activity at the pool, and if you take notice, there are little pockets of folks all around doing the very same thing. It is a part of a regular routine that never gets old so if you are out and about at the pool around sunrise come on by and say hi!
See you at the pool,
Steve Barnick, FBSP President