Prevent Development Project From Destroying Protected Areas of City Park

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Target: Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell

Goal: Prevent portion of city park from being paved over

Located within the grounds of Zilker Park near Austin, Barton Springs comprises a set of four natural water springs fueled by the Edwards Aquifer. These springs are a popular recreational destination for residents of Austin as well as the only known habitat of the critically endangered Barton Springs Salamander.

Unfortunately, the natural beauty of this park is being threatened by a public works program known as the Grounds Improvement Plan, which would pave over this delicate land. This plan interestingly enough is in violation of a City Council resolution which adopted the Barton Springs Master Plan back in 2009.

The reason for this violation stems from the fact that the original resolution specifically states that the lush, beautiful landscape of the park’s south lawn should be protected and preserved as is. More specifically, all steps “should be taken to avoid temptation to either re-imagine it or to use it to solve functional problems.” This is because the fertile landscape, which is adorned with both pecan trees and wonderful vistas overlooking the springs, comprises one of the most popular and inviting regions of the park.

The Grounds Improvement Plan, however, seeks to go entirely against the intent of the aforementioned resolution, instead looking to pave across the south hill area of Barton Springs. This runs not only against that government resolution passed in 2009, but is contrary to public sentiment as well.

A committee tasked with vetting public opinion on the matter held a special meeting at the region’s south gate. During this meeting the public outcry was almost unanimously against the development ideas presented. Two months later the same committee voted down Barton Springs patrons who presented a petition against the approval of that very same Grounds Improvement Project.

To continue with this development would be a costly and unnecessary expense that already runs completely counter to the desire of both the public and the original intent of the Barton Springs Master Plan Resolution. Please lend your voice in urging that the natural beauty of this site be retained and not paved over.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Leffingwell,

Barton Springs is a beautiful collection of four springs within Zilker Park in Austin. These springs, as well as the entirety of the surrounding park, are a popular recreation site for residents in and around Austin. It also is the only known home to a highly endangered species, the Barton Springs Salamander.

Sadly an important section of the park is being threatened by a public works program known as the Grounds Improvement Plan. This plan looks to pave across the South Hill portion of the park. This action is in direct violation of City Council Resolution # 20090115028, which adopted the Barton Springs Master Plan back in 2009.

The original resolution specifically states that the lush landscape of the park’s south lawn should be protected and preserved without any alteration. More specifically, the resolution states that any plans for that section of the park, “should… avoid temptation to either re-imagine it or to use it to solve functional problems.” This is because the fertile landscape, which is adorned with both pecan trees and wonderful vistas overlooking springs, comprises one of the most popular and inviting regions of the park.

Plans to pave within the park’s South Hill region run not only against that resolution, but also entirely contrary to public sentiment. A committee tasked with vetting public opinion on the matter held a special meeting at the region’s south gate. During this meeting the public outcry was almost unanimously against the development ideas presented. Two months later the same committee voted down those Barton Springs patrons who presented the petition against the approval of that very same Grounds Improvement Project.

The unnecessary expense of a needless and unwanted project such as the Grounds Improvement Plan should not be even considered, let alone carried out. Please stop this plan to pave Barton Springs South Hill before it destroys a wonderful, natural portion of this park.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Too much paving ultimately and cumulatively leads to destruction of the ecology and natural disasters.

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