Barton Creek

By Ed Crowell

Photographs by Alberto Martinez

Foreword by Andrew Sansom

978-1-62349-729-3 Flexbound (with Flaps)
9 x 10. 140 pp. 63 color, 4 b&w photos. Map. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 04/03/2019
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While Barton Springs Pool is an iconic landmark of Austin and many people are familiar with the end of Barton Creek and its seven miles of public greenbelt, less is known about the forty-odd miles beyond that tumble and twist across private lands, eventually feeding the Colorado River. Legendary fights saved Barton Springs in the 1980s and 1990s, when the pool repeatedly was closed because of pollutant runoff from streets, nearby construction, and leaking sewer lines. In 1992, a highly publicized campaign resulted in land protections and stricter water standards.

But will the creek and its springs become fouled again? That possibility arises upstream where tributaries and other creeks flow across mostly rural acreage, attracting new housing and business developments. Not only would city bathers lose access to the pool, but endangered species of salamanders and birds that depend on the Edwards Aquifer and its unique habitats face an uncertain future.

Following the creek from downtown Austin’s Barton Springs Pool to its source as a cow-pasture trickle, longtime resident and journalist Ed Crowell explores the creek’s contentious political history, its historic and current residents, and the mounting environmental pressures threatening it. Barton Creek highlights the passionate individuals involved in the stream’s preservation, from city scientists to local landowners, who want to see the creek running clear and clean for future generations. Striking photography and vivid descriptions will entice readers to fall in love with Barton Creek all over again.

River Books, Sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University

Published by Texas A&M University Press