2017 Annual Membership Gala


On November 20th, Save Barton Creek Association hosted our annual membership gala, an Austin environmental tradition. As usual, the iconic Bill Oliver played during happy hour on the patio of the Zilker Clubhouse. Guests wined and dined amid a spectacular view of the Austin skyline. SBCA was proud to announce the new board of our organization, summarize our accomplishments of this past year, and give awards to outstanding members of our community.


Among our successes this year, we’re proud to note:


Thank you to all the businesses that helped make this night a success: Salt Lick BBQ, Oskar Blues Brewery, Trader Joe’s, Valley Mills Vineyards, Shady Grove, Hiatus Spa + Retreat, and Zero Gravity Institute.


For more pictures and a list of our awardees visit our Annual Membership Gala page.

Bill Oliver’s Mother Earth Day Festival

Bill’s annual Mother Earth Day festival will be September 15th this year. This is the 16th year that we’ve had families and lovers of Barton Springs come together to celebrate the end of summer and the start of the school year. Bill the “Environmental Troubadour” has reminded us year after year to  fight for what we love with a passion in our hearts. Come to Barton Springs on September 15th from 9am to 1pm for music, Hula Hoops, pirates, art, magic, science exhibits, and smiles. For more information: Mother Earth Day Website

To donate to the Mother Earth Day Festival or Save Barton Creek Association click Donate 

Save Our Springs 25th Anniversary!

It has been 25 years since our momentous group effort to protect our beloved Barton Springs. We want all of our SBCA members to come to the South Entrance “big tree” on August 8th from 8pm to 9pm. We will be watching “Common Ground” a documentary by Karen Kocher. This occasion will help organizers of old reaffirm their belief in protecting Barton Springs and its surrounding watersheds. Invite the uninitiated so they can become educated in our battle to protect Barton Springs. Bring a chair or blanket. Also come swim before the showing or stay afterwards for a free-swim!.

CreekFest this Saturday- Buy Tickets!

Save Barton Creek is proud to announce the first annual CreekFest!

Saturday, May 6th

Hills Cafe. (4700 S Congress Ave) 1-4 PM

Buy Tickets Here

Performances by:

Steel Betty

Austin Lounge Lizards

Bill Oliver and the Otter Space Band

Your ticket will include:


-1 drink ticket

-Chips and salsa bar

There’s More!

We will also be featuring an Artist Market, a coalition of talents from the streets of Austin,  and a raffle for a door prize from artist Tim Doyle.

  • Linda Logan – Glass
  • Kaitlin Merchant Davison – Paintings
  • Abel Rodriguez – Clay
  • Karren Sager – Drawing/Paintings

Original artist T-shirts available for purchase (image below)

Additional Food and Drink available for purchase. Menu includes Pork Rib Sampler, Smoked Brisket Sandwich, Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich, Smoked Sausage Sandwich, Fried Okra, Fries.

CreekFest Sponsors

Thank you to those who have already signed up as 2017 CreekFest Sponsors!

Austin Parks Foundation

Hills Cafe

Asakura Robinson

Valley Mills Vineyards

Big Frog Custom T-shirts

Austin Ridge Riders

Montopolis Greenbelt

Dick Kallerman

Roy Waley, Barbara Hilliard Realtors

Becky Jolin and Jon Beall

Craig Smith and Mary Ann Neely

Karen Kocher and Tom Schatz


More information on our website.

Listen to the Bands! Learn about the artists. See the food for-purchase Menu.

Buy your tickets! 

$25 for three bands, a free drink, and a chip bar?! This is a good deal for a good cause. Considering adding on a CreekFest tee-shirt or sleaveless tee.

Let us know you are attending CreekFest on Facebook and be sure to invite your friends. 


Thank you for supporting Save Barton Creek Association

Since 1979, the Save Barton Creek Association has worked to preserve our natural heritage through our public education, advocacy, and conservation programs.

