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When we arrived at Barton Springs at 8:30 this New Year’s Day morning it was 29 degrees.

The front gate parking lot was full.  Seriously. 

Before we could set up the Save Our Springs welcome tent, with free coffee and donuts, our maps and water education materials, and our traditional Polar Bear t-shirts, the t-shirt line was already six people deep.

It never let up.  Before we packed up that afternoon, we had enjoyed the magic of Barton Springs welcoming the new year with a few thousands friends, neighbors, and potential friends. 

Unlike some years, when it’s warm and sunny, it was a true winter splash.  It felt like a fairy tale. It’s hard to describe the sense of community, good will, and pure joy of starting the new year at Barton Springs. 

We are all so blessed by the beautiful waters of Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, and the hundreds of other smaller springs of Central Texas.  

The challenge of keeping these springs clean and flowing grows every day, as our region’s population continues to grow.  With a changing climate, central Texas could see an even greater influx of newcomers fleeing rising seas and larger storms along the Gulf Coast.

Please make a generous donation today to SOS to support the science, law, and public education advocacy that we need to save our springs from these growing threats.         

snowflake salsmallThank you to all of you who braved the weather and made this year's Holiday Party one of the best ever! 

Thank you so much to our Sponsors!

Kirk Mitchell ~ Perry & Sheridan Lorenz ~ Brigid Shea, John Umphress  & Family ~ Nancy Scanlan ~Barry George ~  Barkley Houses ~ Jenny Clark ~ Tracy DiLeo ~ Meredith Dreiss ~ Dick Kallerman ~ Philip Prim ~ Cynthia Wilcox ~ Roger Baker ~ Robert Corbin & Gema Pivatto ~ Ken & Diane Kramer  Bryan Hale ~ Susan Moffat & Nick Barbaro ~ Virginia Palmer Group ~ Leslie Pool ~ Brian Rodgers ~ Texas Beer Co. ~ Whole Earth Provision  
 
And to our Silent Auction Donors!
 
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar,~ artStar Pottery ~  Austin Bouldering Project ~  Arbor Vitae Tree Care
Ave Bonar~ Barbara White~ Barley + Pfeiffer Architects~ Barry George~ Barton Springs Nursery
Big Weekend Calendars ~  Bright Leaf Preserve/Philip Russell ~  Brilliant Imports ~  Capital Cruises
Cathy Nordstrom ~  Collected Letters ~  Connie Colten Jewelry ~  Tim Cross Architecture ~ Davep Photography ~ Deda Divine ~Dr. Singha's Natural Therapeutics ~ Ed Crowell ~  El Interior ~  Ellen Gibbs ~ Eye Play Studio ~   Far West Optical  ~ Filter Flow Water Taps ~  Forbidden Fruit ~  Good Flow Honey Co. ~The Healing Acupuncture Center ~  Hill Country Arborist ~ Jim Hightower & Associates ~ Sam Hurt ~  John Bederman ~  Kaleido Properties ~  Kam Magor ~ Lick Honest Ice Creams ~ Live Oak Brewery ~  Magnolia Cafe ~  Mary Ann Reynolds ~ Martha Grenon ~  Mona Mehdy ~  Mother's Café & Garden ~  Myo Massage ~ Natural Bridge Caverns ~  Natural Gardener ~  Once Over Coffee Bar ~  Park Lane Guest House ~ Priour Studio ~  Russell Korman Fine Jewelry ~  Russell Sports, Inc. ~  Christine Shaw ~ Sandra Dunn, LMT ~  SASS Fresh Dressings ~  Scott Johnson ~ Shakti Miller, ND, LCSW ~  The Spring Center for Natural Medicine ~Sun Dragon Martial Arts ~  Terra Toys ~  Tesoros Trading Co. ~ Tribe Nine ~  True Hemp Science ~  Whole Earth Provision Co ~  Women & Their Work ~  Zippy Is Silly ~  Zygmont Chiropractic Center

 

 

On election day,  Austin voters  approved Proposition D with a staggering 84% voting "yes."  This was the highest pass rate of any of the Austin bond measures.  Prop. D providesUrbanAssault $184 million for flood mitigation, open space and water quality protection.  $72 million of the total is specifically earmarked for buying land and conservation easements in the Barton Springs watershed in order to permanently protect and remove those lands from potential development. 
 
The citizen initiated CodeNext voter approval and waiting period ordinance lost by a narrow margin following a sh*&^%storm of misinformation funded by hidden money from the Real Estate Council of Austin.  The false attacks on Prop J were amplified by Mayor Adler, the Austin Chronicle, and some usual allies in the environmental community who bought the idea that voters having a say on any resurrection of the CodNEXT fiasco ordinance would be a bad thing.  There's plenty more to be said on this point, but we'll leave it there for now. 
 
Thanks to everyone who voted.  Stay engaged!! It takes a community to save a community spring!!. And we are blessed to see such a broad consensus of Austin voters favoring protecting Barton Springs with real funding.
 
 
 

Stuart Henry was the first lawyer in Texas to make a living in environmental law on the side of the environment.  He was the first environmental officer for the City of Austin.  He 10637548 300x300was an auto mechanic before going to law school in Houston.  He was real, and hilarious, and loving, and fearless.  He is gone now, but will continue to inspire us every day.

Services are this Thursday at 11:00 a.m., Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 200 West Anderson Lane. His obituary and a guest book are linked  here.

Stuart Henry did more to protect the Edwards Aquifer and its Great Springs than any other person. He represented the Sierra Club in the landmark Endangered Species Act lawsuit to protect rare fish, salamanders, and other species that require clean and strong spring flows at Comal and San Marcos Springs. The lawsuit forced the State of Texas to establish the Edwards Aquifer Authority to limit Edwards Aquifer pumping in order to sustain spring flows during times of drought.

Stuart mentored and inspired a dozen or more lawyers to choose a life of defending the water, air, land, wildlife, and rural communities of Texas. Stuart nurtured the founding of the Save Our Springs movement, later serving as SOS Alliance Board Chair. Henry gave SOS Executive Director Bill Bunch his first job in law, insisting that Bill show up for the interview in a t-shirt, swim suit, and flip flops rather than take the time to go home to change clothes. The dress code stuck and continues to this day at the SOS office.

Exhumed from the archives!  We're happy to present this 1992 epic legendary all-star recording of Austin's music community coming together to sing the praises of The Soul of Austin, Barton Springs.

Featuring the talents of Bill Oliver, Bob Livingston, Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball,  Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Ponty Bone, Paul Pearcy, Steven Fromholz, Joe Ely, John Inmon, David Halley, Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, Doug Powell, Bobby Bridger, Tomas Ramirez, Riley Osbourn, and Mitch WatkinsChorus: all of the above plus:Aunt Pearl (Joe Sears), Didi Snavely (Jaston Williams) of Greater Tuna, Susan Lindfore, Christine Albert, Connie Hancock, Tommy Pierce, Monty Montgomery, Jim Ellinger (Wheatsville), Jeri Arsenault, Cecelia Nasti & Bryan Beck (KGSR radio), Jenny Clark (ACTV), Helen Ballew (Hill Country Foundation), Jennie Hamilton (SOS Coalition) - "Barton Springs Eternal" is now available for download from our new Bandcamp page:

Grab the song in any file format you like for as little as a dollar - all proceeds from the sales of this track go to Save Our Springs Alliance and Save Barton Creek Association to support our round-the-clock work to preserve our clean water and the Austin way of life.