Archived Newsletters

County Commissioners Vote for Sustainable Transportation and Barton Springs Protection

Travis County Commissioners Take Historic Vote For Sustainable Transportation and Barton Springs Protection
Yesterday the Travis County Commissioners Court took an historic vote to delete SH 45 SW over the Barton Springs recharge zone from the regional transportation plan. 
Sponsored by Commissioner Karen Huber, who represents all of far western and southwestern Travis County, the move was supported by Commissioners Ron Davis and Sarah Eckhardt.  County Judge Biscoe opposed the move.  Commissioner Margeret Gomez was not present.
The proposed 3.6 mile toll road that would extend from the southern tip of Mopac to the south and east to FM 1626 at the Hays/Travis county line was part of the original "Outer Loop" laid out in the early 1980s.  Over the years the "Outer Loop" morphed into SH 45, but with large pieces over the Barton Springs watershed deleted as too costly, too environmentally damaging, and not needed. 
Read more here.

Barton Springs Closed Temporarily Due to Sewer Line Vandalism: $5000 Reward Offered
Some jerk or jerks intentionally clogged a sewer line near the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on South Mopac, causing sewage to spill into Slaughter Creek and the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer.  The spill, estimated at over 250,000 gallons, was discovered on Sunday.  Barton Springs has been and will be closed until the extent of contamination can be determined.  Drinking water wells in the aquifer have also been placed at risk.  Read more here.

Free Barton Springs Presentation at REI Tonight

SOS Executive Director Bill Bunch will give a free presentation on Barton Springs tonight at REI, 601 N. Lamar 7-8:30pm. For more info and to register go to the REI website page HERE .

Live Music at Barton Springs June 1st

Join us for our first Poolside Live! event Tuesday, June 1st with local bluegrass band, The Lost Pines. One of the fastest rising groups on the Austin music scene, the Lost Pines took less than two years to go from busking on the street corners of South Congress to finishing runner up in the bluegrass category of the Austin Chronicle's Annual Readers' Poll. 
Join us on the shores of Barton Springs pool, 8:15-9:45PM. Free swim begins at 9PM.  Stop by the SOS table for recent updates, to become a member for as little as $10 or to make a donation to this music series.

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Make a donation by going to  SOS is a 501 (c)(3) organization and your gifts are tax deductible.

Take Action!  Tell CAMPO to scrap SH45 SW and save $100 million

Next Monday night at 6:00 p.m. CAMPO, our Austin metro-region transportation governing body, will host the last public hearing on its proposed 2035 Long Range Plan.  Please plan to attend, or send an email today telling the CAMPO Board members to remove SH 45 Southwest from the plan.

The public hearing will be held at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom B.  Go here for more information

If you care about Barton Springs, or traffic on Mopac, or building an affordable and sustainable transportation future, you will join us in urging CAMPO to remove SH 45 SW from its plan and to focus its very limited transportation resources on higher priority and more sustainable projects. 

Go HERE to the front page of our website - top article - to send one email to the entire CAMPO Board urging them to remove SH 45 Southwest from its Long Range Plan.  Or click HERE to email board individually.

The proposed SH 45 SW toll road would cross over the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer, connecting the southern tip of Mopac to the east and south to FM 1626 at the Hays/Travis county line.  If built the road would dump large amounts of traffic onto South Mopac, converting Mopac/Loop 1 from a local commuter highway into a western interregional bypass for I-35.  It would also cross numerous caves and recharge features while opening up adjacent aquifer land to urban sprawl development. 

The need for the road has disappeared since it was first planned in the mid-1980s, while the financial and environmental costs have exploded.  The road was first laid out as one piece of the "Outer Loop" in 1980s transportation plans.  Cost, environmental issues, and lack of need have kept the project very low on the region's priority list.  Now its time to remove the project in favor of aquifer protection and more sustainable transportation investments.  With your help we can convince a majority of the CAMPO Board to take this important step. Please send an email now

Read More by going to our website HERE
and clicking on the  CAMPO article on the front page.

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Are we winning the battle to save Barton Springs?
Come hear and help answer this question tonight at the Austin Sierra Club meeting.  It's open to the public, starts at 6:30 at pm at the TSTA Building, 316 W. 12th St.

