RESTORATION OF THE HISTORIC ZILKER PARK GATEPOSTS

The Gatepost project, already underway, will restore the historic entry gateposts on William Barton Drive. This project speaks to our vision for improving the visitor’s experience throughout Zilker Park and sheds light on the majestic historic and natural beauty of the City’s most visited and beloved park.

REHABILITATION OF THE HISTORIC BARTON SPRINGS POOL BATHHOUSE

The Barton Springs Bathhouse is an 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, restoring the rotunda and dressing areas, as well as making the facilities usable for modern needs. The rehabilitated Bathhouse will also be infused with environmental education and learning opportunities to complement and support the educational offerings in the Visitor Education Center.

CREATION OF A VISITOR EDUCATION CENTER FOR ZILKER PARK

The Conservancy envisions a world class Visitor Education Center (VEC) for Zilker Park with an integrated education experience at the historic Barton Springs Bathhouse. 

From an education-infused building design, to compelling exhibits inside and out, to swimming with endangered species in a natural Springs, to defined running, hiking, and biking trails, to an inviting park with numerous activities, visitors will enjoy an experience not available anywhere else. Providing an integrated recreational and environmental education experience improves community health and helps protect and preserve our natural, historical and cultural resources

EDUCATION

The Conservancy works to provide education by focusing on three main approaches: the creation of the Visitor Education Center, continued support and enhancement of existing programs by the City of Austin, and hosting events such as art shows and an Education Speaker Series beginning in the fall.

COMMUNITY BENEFITS

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 as well as 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.

We envision a world class environmental and natural science educational 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”

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 we know, parks improve health in a community by*:

1) Increasing fitness opportunities and reducing obesity
2) Providing contact with nature and conferring health benefits and enhancing well-being
3) Improving Public health through mitigation of climate, air and water pollution
4) Reinforcing healthy lifestyles

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, 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.