Current Newsletters
Please take a few minutes to send a message to our legislators to Vote NO!! on HB 1644. If passed, the bill would allow private toll road financing for expanding MoPac South over Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park, and Barton Creek. It would also allow private toll road financing for the so-called "Oak Hill Parkway" expansion of US 290 and SH 71 as well as nineteen other projects around the state.   Tolling means these roads are built much larger than they need to be, with much greater costs and environmental damage. 
Please call your own House and Senate representatives, and the House Transportation Committee members listed below, and tell them to Vote NO!! on this terrible bill.  If you have time, you can attend the committee hearing this Wednesday, at 2 p.m. (or upon final recess) at Capitol Extension E2.030.  You can also email your legislator with a quick google search.  Thank you!! 
CALL the members of the House Transportation Committee and urge them to oppose HB 1644:
Terry Canales (Chair) -512-463-0426
Brooks Landgraf (Vice Chair) - 512-463-0546
Diego Bernal   512-463-0532
Yvonne Davis   512-463-0598
Craig Goldman 512-463-0608
Cole Hefner     512-463-0271
Matt Krause     512-463-0562
Armando Martinez 512-463-0530
Ben Leman       512-463-0600
Evelina Ortega 512-463-0638
John Raney     512-463-0698
Shawn Thierry 512-463-0518
Ed Thompson   512-463-0707
EMAIL your and the listed representatives by using this formula:                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Always give your full name and address so they can verify you're a real person.
However, they get a flood of emails HOURLY! Phone calls are far better.
Thank you for taking action!

Join us Wednesday at El Mercado South

Save Our Springs invites you to El Mercado Backstage with John Inmon and Bill Oliver for an informative, fun musical event.  

Bill Bunch, SOS Executive Director, speaks at 7 pm to give updates on the April 23rd  Barton Springs University at Barton Springs Pool and keeping sewage out of Barton Springs. SOS will also kick-off The HOT Tax Campaign  -- re-directing hotel tax revenue to support live music, the arts, local businesses and parks.  Join us!
SH45 SW Extension Removed from Austin Plan
The road warriors were at it again, but we fought back and won. The Texas Department ofTransportation (TxDOT) requested that the City of Austin add an extension of SH45 in Southwest Austin to the City's long-range transportation plan, known as the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP). If completed, SH 45 SW would directly connect to IH-35, effectively turning SH 45 & MoPac into a western bypass route for Hays County commuters.  By TxDOT's own commissioned estimates, building this extension could increase traffic on MoPac by 6-11% and on Brodie Lane by upwards 17.6%. 
After hearing from the Save Our Springs Alliance and Austin's Urban Transportation Commission, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the removal of the highway improvement from the ASMP. The Planning Commission even went further adopting action language that would require the City to oppose any proposed extension or expansion of SH45. Special thanks to Planning Commissioners Greg Anderson, Karen McGraw, Patricia Seeger and Conor Kenny for leading the charge on the roadway's removal. The Austin City Council will likely consider adoption of the ASMP sometime in April, and we will continue to advocate against this sprawl-inducing highway project and for more environmentally responsible mobility solutions. 

Save Our Springs has been nominated for an Armadillo Award in the Soul of Austin category.  Voting is open until April 5th. Over 1,136 local businesses have been nominated in seven categories.  

The finalists in each category will be honored at the Armadillo Awards Party on April 25th. 
Barton Creek Book Released, Book signing April 6th at BookPeople
Hear the stories behind "Barton Creek," a major new book by local author Ed Crowell, at 2 p.m. Saturday April 6 at BookPeople. Ed will talk about his journeys with photographer Alberto Martinez along the creek from Barton Springs Pool to its source in northwest Hays County.

His interviews and observations form what Ken Kramer (longtime former director of the Sierra Club's state chapter) describes as "a tale of environmental advocacy, a study of nature, and a revelation to many who value the creek but are unaware of its history or the challenges to its preservation."
SOS Executive Director, Bill Bunch is featured in the book.
Pam LeBlanc, outdoors and fitness writer, will lead the discussion and book signing. 

 "Barton Creek" also is available through the publisher at
Mark Your Calendars for BSU!  
Barton Springs University has been rescheduled!  After 2 rain outs last summer, we have a new spring date.  Join us on Tuesday, April 23rd for a full day of learning and hands on activities at Barton Springs Pool. 
Learn more here:
Over 800 high school students will be attending but the event is free and open to the public.  We will be taking public reservations for the hands on activities soon so stay tuned! 