SOS Alliance Executive Director Bill Bunch and Dr. Lauren Ross, Austin's leading environmental engineer (on the side of the environment) will give a short presentation on whether we are saving, paving or treading water in the campaign for Barton Springs. Learn (or relearn) the essentials, get the latest updates, and become part of the solution.

The Save Our Springs movement was sparked at an all night city council hearing on June 7th , 1990. What have we done over the last 20 years?
And what do we do now? Go to for additional information.

Got kids? Bring them to the Mother Earth Day Festival this Friday
The annual Mother Earth Day Festival takes place this Friday, 9am - 1pm at Zilker Park. Lots of fun and educational activities for kids of all ages!  SOS will be giving the kids our 4th edition of our Endangered Species t-shirt series at our activity table. For more information click here or go to the SOSAlliance website.

SOS Yoga at the Springs Series continues through September
We had a great group at Yoga last Saturday. The weather was perfect and the instructor, Pam Brewer was excellent!  Join us this Saturday, May 8th at 10am for more yoga with Pam who will teach the class in May.  Other local yoga studios will continue the series through September.  Get Springy-- Join us outside the back gate this Saturday!

20th Anniversary of the all night hearing that started the SOS movement to save Barton Springs
Get ready to celebrate!   We will start the festivities with Poolside Live! at Barton Springs on June 1st and will continue with an Alan Pogue photography exhibit, a showing of The Unforeseen and much more!  Check our website and our facebook page for upcoming events to celebrate 20 years of citizen advocacy for Barton Springs!

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Environmental City book signing tomorrow, Wednesday, 5:00 at Threadgill's
Come join us at Threadgill's on Barton Springs Road tomorrow at 5:00 for a book signing and celebration of Scott Swearingen's new book, Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning of Modern Austin.  The book tells the "Save Our Springs" story and the larger story of Austin's environmental movement.  The event is co-hosted by SOS founders Bill Bunch, Brigid Shea, Mary Arnold, Mark Yznaga, Jack & Jackie Goodman, Ann Kitchen, Mary Ann Neely, Craig Smith, Brian Hale, Helen Ballew, and many others.  Read more about the book here

Paul Robbins' essential Austin Environmental Directory to hit the streets
The Austin Environmental Directory is a sourcebook of environmental issues, products, services, and organizations in Central Texas.  It has been published since 1995.  The new edition is due out shortly. 

For the first time, some of these will be mailed directly to identified environmentalists. Watch your mailbox during late April.  This edition took 3 years to produce, and includes articles on alternative transportation, clean energy, zero-waste and recycling, green building, and locally grown food.  Paul and his directory are essential resources for Austin and all of us who care about the health, sustainability, and well-being of our community.  Copies will be available at Book People and other outlets around Austin.

EArth Share logoH-E-B in-store coupons benefit SOS
Save Our Springs Alliance is pleased to announce that H-E-B has selected E
arth Share of  Texas to be the beneficiary of its in-store coupon promotion for  April, in recognition of Earth Day. This means that customers can tear off and add check-out coupons worth $1, $3, or $5 to their total bill to support environmental work in the Central Texas, Houston/Galveston,  Gulf Coast, Rio Grande Valley and Border, plus North Texas Central  Markets.

The April tear-pad  promotion enables H-E-B customers to support the environmental program  work of more than three dozen Earth Share of Texas organizations.  Save Our Springs Alliance will benefit, because the  contributions will be divided among Earth Share of Texas organizations with program work in Texas.

Look for the Earth Share of Texas display and tear-off coupons at the check-out stands in more than 200 H-E-B and Central Market stores in  most areas of Texas in late March through April. And help support Earth Share of Texas and the Texas environment!

Central Texas Electric Lawnmower Program
Who:The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems & Scott Johnson
When: Saturday, 4/3 from 8:30am-2pm
Where: Woodward Home Depot - 3600 So. IH 35 (Exit Woodward St.)
Why: To help residents upgrade from a gas-powered lawnmower to an electric model in order to reduce unhealthy ozone-smog emissions and to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions. Electric mowers do not use gas or oil, which helps protect water quality.

Save 20% off the cost of a new Homelite cordless electric lawnmower when you trade in your inefficient gas-powered model. Save up to 25% off of the corded model with a trade in. Go to for more information.

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