Here is an update from San Marcos River Foundation about plans for a golf course improvements at Aquarena Springs.
The meeting on campus about the master plan was very well attended. After we saw all the plans, there was a time for comment. As one of the earliest to comment, I was surprised that most people in the room applauded when I listed the many concerns we have about a golf pro shop/clubhouse and parking lot in this sensitive location. Also of concern are driving range and golf greens that would require much bulldozing and clearing in the woods on the hill, which is the entrance to the Spring Lake Preserve. This preserve was paid for by taxpayer-funded bonds the city and county citizens passed, to protect Spring Lake. And now the University wants to clear and doze the hillside immediately by Spring Lake, which should be the entrance to the Preserve. Plus we have flooding concerns about building the clubhouse near Sink Creek (the slough), concerns about water withdrawn from the slough and nutrient runoff into the creek and lake, and how these affect the river just downstream of the Lake. Golf is not part of education mission of the University, and we believe these building ideas are quite inappropriate for this site. Many attendees did a great job, and some commented that there should be a serious look at the whole Aquarena property to decide if golf is the right use, serving a very small number of users, in a such a sensitive spot that is a very important spring ecosystem. The university runs full page ads in Texas Monthly about being the “Water University” so we would like to see acknowledgment that this world-class spring ecosystem so often mentioned, is really protected. The archeological and environmental value of this site needs to be appreciated and protected by the University, not treated as another site to build unnecessary facilities on. I was surprised how many attended and spoke, but your voice may not have been heard yet. If you could not be there, here is the way to comment via email to the Regents, who will meet in November and review this same master plan. Regular mail your comments (politely, please, and you can use the talking points above and elaborate on them as you wish) to Chairman of the Board of Regents, Mr. Charlie Amato, Texas University System, 208 E. 10th, Suite 600, Austin, TX 78701.