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Clean-up Planned to Protect Barton Creek

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Monday, June 1, 2015   

AUSTIN, Texas - Summer is here, and that means a trip to Barton Springs is on the horizon for many Texans. To help keep the iconic pool's water clean, volunteers are rolling up their sleeves to remove trash from a tract of land that washes into Barton Creek on Saturday, June 6.

Olivia Hayden, director of development and community relations with the Save Barton Creek Association, says the waterway needs to be clean for good swimming, but also because it recharges the Edwards Aquifer, a critical resource for state residents.

"The aquifer is where we get our drinking water," says Hayden. "So, to keep this water cool and clear for future generations, that's why we're cleaning up this piece of land, to protect our aquifer and waterways."

The cleanup will take place on the Shudde Fath tract, named after the tireless Austin environmental activist who once said water was one of the most important resources for Texans to conserve.

The project is part of the Austin Parks Foundation's National Trails Day effort. The 77-acre Shudde Fath tract is protected by the Water Quality Protection Lands of Austin, but over the years, vast amounts of litter has either washed into the tract or was deliberately dumped there. Hayden anticipates the removal of at least a hundred bags of trash and a dumpster's worth of debris.

"To make sure that piece of land is not contributing trash to Barton Creek, which is where, many people in Austin go to cool off and just enjoy a beautiful piece of nature in the middle of our city," says Hayden.

Gloves, trash bags, tools and a first aid kit will be provided by Keep Austin Beautiful, a partner for the event. Whole Foods' Arbor Trails market is bringing free breakfast for workers. Hayden is still looking to fill a few volunteers slots. To join in, and learn more, visit SaveBartonCreek.org.



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