Save Barton Creek/The Edwards Aquifer


A Voice For Austin’s Water since 1979!

Save Barton Creek Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to protect and conserve the six watersheds of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer (Barton, Bear, Little Bear, Onion, Slaughter and Williamson).

SBCA was founded in 1979 in response to community concerns about the impact of development on the Edwards Aquifer.  Today, SBCA continues our commitment to conservation, advocacy, and education for the Edwards Aquifer, Barton Creek, and Barton Springs.


Board Officers

President: Clark Hancock

Treasurer: Kathy Smartt

Secretary: Pam Thompson

Board Members

Steve Beers

Clare Barry

Jon Beall

Jack Goodman

Jackie Goodman

Andrew Harrod

Dick Kallerman

Mary Ann Neely

Craig Smith

Roy Waley

Stefan Wray

Roger Baker


Angela Richter, Executive Director




Shudde’s Trail Project

We are working on a plan for a sustainable, educational 0.75 mile trail that connects to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. The trail will sit on 80 acres of Water Quality Protection Land named after SBCA’s Treasurer Emeritus, Shudde Fath.

Goat Cave Karst Preserve

We are improving signage and visitor experience at Goat Cave Karst Preserve through an Austin Parks Foundation grant. The project is a partnership with the City of Austin and UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology.

Creek Restoration

We remove invasive species, pick up trash, and help restore riparian zones with native species at volunteer events throughout the year.


Educational Hikes

We lead educational hikes for adults and children along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Visit to join us at a public event or contact us to schedule something with your group.

Educational Resources

SBCA has published numerous educational resources over the years and are currently working on a Field Guide to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Check our Web site for materials.


We participate in educational events throughout the year including Barton Springs University, Earth Day Austin, and Bill Oliver’s Mother Earth Day Fests.


SBCA has a strong history of advocacy and educating policy makers about environmental resource issues. Some of our current advocacy efforts center around:

• Protecting creeks and groundwater from wastewater effluent.  Specifically we oppose the City of Dripping Springs’ direct discharge permit that would allow nearly a million gallons of wastewater effluent into Onion Creek in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer contributing zone.  Learn more at

• Protecting the environment through Austin’s new land development code, CodeNEXT.

• Reducing non-point source pollution into our waterways.


We believe in the power of collaboration and have many partners. Some we support through our Partnership grant program. Others we work with more closely; these include the Texas River School and Living Springs.

• Texas River School – “Texas River School is a nonprofit in Austin that gets kids out on Texas waterways. We teach water safety and other skills while showing kids how fun the great outdoors can be.”


• Living Springs, an Interactive Documentary about Barton Springs – “Instead of being presented as one long film, with one single story, there will be several dozen videos that tell the story of the Springs from different perspectives.” (


New Barton Creek Greenbelt Access Point!

Save Barton Creek Association is currently working with multiple stakeholders to build a new trail and entrance to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. This proposed new trail would begin at the north end of West Gate Boulevard in South Austin, on land that is currently closed to visitors. Shudde’s Trail will wind its way for 3/4 of a mile toward the Barton Creek Greenbelt. It will alleviate pressure on other greenbelt entrances and will be a destination in its own right.

Q: What is the current state of this property?

The Shudde Fath Tract was acquired by bond money approved by voters in 1998. It was renamed for Austin activist and centenarian Shudde Fath in 2005. The land borders the Barton Creek Greenbelt and is now being managed as Water Quality Protection Land by the City of Austin’s Wildlands Conservation Division. The purpose of the tract is to protect water quality and quantity, but unfortunately there have been problems of illegal dumping, trespassing, and trash buildup from the highway onto the property.

Q: Who is Shudde Fath, and why is the tract named after her?

Shudde Fath is an amazing woman who celebrated her 101th birthday in January 2017. Her long history of advocacy is well-known in Austin and she continues to serve on the city’s Electric Utility Commission. Shudde also served as the Treasurer for SBCA for 29 years.

Q: What have you accomplished so far?

We have made some big strides in the last year! Since we started, we have:

• Analyzed the benefits and challenges on the property;

• Performed a GIS suitability analysis;

• Conversed with stakeholders, including city departments and neighbors;

• Drafted a preliminary agreement with City Departments and other stakeholders;

• Defined the trail corridor; and

• Held stakeholder walks through the proposed corridor.

Q: Has this kind of project been tried before?

Yes, the Slaughter Creek Trail and parts of the Violet Crown Trail are built on Water Quality Protection Lands. We are working with some of the same stakeholders to help design and construct Shudde’s Trail and will be entering into a signed agreement with the City of Austin that determines our roles in the project.  In 2003, the city drafted a conceptual plan for public access for the property, and we’re planning to follow the recommendations in that document.

Q: Where are you in the process?

We are working on getting all of our permitting and use agreement requirements in order for working with the various City Departments involved and are applying for a grant with the Neighborhood Partnering Program. We are  also continuing to work with neighbors and other stakeholders to keep everyone informed of where we are in this project, and making sure that we are hearing comments and concerns.

Q: Why is this project important to SBCA?

This project meets our mission of conservation, education, and advocacy. With an active volunteer and user group, the land will be better able to support water quality and quantity. As an educational resource, the land can tell the story of environmental advocacy that’s helped to protect these lands for future generations.

Q: Who are the partners, supporters, and stakeholders in this effort?

We’re lucky to have an engaged group of stakeholders and partners in the project. The City of Austin Wildlands Conservation Division of Austin Water, the Public Works Department, and Parks & Recreation have been incredibly helpful and supportive along the way. We are also working with the Barton View Neighborhood Association and others.

Q: How can the community help?

Donations and volunteers! Look at our Web site or sign up for our newsletter to learn about upcoming trail workdays.

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