It’s My Park Day! March 4th


Join Save Barton Creek Association on this family friendly adventure as we make final improvements to Goat Cave Karst Preserve. This is a year-long project funded by an Austin Parks Foundation Grant. We will be installing any remaining interpretive signs and benches, defining the educational area around the new kiosk, and creating a trail extension. March 4th at 10am  Register here!

Tools, water, and snacks will be provided, but try and bring your own gloves if you have them.


All volunteers will receive a SBCA water bottle.

Parking Details: You may park on Coastal Drive; Walk into preserve from Davis Lane until you see us!


#NoDrippingSewage Rally This Friday at Barton Springs Pool

#NoDrippingSewage Rally

Friday October 28, 5-7 pm 

Barton Springs Pool (near the statue to the left of the main entrance)

RSVP on Facebook 

The Issue: The City of Dripping Springs has applied for a direct discharge wastewater permit to discharge 995,000 gallons/day of treated sewage into Onion Creek. This water would still contain nitrates and phosphates that cause algae blooms and reduce the oxygen that fish need to survive. Not to mention, other wastewater pollutants like pharmaceuticals.

Why are we gathering at Barton Springs Pool? Onion Creek is the source of 40% of Barton Springs flow!

At the Rally:
– Send a letter to TCEQ
-Send a letter to your Austin or Dripping Spring City Council members
– Costumes and/or signs encouraged
-make a protest sign
-help wrap our toilet paper mummy
-take a photo with a giant commode (aka toilet)
-let your kids play with “algae slime”
-learn more about this issue and how you can help
– get a #nodrippingsewage sticker

For more Information about the issue and to take action by sending your comments to TCEQ and Austin City Council visit

Come to this pre-halloween rally to help us make sure this scary proposition doesn’t happen.


SBCA Issues Resolution on Proposed Wastewater Discharge Application by City of Dripping Springs

As of this month, Save Barton Creek Association has issued a resolution on The City of Dripping Springs’ application to discharge wastewater into Onion Creek.

The City of Dripping Springs wants to dump almost a million gallons per day of treated sewage into Onion Creek! This water would still contain nitrates and phosphates that cause algae blooms and reduce the oxygen that fish need to survive. Also, this creek supplies more than 40% of Barton Springs flow. SBCA, together with Clean Water Action, and others are asking the city to pursue a permit for land application instead. Land application is more environmentally sound and cost effective, making the city’s current sewage disposal plan both unnecessary and unreasonable.

TAKE ACTION: Please tell the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that you oppose this sewage disposal plan and its polluting effects on Onion Creek and Barton Springs.

Take Action for Onion Creek Now


“WHEREAS the Save Barton Creek Association is a citizens organization formed in 1979 and devoted to the protection and preservation of Barton Creek, Barton Springs, and all of the watersheds that contribute to the Barton Springs Aquifer, including Onion Creek, which provides about 45% of the total recharge; and

WHEREAS, the Barton Springs Aquifer is the sole or primary source of drinking water for more than 50,000 people living in Travis, Hays, and Caldwell Counties, as well as an important economic and recreational resource and the only known habitat of two endangered species, the Barton Springs salamander and the Austin blind salamander; and

WHEREAS, Onion Creek in Hays County is currently a pristine Hill Country creek with low nutrient levels, and the Barton Springs Aquifer is a karst aquifer that is especially vulnerable to pollutants from the surface because water flows rapidly through large underground conduits that do not attenuate the constituents; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dripping Springs has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a permit to discharge up to 995,000 gallons a day of treated municipal sewage directly into Onion Creek in the contributing zone only a few miles upstream from the Barton Springs recharge zone; and

WHEREAS, scientific analysis and modeling show that such a discharge of effluent into Onion Creek as proposed would greatly increase the nutrient loading of the Creek, causing algae blooms for many miles downstream from the discharge point that would deplete the dissolved oxygen and degrade the quality of the water, including the water recharging the Barton Springs Aquifer; and

