window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-29484371-30');
Monday , October 14 2019
Amy’s Astronomy
Eco Ad 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
BTU Catrina 728
Lucha 2 728
STEP 728
Mountains 728
Home | Tag Archives: Balmorhea State Park

Tag Archives: Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park Pool Reopens

Balmorhea State Park’s iconic San Solomon Springs pool has reopened to the public in time for swimming season following several months of restoration work.

“We are thrilled to have the pool at Balmorhea open once again. The pool is a natural wonder that is enjoyed by visitors far and wide,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “This renowned desert oasis is not only important for our West Texas community but for all of Texas. The work done during this project will help preserve this unique aquatic habitat for generations of Texans to enjoy.”

The pool was closed last May after damage to the concrete apron under the diving board was discovered during the pool’s annual cleaning.

The extensive repair project included the creation of cofferdams, salvaging of the historic diving board and brick around the pool edge and demolition of concrete around the diving board area. In addition, the existing distressed wall and backfill was removed, a new footing foundation was installed, backfill was replaced and a new wall was constructed.

The cofferdams were constructed in the pool to ensure the protection of the endangered species and maintain water flow in the canals and cienegas throughout construction.

Due to the cultural sensitivity of the site and the presence of endangered species, no heavy equipment was used during construction.

After initial evaluations from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff, the project was estimated to cost $2 million.

Apache Corporation partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) to help fund the repairs to the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park. The fundraising effort was jump-started with a $1 million challenge grant announced by TPWF and Apache in August 2018. Apache pledged to match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. Donations poured in, and by Jan. 17, more than $1 million had been raised.

More than 575 donations were received from all corners of the state, with 60 percent of the donations under $100. Several Texas companies made significant contributions, including Texas Pacific Land Trust, Saulsbury Industries, McCoy Remme Ranches, Legend Energy Services, Pioneer Energy Services, and Garrison Brothers Distillery.

In addition to their initial $1 million match effort, Apache Corporation contributed a $1 million endowment to benefit Balmorhea State Park in perpetuity.

“We are deeply grateful for Apache’s generosity in establishing the challenge grant and for stepping up again with a $1 million endowment to ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the Balmorhea State Park pool,” said TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown. “The overwhelming response from Texas citizens and companies who chipped in demonstrates just how much people love this iconic West Texas oasis.”

“Apache is proud to have been one of the many companies and individuals who stepped up to support the treasured pool at Balmorhea State Park in its time of need,” said Apache Corporation CEO John Christmann. “Texans from far and near, including our employees and partners in the region, can once again enjoy the pool with friends and family thanks to the leadership of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation and the generosity of so many.”       

In addition to TPWF and Apache, this project was assisted by the TPWD Inland Fisheries division, the Texas Historical Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Reeves County Water District, just to name a few.

“We are grateful for the numerous partnerships that assisted with the completion of this project,” said Franklin “Generations have enjoyed the pool and thanks to the generosity of Texas donors it will be enjoyed by generations to come.”

This project is only one of the three major developments at Balmorhea State Park. Renovations to the San Solomon Springs Courts and campgrounds continue and overnight facilities at the park will not be available until later this summer.

As the home to one of the most unique aquatic environments in Texas, Balmorhea State Park is dedicated toward water conservation, and the ongoing repairs to the septic system will require that extra measures be taken to limit water use.

The Civilian Conservation Corps era structure was built in the mid-1930s and is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, gushing from the San Solomon Springs. The 1.3- acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, holds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degrees year-round.

Additionally, the Balmorhea State Park pool is home to numerous species of aquatic animals, including two small, endangered desert fishes- the Pecos gambusia and the Comanche Springs pupfish.

For more information about the park, or to buy a day pass to Balmorhea State Park, visit the TPWD website.

TPWF, Apache Corporation Raise $2 million for Balmorhea State Park Pool Repairs

A $1 million contribution in support of Balmorhea State Park pool repairs was presented by Apache Corporation at a meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Thursday.

