26 Aug
2019

President’s Report: August, 2019

Friends,

We are fast approaching the end of the pool cleaning season with Sept. 5 and Oct. 3 being the last of the first Thursday dates to volunteer, along with Councils Cleans the Pool on Thursday (Oct. 24).  The season has been very successful working with corporate sponsors like AMD, C3 Presents, Wholefoods along with teams from all walks of life like ABGB, BRC Recovery, Austin Allies, Austin Youthworks, Progress Texas, and of course our loyal Friends!  Folks, when you add up all the people/hours, we put up staggering numbers —  500+ volunteers putting in 3000+ volunteer hours at the pool!

WE  THANK  ALL  OF  YOU!!

Aquatic plants in the pool update.  We have a new approach that takes into account some successes that were realized in the past along with a better commitment from PARD and Watershed. FBSP will be leading a team that will help with planting and maintaining the plants.  To better prepare the plants, we are going to create a nursery.  The planting will be done during the scheduled partial draw-downs of the pool to make it easier and safer.  If anyone is interested in finding out more about this effort, check out our website or email me at president@friendsofbartonspringspool.org

Speaking of partial draw-downs, FBSP has been advocating for this since 2006 as a way of improving water quality.  When the pool is drawn down, it kills the algae in the shallow end, and BSP Staff is able to get the bobcat with the power brush and hoses (Broom Brigade on steroids…) to wash away the organics and make it less slippery for swimmers.

WE COMMEND PARD and AQUATICS FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN!

Opening up the upper dam to creek flow something that we have been advocating for since 2006.  I could go on and on about the benefits and I encourage anyone interested in learning more to refer to the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan.  The good news is Watershed recognized the benefits and took on this project.  Furthermore, they have progressed to the point where they hired an engineering firm to design the gates, and develop a plan for when to take advantage of creek flow in the pool.  We have been involved all along the way with meetings and discussions and are looking forward to seeing what they have designed.   We encourage everyone to support this effort, again if you are interested in finding out more about this effort email me at president@friendsofbartonspringspool.org

WE THANK WATERSHED FOR TAKING ON THIS PROJECT!

Barton Creek Safety update.  Joe Riddell, a long-time environmental activist and avid kayaker of the creek, has led this charge and succeeded in getting the Environmental Board to create a resolution to council for “Safety improvements above Barton Springs Pool for inner-tubers and boaters” (Environmental Commission Motion 20190619 007b).  In the short term, you should be seeing some signs over the creek and a temporary location for getting off the creek upstream from the upper dam.  In the long term, a more formal way to safely get off the creek will be installed near where the gravel trap dam was.  Another area of concern that sadly resulted in a drowning at the inlet to the bypass tunnel will be to make changes to the inlet gate to improve the safety.

WE THANK JOE RIDDELL AND SBCA FOR TAKING THIS ON!

Council Cleans the Pool is an event we have sponsored over the years and it is going to  happen again on Thurs, October 24.  Areas of interest for this event will be an update on Bathhouse Rehabilitation project, Barton Creek Safety, Upper Dam Protect, Zilker Park Master Plan, Repopulating Aquatic Plants, and identifying potential bond projects to benefit the park.  Oh, and we also strongly encourage our mayor and council members to get in the pool, grab a broom and help put that shine on our beloved pool. We also hope to plant some trees again this year.

See you at the pool,
Steve Barnick, FBSP President

19 Aug
2019

Sewage Threat to Barton Creek

Friends,

FBSP is a nonprofit organization that concentrates most of its time and effort to things inside the fence at Barton Springs Pool, but in some cases, we need to put out the message to others regarding threats to the Creek and the pool that are happening outside the fence.  With the Long Branch Wastewater Permit being the the latest threat to Barton Creek, this is one of those times, so please see the link (below) which describes the “No Dumping Sewage Campaign” to stop other communities from dumping treated sewage into Barton Creek:

https://nodumpingsewage.org/352-2/

Please take time to review and if possible support the efforts to stop this.

Regards,
Steve Barnick
FBSP President

10 Jul
2019

New Board Member — Brian Keough

At our June board meeting, we voted to elect Brian Keough to serve on the board as our Membership Chair. Working at Atlassian as a Product Marketing Manager, Brian studied at UT’s MBA program and has been in Austin a few years, but has (wisely) identified Barton Springs as something cool and unique and worth getting involved with.  We are delighted to have Brian join our board!

3 Jul
2019

Post-Patriotic Pool Cleaning — July 11, 2019 (9am – 3pm)!!!!

The good news is Barton Springs Pool will be open on July 4, so you can enjoy the cool pool on a Thursday.

The better news is that your Post-Patriotic Pool Cleaning will be next Thursday, July 11, 2019 (9am – 3pm)!!!!

At this great place we call Barton Springs,
the waters flow cool, clear and clean,
but to show our love true,
wear your red, white, and blue,
and join our post-patriotic volunteer team!

Please join Friends of Barton Springs Pool on Thursday, July 11 for one or more of our two-hour shifts, starting at 9:00, 11:00 and 1:00. We’ll have volunteers from C3 Presents, Benchmark Recovery Center, Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin Allies, and American Youthworks.  Since the pool will be drawn down, most of volunteer efforts will be out of the water.  Possible projects include helping remove the sludge that accumulates by the sediment fence, cleaning the rails, removing the gravel at the bypass inlet, tree trimming near Eliza Springs, weeding on the south side, gardening work on the front side of the bathhouse.  With the pool drawn down, most of the activities will be dry, not wet, so we’ll need to find creative ways to keep cool, possibly including periodic visits to cool creek flow at Barking Springs.

So come roll up your sleeves, bring a friend, have a snack and enjoy the company of other Barton Springs enthusiasts. We look look forward to seeing you there!

12 Jun
2019

FBSP Picnic- Saturday June 15, 2019 @ Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co)

Please join Friends of Barton Springs Pool for their 2019 Membership Picnic on Saturday, June 15th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. (ABGB), 1305 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704!! 

We have reserved the outdoor picnic table area, will have food and drinks tickets available, and will be raffling off swim passes and FBSP towels.  With the good folks at ABGB donating the first 50 beers, we’ll cover the tab for pizza slizes (2) and drinks for members who show up.  Raffles will be held every 30 minutes (or so), and then at 3:00pm, an unofficial and non-sponsored bike ride will likely spontaneously occur to proceed to the Barton Springs from ABGB for some afternoon fun at the Springs.

Come by, introduce yourself to the current board members, and learn more about all of the good things we are doing and what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. Please RSVP to fun@friendsofbartonspringspool.org

29 May
2019

New Board Member — Jennifer Robenalt

On May 28, 2019, the board voted to elect Jennifer Robenalt to serve on the board as our Advocacy Chair.  Jennifer grew up in Austin, Texas, has worked in the communications/marketing/public relations space, and enjoys swimming with her son at Barton Springs 4-5 times a week!  Chillin’ with the kids, how cool is that?  We are delighted to have Jennifer join our board!

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