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LIVING SPRINGS is an interactive documentary series about the history, science and culture of Barton Springs and its place in Austin.
LIVING SPRINGS is an interactive documentary series about the history, science and culture of Barton Springs and its place in Austin.
206 backers pledged $18,016 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$18,016

206

 

Help US reach our Stretch Goal!!! 20K by Tuesday, August 16th at 11 a.m.

STRETCH GOAL: Thanks to your generous donations, we made our goal $15K. We are adding a stretch goal, an additional $5K, that will allow us to translate and subtitle all of our science videos into Spanish. $20K for Living Springs. Let's DO this! Thanks to the Austin Parks Foundation for getting us started with a $1500 donation!

 

Barton Springs is Austin’s premier natural landmark and is touted by many as the “soul” of Austin. Emanating from an underground aquifer into a pool that is 1000 feet long, the Springs have played a central role in this geographic region for thousands of year. Philosophers, poets, painters, politicians, biologists, geologists, religious leaders, and daily swimmers all call Barton Springs home. 

 

Austinites and visitors enjoy Barton Springs Pool on a hot summer day.
Austinites and visitors enjoy Barton Springs Pool on a hot summer day.

 

LIVING SPRINGS, an interactive, viewer-driven documentary, already presents many of these stories, and we're excited to be embarking on the vital Next Episode of the LIVING SPRINGS project!

The pure unadulterated joy (as Nelson Guda says!) of Barton Springs.
The pure unadulterated joy (as Nelson Guda says!) of Barton Springs.

There are 27 completed videos already available on our website,  where people from around the world can learn about our amazing Barton Springs. In addition to our web platform, over the last four years, we've hosted free, full moon screenings at the Springs, and LIVING SPRINGS is permanently installed at the SPLASH into the Edwards Aquifer Exhibit at Barton Springs, an educational exhibit that sees 90,000 visitors each year.

Underwater explorers at the Springs! Courtesy, Save Our Springs Alliance
Underwater explorers at the Springs! Courtesy, Save Our Springs Alliance

We're so excited to be able to share LIVING SPRINGS in so many places and to share our latest plans via this campaign.

LIVING SPRINGS: AGE OF CONCERN tells the vital, little-known story of the crusaders who spent the middle part of the last century fighting to preserve Barton Springs for the future of Austin.  

Many remember the events of the late 1990’s when Austinites stood together in defense of the Springs. But even before the Save Our Springs movement, a small group of dedicated Austinites fought hard to create a vision for Austin that included the preservation of our water and land. And yet, the history of Austin’s environmental pioneers is largely forgotten.

Construction dirt lays in wait in the recharge zone of  the Edwards Aquifer. Courtesy Gregg Eckhardt
Construction dirt lays in wait in the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer. Courtesy Gregg Eckhardt

In the Next Episode of LIVING SPRINGS, we will explore the turbulent history of these early efforts to preserve Barton Springs and forge a green identity for Austin.  Understanding the legacy and vision of Austin’s earliest environmentalists is one of the keys to protecting the Springs and the aquifer in the future.

In the last 4 years, LIVING SPRINGS has raised over $200,000 to complete our 27 episodes to-date.  The City of Austin, Still Water Foundation, Shield Ayres Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Humanities Texas, Mary and Thomas Grasseli Foundation, Creekmore and Adele Fath Foundation and countless individuals have helped us get this far!  

We're so close to completing the 30-episode project and especially close to completing the 28th episode, AGE OF CONCERN.  We already have an assembly edit put together and archival elements researched and ready to license.  We're launching this Kickstarter to get AGE OF CONCERN across the finish line. Our goal is to raise $15,000 to pay for the final editing, archival footage licenses, audio mixing, and color correction of this crucial piece of the Barton Springs story. These funds will also be matched by one of our foundation partners so we can go full steam ahead to complete the whole project. When you back this campaign you'll be an essential part of telling the AGE OF CONCERN story but also in making all of LIVING SPRINGS a reality.

