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FOBH

Friends of Blue Hole is a non-profit organization created to promote, protect, preserve and develop Blue Hole Regional Park.  The organization raises funds and awareness for this award-winning, sustainable, historic park in the heart of the Hill Country.  The Friends is a private, philanthropic organization supporting Blue Hole Regional Park, which is owned and operated by the City of Wimberley.

Friends Received $150,000 grant from Burdine Johnson Foundation

In December, Friends of Blue Hole received a very generous grant for retirement of debt from the Burdine Johnson Foundation.  This gift will name the second soccer field, bringing both fields in the park under the Johnson Family Fields name.  "We are so privileged that the foundation trustees gave us this gift.  It will have a huge impact on all of our efforts." said Friends President Bob Dussler.  As the very first donor to the park development and construction, the Burdine Johnson Foundation was a major catalyst in the completion of the park.  The Friends of Blue Hole raised just over $8,000,000 for park acquisition, planning and development, and construction.  To complete the project, it was necessary for the Friends to borrow $300,000.  At the time of the construction, the Board felt it was prudent and efficient to borrow the funds for completion and avoid costly construction costs in the future.  The amount of funds borrowed represents just 3.75% of the total cost of the project.  The Friends and the City working collaboratively  were able to complete 90% of all park elements in the master plan.  This grant helps eliminate over fifty percent of the debt.  In 2015, the Friends was able to eliminate over two-thirds of the debt.  Thank you to the Burdine Johnson Foundation.

Group Formed to Protect Trinity,
Edwards Aquifers and Springs
February 26, 2015

The Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) today announced its formation as a Texas non--profit corporation created to protect these aquifers and their associated springs. In the process, TESPA seeks to bring clarity to the groundwater property rights associated with owning land over the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers and associated springs.

TESPA was formed as a response to the attempt by a private company- Electro Purification -- to develop and sell 5.1 million gallons per day of groundwater from the Trinity Aquifer. The Electro Purification project will harm adjacent neighbors who are totally dependent upon private wells in the Trinity for their water supply. However, the issues to be addressed by TESPA go beyond the dispute with Electro Purification to include more general protection for springs throughout central Texas - springs which are the key to the survival of Texas' beautiful flowing streams and to property values and the use and enjoyment of private property.

According to Vicki Hujsak, President of TESPA and a resident of the Lone Man Creek watershed, "The Electro Purification proposal has made us all aware of how vulnerable our groundwater resources are. We all depend upon this water and we never imagined it could be taken away from us but it apparently can. We have made up our minds to fight back through the legal system."

"TESPA plans to focus its legal efforts under two key approaches initially" said Jim Blackburn, a TESPA board member and property owner in the Lone Man Creek watershed. "First,the Edwards Aquifer Authority has failed to take regulatory authority over the Electro Purification proposal and we dispute that determination based on the many interconnections between the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers through this fractured limestone geology. And second,we believe that there is a fundamental conflict between the Texas Supreme Court's ruling in the Day case and the way that the Rule of Capture works with regard to groundwater. These are controversial issues and we intend to pursue them in the court system."

Malcolm Harris, a Wimberley resident and Austin attorney working with TESPA, adds "The court system is an appropriate place for this dispute over the extent and nature of property rights in water. Courts have been adjudicating property rights since they began, and we will seek a court ruling better defining and protecting the property right in groundwater that the Texas Supreme Court undertook to affirm in the Day vs. EAA case."

In the Day case, the Texas Supreme Court determined that groundwater was the property of the surface owner even if they had not drilled into the aquifer and captured the water. They also stated that they were applying the rule of capture, even though that concept, as interpreted in the 1999 Sipriano Case, allows the draining of a neighbors' groundwater.

According to Jeff Mundy of Austin, lead counsel for TESPA, "The neighbors of this proposed well are in danger of their own water wells going dry. If this corporation can drain 5 million gallons a day for profit, and leave the adjacent homes with dry water wells and people with not even enough to drink, cook, and bathe, who is next? When will elected officials protect citizens?"

"The Texas Constitution is clear that the Legislature must pass all laws appropriate to preserve and conserve the natural resources of the state," says Vanessa Puig--Williams, an attorney and member of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, "but the Legislature has not adequately done so with respect to groundwater in Texas and now people's private property rights are in jeopardy."

