Austinites take part in Polar Bear Plunge in Barton Springs

Some people kicked off the New Years while drinking champagne with friends at midnight, while others jumped into Barton Springs at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.

“It allows people to connect directly to sources, so they discover how wonderful it is with that personal connection that they want to help protect,” said Bill Bunch, executive director of Save Our Springs Alliance. .

The SOS Alliance, which describes itself as Austin’s “water watchdog”, turns 30 this year. Following the cancellation of the Polar Bear Plunge event in 2020, loyal fans of the sources and conservationists have returned to celebrate another year with a refreshing dip.

Some people kicked off the New Years while drinking champagne with friends at midnight, while others jumped into Barton Springs at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.

“The cross section of the city appears,” Austinite Scott Burton said. “There are people who are streaming. “

It’s more than a fun activity for thrill seekers to do – it’s a way to preserve Austin’s ecology and history.

“I think the miracle of Barton Springs is the change that we haven’t seen,” Burton said. “40 years ago there was a huge threat to the aquifer and Austin had the courage to pass a publicly voted resolution to protect the waterways that are filling up and that we have this crystal clear water in right downtown in the middle of a million people you can swim in, that’s why it’s called the soul of Austin. ”

Water is threatened by pollution. There are two endangered species of salamanders that live in Barton Springs.

“There is no economy on a dead planet, there is no happy life or game, if the places we have don’t thrive, so taking care of our place is the obvious place to start. “said Brandi Clark Burton.

The group also sold their shirts with the Polar Bear Plunge logo to raise funds. The event takes place all afternoon.

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