The check presentation marks the culmination of a $2 million fundraising effort led by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF).

The pool at Balmorhea State Park was closed in early 2018 following a structural collapse of a wall caused by years of erosion from the flow of water from the springs.

The fundraising effort was jump-started with a $1 million challenge grant announced by TPWF and Apache in August 2018. Apache pledged to match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million.

Donations poured in, and by January 17, more than $1 million had been raised.

Apache Chief Executive Officer and President John J. Christmann IV delivered the check to the Commission this morning, and announced that in addition to the $1 million challenge grant, Apache is pledging an additional $1 million contribution to establish an endowment to benefit Balmorhea State Park in perpetuity.

“Balmorhea State Park is a real Texas treasure and an iconic asset for the community.  We’re grateful for the work of both Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and were moved by the outpouring of support from the broader community and our many partners who joined us in this effort,” said Christmann.  “In addition to our $1 million match to help repair the pool, the establishment of a long-term endowment through an additional $1 million contribution will supplement the park’s existing budget and incrementally fund improvements over time to help ensure the pool and the park can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

More than 575 donations were received from all corners of the state, with 60 percent of the donations under $100. Several Texas companies made significant contributions, including Texas Pacific Land Trust, Saulsbury Industries, McCoy Remme Ranches, Legend Energy Services, Pioneer Energy Services, and Garrison Brothers Distillery.

Raising private funds for this $2 million project will allow available state funding to be used for other critical repair needs across the state park system.

State park facilities throughout Texas have been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and devastating floods in recent years. Apache’s new $1 million endowment will provide resources for Balmorhea State Park enhancement projects in the future that are above and beyond standard maintenance projects provided through state funds.

“We are beyond grateful to Apache for stepping forward to help with our restoration efforts at Balmorhea State Park,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith. “Without a doubt, their leadership and generosity, coupled with the support of many other organizations and individuals who met their challenge to help save this west Texas oasis, has allowed the department to make critical repairs to the pool without having to sacrifice other much needed park projects around the state. Additionally, the new endowment being established by Apache will allow the department to continue making important improvements to Texas’ favorite swimming hole and help ensure that Balmorhea State Park stays open for future generations to enjoy.”

The iconic pool at Balmorhea State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid-1930s and is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.

More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, gushing from the San Solomon Springs.

The 1.3-acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, holds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degrees year-round.

“We are deeply grateful for Apache’s generosity in establishing the challenge grant and for stepping up again with a $1 million endowment,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Anne Brown. “The incredible response from Texas companies and Texas citizens who chipped in demonstrates just how much people love Balmorhea’s pool.”

The repairs to the pool at Balmorhea State Park are ongoing.

TPWF, Apache Corporation Partner to Raise $2 million for Balmorhea State Park Pool Repairs

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) has established a fund to raise $2 million for pool repairs at Balmorhea State Park. Apache Corporation is providing a challenge grant and will match gifts up to $1 million.

The iconic spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park in West Texas has been closed since early May after part of the structure collapsed during the pool’s annual cleaning. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announced in a story last week that repairs to the historic pool are set to begin.

The labor-intensive job will repair the damage to the concrete apron used to stabilize the diving board along the east headwall. TPWD reports that months of thorough evaluation, including extensive geotechnical examination, found that the structural failure was due to years of undermining erosion behind the wall caused by the flow of water from the springs.

Photo courtesy Balmorhea State Park/Facebook

“Apache is proud to partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to support one of Texas’s most treasured destinations. This public-private partnership will ensure this unique natural treasure remains an iconic part of our community for many years to come,” said Apache Chief Executive Officer and President John J. Christmann IV.

Raising private funds for this project will allow available state funding to be used for other critical repair needs across the state park system.

State park facilities throughout the state have been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and devastating floods in recent years.

“We are incredibly thankful to Apache for their spirit of generosity in stepping forward with this major challenge grant to help repair Balmorhea State Park and its much beloved spring-fed swimming hole,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith.