Omid Laridjani plays at Barton Springs.
Omid Laridjani plays at Barton Springs.

 

We've got some amazing Austin-based partners on board to help spread the word as well as some awesome rewards for folks who help out.  Even if you can't contribute we hope you'll spend time surfing through the rewards list to get to know some of the amazing environmental groups, nature lovers and sharers, and artists who love Barton Springs and hope to preserve its history through LIVING SPRINGS. Dive in!

 

 

Even if you can't support the project financially there are SO MANY ways you can help out! You can share the campaign on social media, like us on Facebook, and follow us on twitter and instagram. Sharing LIVING SPRINGS with your friends is a great way to be a part of preserving the history and legacy of Barton Springs!

Karen Kocher, the creator and producer of LIVING SPRINGS was born under the Chinese sign of the Ox. Being “diligent, determined and trustworthy,” are the perfect traits for this documentary media producer since she has been building a big community including family, friends and complete strangers to get her “save the world, one-film-at-a-time,” projects completed. 

In 2008, she developed Zilker Trek, an innovative iPod-based scavenger hunt/nature journaling project that brought new media into the hands of underserved kids at the Austin Sunshine camps and to the general public online in 2009. Her Austin Past and Present, is a cutting-edge interactive documentary that brings history into unlikely places, like Austin City Hall and the baggage claim at the Austin-Bergstrom International airport. Ms. Kocher has been teaching interactive digital storytelling and digital post-production for the Department of Radio, Television and Film at the U.T. Austin since 1998.

Producer Susanne Mason, Editor Sandra Guardado and Creator/Producer Karen Kocher (in santa hat) get ready to take a polar bear plunge to celebrate the New Year!
Producer Susanne Mason, Editor Sandra Guardado and Creator/Producer Karen Kocher (in santa hat) get ready to take a polar bear plunge to celebrate the New Year!

When Producer Susanne Mason is not producing her own amazing work, including the startling, Writ Writer, she is an ace archival gumshoe, tracking down key image and motion picture elements with the precision only a Virgo can bring to such work.

Sandra Guardado is a storyteller’s editor, able to find the perfect sound bite from even the most long winded, round about interviews. She has also won an Emmy which isn't too shabby.

DP Deb Lewis and Sound Recordist Justin Hennard hard at work on LIVING SPRINGS.
DP Deb Lewis and Sound Recordist Justin Hennard hard at work on LIVING SPRINGS.

Deb Lewis, cinematographer extraordinare!, has a wealth of documentary shooting under her belt including P.O.V. and Independent Lens broadcast films. She's been involved with LIVING SPRINGS since the beginning and is an expert at keeping the sun off her head using her array of hats and umbrellas. 

Amy Bench, also cinematographer extraordinare!, has braved sun, chiggers, and wet tripods to get the best shots for LIVING SPRINGS. Aside from her daring-do she brings extensive experience in both narrative and documentary film.

AC Isaiah Rendon, DP Amy Bench, and actress Lela Day Harper on location at Bull Creek.
AC Isaiah Rendon, DP Amy Bench, and actress Lela Day Harper on location at Bull Creek.

Justin Hennard has recorded and mixed for LIVING SPRINGS and even devised an especially cool parabolic device for recording perfect sound from across the vast expanse of Barton Springs. He has serious street cred as sound recordist and mixer for a number of important films including Laura Dunn’s, The Unforeseen

More fantastic folks who have helped us to move the boulder up the hill, in no certain order: May Kuckro, Josh Hilliard, Anastasiya Bulavkina, Keely Steenson, Dan Stuyck, Susanne Kraft, Jeremy Gruy, Ben Bays, Jeanne Stern, Alex Herrera, Russell Bush, Joe Malina, John Brown, Glenn Dill, Therese Tran, Chithra Jeyaram, Hillary Pierce, Megan Gilbride and the U.T. Students who cut their teeth at LiVING SPRINGS: Sonia Melendez, Jeshua Mauldin, Brittany DuFriend, Hannah Dubbe, Nickolas Brassalero, Lance Seymour, Bobby Hammelman, Caitlin Lundin, Devin Matthews, Stephen Nonus, and Emily Ricketson.