More generally, TESPA hopes to set in motion a protective umbrella that covers much of the Texas Hill Country. According to TESPA director Peter Way of the Cypress Creek and Blanco River watersheds, "These springs are the lifeblood of this country. Without water, this land loses the wonderful character that all of us love. Our long term goal is to develop and implement strategies to protect our groundwater and springs."

According to President Hujsak, "TESPA is currently planning to file suit to protect the Rolling Oaks area immediately adjacent to the Electro Purification proposed project. We are building an organization that we hope will lead the fight for years to come. The one thing we have learned so far is that we will lose this groundwater if we do nothing. We must fight for it.

TESPA Press Release PDF

Friends of Blue Hole Membership Program

The purpose of the Friends of Blue Hole membership program is to support the Blue Hole Regional Park and provide opportunities for involvement.  All of the memberships are for one calendar year

Texas Barberry Guild--$50
  • A membership card
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Two free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events

Texas Cedar Elm Guild--$100

  • A membership card
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Four free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events

Texas Blue Oak Guild--$250

  • A membership card
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Six free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events
  • Invitations to special members-only events

Live Oak Guild--$500

  • A membership card
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Recognition in the park for one year (February through January)
  • Ten free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events
  • Invitations to special members-only events
  • Special members-only early entry day before the swimming hole opens for the summer
  • Use of the McCord/Welp Overlook and fire pit for one evening

Bald Cypress Society--$1,000

  • A membership card
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Recognition in the park for one year (February through January)
  • Twenty free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events
  • Invitations to special members-only events
  • Special members-only early entry day before the swimming hole opens for the summer
  • Use of the McCord/Welp Overlook and fire pit for one evening
  • Use of the Wood/Grinstead Amphitheater for one evening

Chatterbox Orchid Society--$2,500

  • A membership card
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Recognition in the park for one year (February through January)
  • Thirty free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events
  • Invitations to special members-only events
  • Special members-only early entry day before the swimming hole opens for the summer
  • Use of the McCord/Welp Overlook and fire pit for one evening
  • Use of the Wood/Grinstead Amphitheater for one evening
  • Use of the Way Overlook for one evening

Business Partner--$1,500

  • A sign announcing your membership
  • Recognition in the newsletter that is distributed 4 times a year
  • Recognition in the park for one year (February through January)
  • Twenty-six free passes to the swimming hole to be used during one season
  • Invitations to all Friends of Blue Hole events
  • Invitations to special members-only events

 

 

 

 

Join Friends for 2015

The Friends of Blue Hole membership program was created to support the Blue Hole Regional Park and provide opportunities for involvement.  Our initial year had 45 member households generating almost $20,000 in support for the park.  One of the highlights of our year was the introduction of a fall lecture series, featuring Brent Leisure, Andy Sansom and Steven Spears.  Other highlights include hosting the 4th Party in the Park, execution of an economic development study, and receiving grants from the Brown Foundation, the Wimberley Community Civic Club and the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation.

Please consider joining the Friends of Blue Hole as a member.  Your support is vital to the continued viability of the organization and the enhancement of Blue Hole Regional Park.  After an initial year of the membership program, the Friends learned many lessons and have plans to enhance and improve the program.  We will offer more programming for the 2015 year, including the continuation of the lecture series.   The funds that are generated through the membership program will support a variety of programs for Friends, as well as the continuing development of the park.  The membership levels are names for various native species that are found in the park. 
Click here for information of the program and how you can join.  If you have any questions, please contact Friends at info@friendsofbluehole.org  or 210.867.3939.
 

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Click the button below to receive our  Friends of Blue Hole Newsletter
detailing park development, special events, and volunteer opportunities.

 

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If you have subscribed to the Friends of Blue Hole Newsletter and are not receiving it, please add Newsletter@FriendsofBlueHole.org to your contacts and check your SPAM folder. 

Print a Friends of Blue Hole Membership Packet and pay by mail or use PayPal.

 

 

Membership Level


View video & photos from
 Party for the Blue Hole Park
held October 5, 2013 honoring
Steve Klepfer
 

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Friends of Blue Hole
PO Box 1601
Wimberley, TX 786876

info@FriendsofBlueHole.org

 

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Friends of Blue Hole is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Federal ID #20-3415046