“This west Texas oasis is one of Texas’ great treasures, and its closure this summer was a source of deep disappointment to the Department and thousands of families who otherwise would have enjoyed basking in its magical, refreshing waters.  With this challenge grant and the generosity of other Texans, we can now embark upon the essential repairs to the pool without having to divert resources away from other critical repair and maintenance projects across the State Park system.”

The Civilian Conservation Corps structure was built in the mid-1930s and is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, gushing from the San Solomon Springs. The 1.3-acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, holds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degrees year-round.

“Generations of Texans have enjoyed the cool, clear waters at Balmorhea, and we’re deeply grateful for Apache’s challenge grant to help us meet the fundraising goal of $2 million,” said Anne Brown, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Executive Director. “We’ve heard from many individuals and companies that are interested in helping, and we hope everyone who has ever dipped a toe in this Texas treasure will consider making a donation to help.”

Online donations may be made, or a donation may be mailed to:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

2914 Swiss Ave.

Dallas, Texas 75204

Repairs to Begin at Historic Balmorhea State Park Pool

BALMORHEA— After months of thorough evaluations, repair to the historic Balmorhea State Park pool is set to begin. The labor-intensive job will repair the damage to the concrete apron used to stabilize the diving board along the east headwall after part of the structure collapsed during the pool’s annual cleaning in early May.

Further geotechnical examination concluded that the structure failure was due to years of undermining erosion behind the wall caused by the flow of water from the springs.

The project is expected to take several months to complete and is estimated to cost $2 million. Due to the sensitivity of the site and the presence of endangered species, no heavy equipment will be used during construction. Hand demolition and removal will be required for all materials. TPWD staff will be highly involved to ensure protection of the sensitive natural and cultural resources within the park, as well.

“Making critical repairs to the popular pool while protecting the endangered resources associated with the springs is an extremely high priority of us,” says Brent Leisure, Director of Texas State Parks. “Our plan is to reverse decades of erosive impacts and restore public access to this oasis as soon as possible.  It’s regrettable that the timing of this issue has prevented Texans from cooling off in their favorite swimming hole for most of this hot summer, but visitors will find an improved park after badly needed improvements are made to the pool, the historic motor courts and the parks’ popular campground.”

Photo courtesy Balmorhea State Park/Facebook

Repairs to take place throughout the entire project include the creation of the cofferdams, temporary removal of the diving board, salvaging of the existing brick around the pool edge, removal of the existing distressed wall and backfill behind the wall, complete removal of the wall and installation of temporary slope protection, installation of a new wall to existing walls along the north and south side of the pool, and replacement of the backfill once repairs are complete.

The cofferdams will be constructed in the pool to ensure the protection of the endangered species and maintain water flow throughout the canals and cienegas. Staff from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be monitoring water quality and water flow during this phase to prevent contaminants downstream and throughout the duration of construction.

The Civilian Conservation Corps era structure was built in the mid-1930s and is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, gushing from the San Solomon Springs. The 1.3- acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, holds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degrees year-round.

Additionally, the Balmorhea State Park pool is home to numerous species of aquatic animals, including two small, endangered desert fishes- the Pecos gambusia and the Comanche Springs pupfish. Habitats have been created outside of the pool for the protection of these species and numerous invertebrates. Steps are being taken to ensure the important habitats and species that call the San Solomon Springs home are protected.

This project is only one of the three major developments underway at Balmorhea State Park. Renovations to the San Solomon Springs Courts and campgrounds have been ongoing since 2017. Once these projects have completed, visitors to Balmorhea will have an enhanced park experience at West Texas’ most treasured oasis.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) has established an account to accept donations towards the structural repairs that are needed to reopen the pool. These donations will help ensure that Texans can continue to enjoy this historic spring-fed swimming pool and unique West Texas destination for generations come.

Donations can be submitted online through the TPWF’s website. The park remains open for day-use only with limited facilities.