Those who have lent their voices to play real people from another time: Bob Branson, Mary Gordon Spence, Don Howard, John Aielli, Sarah Gay, Ace Pickens, Bill Barton, Dorothy Richter, Tom Schatz, John Umphress, Ken Martin, Joseph P. Hart, Babs George

Risks and challenges

As with any project we cannot guarantee completion or delivery by any certain date should unforseen events arise. That said, with 27 episodes complete and available online we've got a great track record of fundraising, finishing our work, and getting it out to the public. We've worked tirelessly to get LIVING SPRINGS this far and our dedication to completing the project continues -- we hope you'll join us now when we're so close to completing LIVING SPRINGS!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL

    Shout out at our LIVING SPRINGS full moon screening on 8/18. We'll howl a thanks to you at the full moon and on our Facebook Page!

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    Ultimate Springs Summer Playlist - Day

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + We'll share our ultimate summer fun Spotify playlist for those hot summer days at Barton Springs! Awesome Austin band and Friends of the Springs, Moving Panoramas, has generously curated their own dream set of summer tunes exclusively for LIVING SPRINGS supporters to enjoy!

    After you've grabbed the reward, check out Moving Panoramas own Leslie Sisson in our LIVING SPRINGS segment "The Reflecting Pool!"

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    Ultimate Springs Summer Playlist - Night

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + We'll share our ultimate summer fun Spotify playlist for those hot summer nights at Barton Springs! Super talented composer and Lover of the Springs, Graham Reynolds, has generously curated his own dream set of nighttime summer tunes exclusively for LIVING SPRINGS supporters to enjoy!

    After you've grabbed the reward, check out Graham's awesome music in the underwater segments of LIVING SPRINGS.

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    Ultimate Springs Playlist - Combo

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + We'll share both ultimate summer daytime and nighttime Spotify playlists. You'll be ready to groove at the Springs any time AND know you're a part of preserving its amazing history!

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    Vintage DVDs of "Water Works"

    A LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a limited edition vintage DVD of LIVING SPRINGS subject, Water Works. "Water Works: Dances at Barton Springs Pool" features aquatic ballet performances from 1985 & 1996. As the Austin Chronicle said, "somewhere between a synchronized swimming routine in an Esther Williams musical and a game of follow-the-leader at a kids' pool party...Water Works celebrated what this city loves about the springs..."

    Check out these delightful performances and get inspired to create your own Barton Springs ballet!

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    Eliza's Fancy Salamanders

    A LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a limited edition vintage salamander made by LIVING SPRINGS friend Eliza. Use it as a keychain or decorate your backpack for back to school! Wherever you go show you care about Barton Springs and the precious aquatic life it protects!

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    LIVING SPRINGS Pint Glass

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + A LIVING SPRINGS Pint Glass. Enjoy a cold one at home or work (No glass allowed at Barton Springs - you know that one!) with our signature pint glass. The blue LIVING SPRINGS logo will remind you you're drinking to the good health of an amazing natural resource!

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    Moonlight Bat Float

    Join us and the Texas River School on September 17th, 2016 for a float under the Congress Bridge to check out the bats at dusk and enjoy the sunset and moonlight on Town Lake! We'll paddle out to the bridge in canoes (provided) to catch the bats' feast!

    Only in Austin - 9/17/16 6:30p-9:30p
    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Omid Laridjani - "Noon"

    A LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a limited-edition full size print of LIVING SPRINGS subject, Omid Laridjani's "Noon" 8x11 (original ink on paper). Omid says the print, "represents my silhouette shadow cast on to the water at Noon time. This original art is my gratitude for this experience that the Springs gives me."

