• UO Community Cares: A Collaboration For Austin's Barton Springs Conservancy

    We're excited to spend the next couple weeks in Austin, TX to celebrate all things music and UO community (click here for a full rundown of the UO Live showcase we're hosting at Space 24 Twenty!) 

    One of our favorite places to experience while we're in Austin is the magical Barton Springs — a three-acre pool in the heart of the city fed by natural springs. In support of the springs and its preservation, this month we are teaming up with the Barton Springs Conservancy, a local organization that works to honor, preserve, and enhance the experience of Barton Springs. 

    From March 12-18, proceeds from an exclusive UO tote bag (designed by local artist Manik Nakra) will be donated to the BSC. Leading up to it, read on for a conversation with BSC's Development and Marketing Associate Emma Morris and a series of images depicting the beauty of the Springs. 
    Photos by Michael A Muller

    For someone who has never visited Austin or Barton Springs, use three words to describe it.
    Cold. Iconic. Irresistible. 

    When and how did Barton Springs become an official park and recreational space?
    In 1917 Andrew Zilker gifted the land of Zilker Park including Barton Springs to the City of Austin, allowing it to be enjoyed by the entire community. 

    “Barton Springs is a sacred spot …it would be a wrongful thing for this beauty spot to be owned by any individual, and that it ought to belong to all the people of Austin” – Andrew Zilker,  The Austin American. 

    Most Austinites would claim Barton Springs to be a key component in what makes Austin great — why is Barton Springs so important to the city of Austin; both to the residents and the ecology?
    Barton Springs is remarkable due to its environmental, educational, recreational, historical, and cultural riches. Barton Springs is not only a symbol of Austin's commitment to the environment, but also a manifestation of the unique culture of our community. 

    With the Barton Springs Conservancy what is the chief goal of the group?
    Barton Springs Conservancy honors, preserves, and enhances the experience of Barton Springs through education and facility improvements. Barton Springs Conservancy will contribute to the environmental, educational, recreational, historical, and cultural well-being of this beloved treasure of our community.

    Can you tell us some of the big plans or ideas gestating currently for the springs or its grounds?
    Current projects include the restoration of the historic Gateposts on William Barton Dr., the rehabilitation of the historic Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse, and the creation of a Visitor Education Center for Zilker Park. 

    What is one fact about the springs that most people wouldn’t know?
    For thousands of years, groups have been coming to the cool waters of the Springs. Today people of every race, creed, religion, color, gender, and age revere and celebrate the experience of the Springs.

    Is it true that the water will take your breath away on a hot summer day?
    Be our guest and come find out! 

    Learn more about the BSC on their website
    Learn more about artist Manik Nakra — the artist who designed our exclusive tote — in our visit to his Austin studio