Attention all businesses!
SOS invites you on a Lady Bird Lake Cruise 
 All SOS Business Members and Potential Business Members 
You are invited...
Come have a fabulous time on one of Austin's most beautiful treasures with a cruise on the lake on Wednesday, March 27th. Capital Cruises takes us on their double decker for a cruise with food, friends, music and drink. 
It's all free for our current and prospective SOS business members! We are partnering with Austin Independent Business Alliance so come and bring your friends and business colleagues to help support both of these great organizations. 
We'll have great pizza from Conans Pizza, a Special Dillo Drink with Tito's Vodka as well as other selections to wet your whistle.
The boat opens at 5:30 and we leave the dock at 6 sharp. Parking is available in the Hyatt parking garage for $6.00 for the first four hours and $13 for 4-7 hours. Valet parking is available at the Hyatt for $15.00. Some street parking is available.
Reserve your spot(s) now by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
Join us Tomorrow at ABGB 
Speed of Sound Music Showcase & Slot Car Race Benefits SOS!
CAM Solar is proud to present a FREE and unofficial all-day party focused on music, sustainability and fun! Enjoy a music showcase featuring both local and international talent, solar-powered slot car races for all ages by Races2U, and The ABGB's truly world class beer and food. The Inside stage will be rocking and the dog-friendly outdoor patio will have $1 slot car races and other fun stuff. Proceeds benefit  Save Our Springs Alliance. 1 pm until closing.  
"Our Land Our Water Our Democracy!" Lobby Day Tomorrow
Thank you Amplify Donors!
Interested in learning about this year's legislative session and some important policy issues affecting the Hill Country and Barton Springs? Looking to take action at the state capitol and have your voice heard?

Join the League of Independent Voters of Texas on Tuesday, March 5th from 9 am to 5 pm for "Our Land, Our Water, Our Democracy!" an informational lobby day at the state capitol.  During this event, panels of activists and experts will discuss various topics including protecting petition rights, promoting sustainable groundwater development, and curbing eminent domain abuse. The groundwater panel will feature a short presentation by SOS Staff Attorney Chris Mullins describing important water bills filed this session.
Following the panels, guests are invited to attend a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee and to visit legislative offices. Registration is free and a detailed schedule can be found here
Thank you Amplify Donors!!
Thanks so much to all of you who donated to SOS during Amplify Austin.  It was a success for SOS and many other local non-profits. With your support, we are able to work every day in 2019 as a watch dog for our public trust water and wildlife resources. The explosive growth in our region challenges us every day to respond to the greatest threats and get ahead of them wherever possible so THANK YOU for your help! 
CodeNEXT and Zilker Parking Lot Update
On Thursday a narrow City Council majority voted to refuse to place the citizen petitionedCodeNext review ordinance on the ballot.
Those of us who circulated, signed, and support the initiated ordinance extend our thanks to Councilmembers Ora Houston, Leslie Pool, Alison Alter, and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo for standing firm in support of our right to vote on the petitioned ordinance. 
A law suit will be filed soon seeking an order that the Council call the election. 
It's unfortunate that it has come to this. But not unexpected. By definition, the initiative process is invoked when elected officials refuse to act. More often than not, city councils look for every possible excuse to keep citizen initiatives off the ballot. They hate it when citizens infringe on their powers. And they fear being on the losing end of a popular vote.  Read more here
Zilker Parking Lot Battle Continues
On Tuesday night the Austin Parks Board considered but took no action on the rush to build an eight-acre, 700-plus space permanent parking lot in Zilker Park on Lady Bird Lake and just east of Mopac. Although clearly a parking lot, PARD staff insists it's merely a "crushed stone" repair to the park designed to make the park more "usable" and is "not a parking lot." The "repair" to be done, however, is to cause damage to the park and a clay cap over an old landfill that was caused by the illegal dumping of rock for temporary parking and staging for the ACL music festival. The Parks Board voted to hear the matter again, after the City's Environmental Commission considers the proposal at its June 6th meeting.
There is no council direction to expand parking in Zilker Park and yet PARD staff insists the council does not need to act because ACL and the Parks Foundation are paying for the project. We need the council to step up and stop this rush to pave Zilker park. email all council members here We need ACL to restore temporary staging areas promptly after events, just as they do with the main part of the park. It may cost more, but that's how it is.
Summer is Here! Join SOS!
Come meet our awesome summer interns at Barton Springs pool every week-end noon-4 pm.  Learn about the issues facing the springs and aquifer, buy a map or t-shirt, and
become a member for $10!  Yes, that's right -- our summer member drive has begun! 
You get a free eco-tour with snorkeling with your new membership.  We need everyone that loves Barton Springs to become a member this summer to help us educate the thousands of newcomers moving to Austin on the importance of and threats to Barton Springs.  Let's keep our springs clean and flowing forever.  See you at the pool!