    Get to know Omid, his artistic inspiration, and the part he plays in Barton Springs's story at livingsprings.org!

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    LIVING SPRINGS Pint Glass, Set of 2

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + A Set of 2 LIVING SPRINGS Pint Glasses. If you're enjoying a cold one AND celebrating your efforts to preserve the history of Barton Springs you might as well share with a friend!

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    LIVING SPRINGS Bathing Cap

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + The Playlist Combo + a LIVING SPRINGS Bathing Cap -- only available if you donate to the campaign! Swim in style at Barton Springs while showing you care about its preservation and history!

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    Anthony Maddaloni Sunset Series Print

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + an 8x8 print by Barton Springs photographer, Anthony Lee Maddaloni from his sunset series. Enjoy a gorgeous sunset over our precious central Texas waterways any time of the day!

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    Tom Spencer's Town Lake Prints

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + your choice of an 8x10 photo print by future-Living Springs subject and central Texas nature super-star, Tom Spencer.

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    LIVING SPRINGS Tank Top or T-Shirt

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + your choice of a LIVING SPRINGS Tank Top or T-Shirt -- only available if you donate to the campaign! Hit the Barton Springs or the yoga studio in style while sporting this special edition top!

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    LIVING SPRINGS DVD

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a DVD of LIVING SPRINGS Material and Karen Kocher's 1992 film "Common Ground: The Battle for Barton Springs" that chronicles the turbulent history of the 1990s.

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    Couples VIP Screening Pack

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + VIP Seating for two at our August 18th Full Moon Screening + a VIP Couples Movie Snack Pack to enjoy! Come on out at dusk to see our #TBT Screening of the "Best of LIVING SPRINGS from the VAULT." Enjoy some cold beverages, fancy popcorn, cheese, bread, and the beautiful jams from Austin's own Confituras! Other goodies from Whole Earth Provision Company and Whole Foods are included! A beautiful moonrise, these yummy goodies, front row seating, and LIVINS SPRINGS greatest hits episodes will make you HOWL!

    (travel to Austin and event parking not included. please let us know if you have any food allergies or special needs.)

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    Family VIP Screening Pack

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + VIP Seating for five at our August 18th Full Moon Screening + a VIP Family Movie Snack Pack to enjoy! Come on out at dusk to see our #TBT Screening of the "Best of LIVING SPRINGS from the VAULT." Enjoy some cold beverages and juice boxes, kettle corn, crackers, movie candies, and the beautiful jams from Austin's own Confituras! Other goodies from Whole Earth Provision Company and Whole Foods are included! A beautiful moonrise, these yummy family friendly snacks, front row seating, and LIVINS SPRINGS greatest hits episodes will make you HOWL!

    (travel to Austin and event parking not included. please let us know if you have any food allergies or special needs.)

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    "Barton Screams" Metal Print

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a 5x7 photo printed on metal from the community video project "Barton Screams," by artist and LIVING SPRINGS subject, Nelson Guda. Check out the "Barton Screams" episode of LIVING SPRINGS to see how Nelson captures "pure, unadulterated joy" at the Springs then grab this reward to enjoy it for yourself!

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    Violet Crown Trail Sneak Peak Hike

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a SNEAK PEAK hike on the still-under-development Violet Crown Trail. Your guide will be George Cofer of the Hill Country Conservancy. Come out to discover the newest Austin trail! Sunday morning, October 16th - weather permitting.

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Barton Springs Salamander Hike

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a guided hike of Barton Springs featuring information about the endangered lungless Barton Springs salamander. Get to know your amphibious, fellow-Austinite with biologist and LIVING SPRINGS subject, Laurie Dries. We'll start at 9a and the hike will last about 2 hours. Come in your suit prepared to swim AND walk! Come out to learn about the springs and their role in protecting this threatened species! The Salamander hike is Saturday, September 24th, weather permitting.