TPWD: Balmorhea State Park Pool Closed Until Further Notice

Officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department say, due to structural failure, the Balmorhea State Park pool will be closed until further notice pending repairs.

Damage to the concrete apron under the diving board, which is used to stabilize the walls of the pool from erosion, was found during the pool’s annual cleaning this week.

Park officials are evaluating the extent of the damage and taking steps to repair the structure.

“Balmorhea State Park is a treasured oasis in west Texas that has provided unique recreational opportunities for generations of Texans,” said Brent Leisure, director of Texas State Parks. “Our staff is working diligently to address the situation and make the pool is safe for the visitors and the aquatic life in habitats associated with the San Solomon Springs.”

The Civilian Conservation Corps structure was built in the mid-1930s and is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, gushing from the San Solomon Springs. The 1.3- acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, holds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degrees year-round.

Additionally, the Balmorhea State Park pool is home to numerous species of aquatic animals, including two small, endangered desert fishes- the Pecos gambusia and the Comanche Springs pupfish. Habitats have been created outside of the pool for the protection of these species and numerous invertebrates. Steps are being taken to ensure the important habitats and species that call the San Solomon Springs home are protected.

The park will remain open for day-use only with limited facilities.

For more information about Balmorhea State Park, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website or contact the park at (432) 375-2370.

Entrance Changes Take Effect at Balmorhea State Park Memorial Day Weekend

BALMORHEA— Starting Memorial Day weekend, Balmorhea State Park will be limiting its day-use visitation to 1,300 park goers per day.

This change is a new effort at Balmorhea to preserve the delicate resources at the park-including some threatened and endangered species- as well as the quality of experience park visitors expect to have.

Park staff will sell 1,000 day-use passes starting at 8 a.m. at the gates. The next 300 visitors will receive a pre-counted slip allowing them to return at 3 p.m. and enter the park.

Visitors with campsite or hotel reservations will still be allowed in to Balmorhea State Park and will not count against the 1,300 visitor limit.

Closure updates will be posted on the Balmorhea State Park Facebook page and @BalmorheaSP on Twitter.

For more information about the park, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Environmentalists: Fracking Could Pollute Iconic Texas Park

ALPINE, Texas – Environmentalists are deeply concerned over plans by a Texas oil company to drill thousands of wells near iconic Balmorhea State Park in the Big Bend region.

Houston-based Apache Corporation has leased 300,000 acres surrounding the environmentally sensitive park and plans to use fracking techniques to search for oil and gas deposits.

Robin Schneider, executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment, said despite assurances by both Apache and state officials that the park’s environment will be protected, state regulators can’t always be trusted.

“The oil and gas industry regulators are elected officials who get most of their campaign cash, generally, from the oil and gas industry,” she explained. “They are a paper tiger. So, we have weak rules and weak enforcement of those rules.”

Balmorhea is a 46-acre state park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The park, surrounded by miles of arid desert, is a fragile oasis with a freshwater spring, desert wetlands and a popular spring-fed swimming pool. There’s evidence that both Clovis and Apache tribes lived near the springs more than a thousand years ago.

Schneider said people who now live near the park, many of whom count on it for their livelihood, have major concerns over the impact of fracking.

“One is that the water coming out of these springs is contaminated and then the other factor would be if so much water is used by the fracking process that there are issues with the supply of water,” she added.

She said more than 6,000 West Texas residents have signed petitions opposing the fracking.

“This is a critical resource for the health of the community, bringing in tourism and agriculture,” Schneider said. “Both of those industries are threatened, not to mention the critters that live in the springs and the people that swim in it and use it.”

Schneider added that a recent study of fracking sites in Texas found toxic chemicals such as chlorinated solvents, alcohols and aromatic compounds had leached into nearby lakes and streams.

Author: Mark Richardson, Public News Service – TX

STEP 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
BTU Catrina 728
Eco Ad 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Amy’s Astronomy
Lucha 2 728
Mountains 728
Rhinos 2019/2020 728