WHEREAS, a recent study of the interaction between surface water and groundwater along Onion Creek by the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, and an independent geologist shows that Onion Creek also recharges the Trinity Aquifer, the source of Dripping Springs Water Supply Company’s public water supply wells, in the vicinity of the proposed discharge point, suggesting that the drinking water could be contaminated by the effluent; and

WHEREAS, the volume of the proposed permit is more than ten times the amount of Dripping Springs’ current wastewater production, indicating that the application is sized to serve expected future growth and the capacity will not be utilized for many years, while the permit would set a precedent for additional direct discharges into Hill Country streams that are unable to assimilate the pollutant loads; and

WHEREAS, the outcome of a petition for rule-making recently granted by the TCEQ would provide a way for Dripping Springs to get credit in a Texas Land Application Permit (TLAP) for dedicated reuse of its treated wastewater, a saving that could make discharge unnecessary; and WHEREAS, the TCEQ has designated the use of the affected segment of Onion Creek as “Aquifer Protection,” a designation that would be absolutely contradicted if the permit were issued as proposed;

THEREFORE, it is resolved by the board of directors of the Save Baton Creek Association that

(1) the Save Barton Creek Association opposes approval of the currently submitted direct discharge permit application (WQ0014488003) of the City of Dripping Springs,

(2) in the alternative, the Save Barton Creek Association asks the TCEQ and the City of Dripping Springs to delay action on such permit application until after the rulemaking process to implement wastewater reuse is concluded; and

(3) the Save Barton Creek Association requests party status to oppose any draft effluent discharge permit proposed for streams crossing the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer recharge and contributing zones.”



Again, please show your support for our cause by telling the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that you oppose this sewage disposal plan and its polluting effects on both Onion Creek and Barton Springs.






LIVING SPRINGS: THE NEXT EPISODE will be called THE AGE OF CONCERN and tell the story of Austin’s first environmentalists and their efforts to protect Barton Springs and Barton Creek.


We would love to have all of our friends contribute toward the $15,000 campaign goal. Check out the Kickstarter link: to see some amazing rewards courtesy of our fellow Springs-loving community, and PLEASE support LIVING SPRINGS and SHARE widely to help spread the word about the amazing story of our premier natural resource, Barton Springs!



Remember, this campaign is all or nothing and time is running out to contribute before the August 16th cut-off date!

Some of the fabulous prizes include but are not limited to:


Ultimate Springs Summer Playlist

Vintage DVDs of “Water Works”


Moonlight Bat Float

Anthony Maddaloni Sunset Series Print

LIVING SPRINGS Tank Top or T-Shirt

Violet Crown Trail Sneak Peak Hike

Barton Springs Salamander Hike

And much more…



To learn more about Living Springs, their mission, and to watch episodes, please visit their website here.


Volunteer with SBCA for National Trails Day–Now on June 11th


UPDATE: Unfortunately due to recent weather and health concerns for our trails, Austin Parks Foundation has effectively rescheduled all National Trails Day projects for Saturday, June 11th. Should the weather worsen and further unfavorable conditions at Shudde Fath Tract all volunteers will be notified. We hope you’ll still consider volunteering your time with us next Saturday!

June 4, 2016: National Trails Day at Shudde Fath Tract. Sign up via GivePulseJoin us for a trash cleanup and restoration of the Shudde Fath Tract, a beautiful piece of Water Quality Protection land at the end of West Gate Blvd. The property is currently closed to the public, but SBCA and partners from the City of Austin are working diligently to see a new access point to the Barton Creek Greenbelt built on the property. Before we embark on this exciting new project, there is a huge need to clean up the property!

Unfortunately, large quantities of trash and debris enter Shudde’s tract from roadways, local businesses, and those who trespass onto the tract. We will be assisting in removing this trash and beautifying a tributary on the property that feeds Barton Creek.