Eliza Spring, one of four springs in Zilker Park, is home to the largest known surface population of Barton Springs Salamanders (Eurycea sosorum). During the 1930s, the stream flowing from Eliza Spring into Barton Springs Pool was enclosed in a pipe and buried underground. Unfortunately, this removed the habitat of the stream for the salamanders. The Eliza Stream "Daylighting" Projects aims to recreate the stream and reconstruct the lost salamander habitat. The project may also relocate a section of the Barton Springs Pool fence line to incorporate part of Eliza Spring in the pool grounds.
There will be an open house on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., at Eliza Spring and Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park, 2201 Barton Springs Road. Hosted by the Watershed Protection and Parks and Recreation Departments, the purpose of the open house is to receive input from the public prior to design.
The Eliza Stream "Daylighting" Project will expand salamander habitat and benefit the endangered Barton Sprigns Salamanders. It is identified as a mitigation measure in the City's Habitat Conservation Plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit. This permit allows Barton Springs Pool to be open to the public.
Components of the project include:
- Removing the stone blockage from what had been an opening at the east end of the Eliza Spring amphitheater. This opening originally allowed Eliza Spring to flow into Barton Springs Pool.
- Removing the buried concrete and metal pipe/culvert that the stream now flows through.
- Replacing the pipe with an overland stream to provide ideal salamander habitat.
- Establishing native plants along the stream to add shade and further enhance the habitat.
The design phase is expected to begin in spring 2013. Construction is still years away. For more information, visit the Splash Exhibit at Barton Springs or email us.