Barton Creek


Barton Creek

Barton Creek is one of the tributaries that feeds the Texas Colorado River as it flows through the Texas Hill Country. The creek passes through some of the more scenic areas in the Austin region and forms a greenbelt that is the habitat for many indigenous species of flora and fauna.

The creek begins in northern Hays County and flows convert|40|mi|km|0 east through Austin to Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake), where it merges with the Colorado River. The creek falls into the fissure of Edwards Aquifer in southwest Austin and reemerges at Barton Springs. During rainy seasons, upper Barton Creek hosts water recreation including kayaking, tubing, and swimming. The Lower Barton Creek Greenbelt features these water sports year-round with swimming in Barton Springs Pool, and kayaking and caneoing in the creek fed with the discharge from the springs.

History and conservation

The creek is named for William Barton, who built a house near Barton Springs in 1837. The springs quickly became a popular resort, with a pool being constructed there in the 1930s.

Development in Austin in the 1970s and 1980s began to threaten both the creek's water quality and wildlife. Heavy rainfall often caused closure of the pools at the springs due to contamination from runoff and sewer lines, the effluent of the affluent upstream subdivisions entering the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone which feeds the springs. Following public outcry, the Austin City Council passed the Barton Creek watershed Ordinance in 1980 and later the Comprehensive Watersheds Ordinance in 1986. Proposals in 1990 to develop land in the watershed resulted in more public outcry leading to the passage of the Save Our Springs Citizens' Initiative of 1992, which severely limited construction, limited tax exemptions, established pollution control standards, and implemented methods for reducing accidental contamination.

References

External links

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* [http://fractasia.com/cgi-bin/pw1.pl?photoguid=brianp&suite=Barton.Creek Extensive photo collection of Barton Creek at Fractasia]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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