Blake Borgeson, in blog form

suspected facts. validated opinions.

austin city council in the process of actually trying to help barton springs

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This is not to say that the city council has completely ignored Barton Springs in my lifetime so far here in Austin, but I can safely say that not enough has been done considering just how fantastic Barton Springs is, and how vital it is to me every time I rave to someone in another city about why they should at least visit.

There’s an article in the local paper today about a serious plan for improving and rehabilitating some aspects of the springs that the city actually paid money for–a great move, in my opinion. Some of the highlights:

1. Rehabilitate the steps and add native plants at Zilker Ponds

2. Renovate and reconfigure bathhouse to add a visitors’ center and return ticket sales to the rotunda

3. Renovate Eliza Spring amphitheater and reconnect the spring flow with the main body of the pool

4. Redesign an inlet grate to prevent clogging during floods; add openings to upstream dam to improve water flow

5. Add small south bathhouse and pave south parking lot

6. Study designs for skimmers to get rid of algae; remove gravel in pool’s deep end

7. Add two new stairways down to creekside and replace concrete embankments with stone

8. Rehabilitate stonework and salamander habitat at Sunken Garden

Some local groups quoted in the article sound like they don’t expect much good to come of any city action whatsoever, which rings familiar to me–in my memory they don’t often support any plan that they themselves didn’t first propose. Groups like Save Our Springs have a great mission, but I believe (and I apologize, but I’m not going to dig up their history for you right now to make my case) they often seem to lose a grip on making incremental improvements in favor of holding out for what they see as the perfect solution.

I’m just glad that, from the looks of it at least, the city is actually putting some money and brainpower into what I think is a big piece of what makes Austin one of the best cities out there, to visit or to grow up in.

barton springs pool

photo props: city of austin

Written by blakeweb

April 5, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Posted in environment

Tagged with ,

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