It’s uncommon for us to send out back to back emails, but the recent message from Mayor Watson that the Vision Plan is “shelved” indefinitely deserves a collective celebration. Yesterday, August 7th, Councilmembers Ryan Alter, Paige Ellis, and Zo Qadri came out from the shadows and conceded with a Joint Statement that they would no longer support the Vision Plan due to “irreconcilable differences”. Shortly after, Mayor Watson followed suit with a nod to collaborating in the future to “meet our objectives to preserve and nurture the ecological sanctity of this place while assuring equitable access to all Austinites.”
This is an unexpectedly quick win, and one that would have never happened without all of your passionate emails, strategic meetings, heartfelt conversations, and unfaltering grit. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! for your time and energy which is what drove home how the “Zero Vision” Plan failed to protect or provide access to the park, and instead would have privatized and monetized the heart and soul of Austin.
Many of you are asking, what’s next? Did we defeat the big, bad Live-Nation-funded-atrocity? First, we rest and thank Mayor Watson and our Council Members who stood up against this plan. Then, we continue to tell the story of what really happened by sharing Uncensored Zilker, Inc. and advocating for protection, restoration and rewilding of Zilker, all of our parks, and the entire city, as called for by the Austin Climate Equity Plan.
Now, for other news - - As our current furnace forecasts confirm, the biggest ongoing threat to our waterways and the Edwards Aquifer is climate heating and resulting drought. The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District is now at Stage III and approaching Stage IV Drought and the Springs flow which averages 53 cubic feet per second is now at 16 cubic feet per second, which is dangerously low. Please do your part and follow the city’s current guidelines for limiting water usage as much as possible. We need your help to keep Barton Springs clean and flowing.
What in the Hays is Happening?
New subdivisions, new highways, new competition for water supplies — there's a lot being planned for Northeast Hays County.
For our constituents in Hays County and patrons of the now dry Jacob’s Well, we know that Aqua Texas is responsible for overuse by upwards of 84 million gallons, along with several other wasteful water companies. They are currently facing steep penalties and an urgent call to act on a drought management plan, or else they will lose their permits altogether.
Want to know more? Our friends at Save Barton Creek Association are hosting a happy hour talk on Wednesday, August 16th, from 6:30-8:30pm at Texas Keeper Cider in Manchaca. SOS Executive Director Bill Bunch will be on hand to speak to the impacts of potential developments planned for one of the last large undeveloped areas in NE Hays county. Located between Buda and Austin and bordered by Bear and Onion Creeks, this sensitive karst terrain is dotted with caves and springs, is full of botanical diversity, and is right over the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. Mike Clifford from the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, and Darlene Starr of United Plant Savers will also share their knowledge and insights. Texas Keeper is opening their doors to us exclusively for this event, so bring a friend and come on out to this scenic old homestead at 6:30 to grab a drink, listen to the speakers at 7:00, and join us for questions and conversation after.
More details at SBCA's website
As always, thank you for your loyal support,