IMPROVED COMMUNITY HEALTH
Barton Springs provides a stunning environment where over 1.5 million visitors come annually to enjoy nature and lead an active lifestyle by swimming, walking, hiking, and engaging in various activities offered by public and private groups. The Conservancy works in coordination with groups providing these opportunities as well as the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, increasing access to ALL citizens.
As reported by the American Planning Association, parks improve health in a community by:
- Increasing fitness opportunities and reducing obesity
- Providing contact with nature and conferring health benefits and enhancing well-being
- Improving public health through mitigation of climate, air and water pollution
- Reinforcing healthy lifestyles
The Barton Springs Bathhouse is a historical and architectural treasure of our community. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Historic Landmark by the City of Austin and State of Texas.
The Conservancy plans to rehabilitate the building to its original splendor and to make the facilities usable for modern needs. We will also educate the public on this rich history through an enhanced educational experience within the Bathhouse and through the creation of a world-class Visitor’s Education Center.
Barton Springs is revered by citizens and visitors alike for its majestic beauty and cool natural springs waters. It is a sacred place for families, naturalists, environmentalists, historians, athletes, and faith groups of all kinds, and has been the sight of many significant cultural community events.
Part of our efforts will be to foster more opportunities for community engagement in this beautiful environment for ALL citizens.
We envision a world-class environmental and natural science education and Visitor Education Center for Zilker Park.
This building will serve as the unifying element of Austin’s most highly used park and as a premier site for education on the endangered Barton Springs Salamander, for water quality, conservation, and natural and environmental sciences.
Educational opportunities will be expanded so that more children are reached through on-site programming and field trips to this natural treasure, building environmental literacy and stewardship.
We will, in the words of Joseph Cornell, author, environmentalist and educator: “Ensure that a sense of JOY permeates the experience”