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Blunn Creek Preserve Guided Hike

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + A personal tour of a chapter in the ‘Nature Bats Last’ saga! Join veteran Blunn Creek Nature Preserve volunteer Max Woodfin for an informal stroll through this South Austin treasure. Get a first-hand look at how volunteers and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department are cooperating to restore a stream and its environment after decades of degradation.

    The hike will take place 9/24/16 at 9am.

    Max is a Certified Master Naturalist, active with the Capital Area Master Naturalists. He has lived in Travis Heights, a neighborhood adjacent to the Blunn Creek Preserve, for more than 30 years. Max has written about environmental and natural resources issues both as a journalist and a consultant. He served on the City of Austin’s Resource Management Commission for 13 years, and was an executive at both the Texas Water Commission (precursor to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and the Texas Department of Agriculture. He was executive director of Earth Share of Texas from 1997 until 2012. He currently serves as executive director of Divine Canines, an organization that provides free therapy dog service to more than 75 sites around Austin and Central Texas.

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Treasures, Tacos, and Trash!

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a guided hike of Zilker Creek Preserve with LIVING SPRINGS Creator/Producer Karen Kocher. We'll eat Tacodeli tacos while Karen shows us some of her favorite hidden spots at the Zilker Creek Preserve -- sharing the amazing history and unique geology as well as those undiscovered nooks and crannies. Along the way we'll lend a hand cleaning up the preserve so it can be enjoyed by everyone -- including its natural inhabitants, for years to come. Think how great you'll feel after an educational hike where a little trash-grabbing here and there means you took real action to protect our natural resources! Sunday morning, October 23rd - weather permitting.

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Barton Springs Salamander Hike + 2 kids

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a guided hike of Barton Springs featuring information about the endangered lungless Barton Springs salamander. Get to know your amphibious, fellow-Austinite with biologist and LIVING SPRINGS subject, Laurie Dries. We'll start at 9a and the hike will last about 2 hours. Come in your suit prepared to swim AND walk! Come out to learn about the springs and their role in protecting this threatened species! The Salamander hike is Saturday, September 24th, weather permitting.

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Eastern Travis County Boat Float for 5

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a guided boat tour of Travis County's Eastern springs, Austin's other aquifer aka the Colorado River alluvial aquifer. Your guide is Kevin Anderson, a true renaissance man with a broad knowledge of the natural world. Come out to explore the boat paths not taken in Central Texas! Date: Saturday, October 15th from 9am-noon. Bring water. Snacks provided.

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    VINTAGE Save Barton Creek Assoc Prints

    LIVING SPRINGS Howl + the combo playlist + a Vintage 11x17 SBCA print in all its glorious psychedelia!

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    Native Plants Home Garden Consultation

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + Ready to go native but not sure what to plant? Marya Fowler, who holds a Master’s degree in landscape design and environmental planning will meet you at your home for a garden planning consultation. Marya is well versed in native plants that attract wildlife and loves to help homeowners plan their ideal haven for wildlife. She also loves pollinators and will help you plan the ideal pollinator garden!
    (Available only in Austin and the surrounding areas)

    Prior to joining National Wildlife Federation in 1999, Marya taught for several years at the secondary level. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning/Landscape Design and worked in the field of landscape design, creating restoration management plans. As Senior Education Manager for NWF’s South Central Regional Center, Marya focuses on the advancement of NWF’s K-12 school-based programming in the region, including Eco-Schools USA, Schoolyard Habitats and global warming education and literacy.

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    "All About the Stars" Framed Print

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + 16x16 print of long-time Barton Springs swimmer, Lauren Jaben's "All About the Stars" collage. The work evokes the amazing feeling of looking up at night sky from the springs below.

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    "Canoes on Creek"

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + "Canoes on Creek" limited-edition print by Jennifer Chenowith whose work is featured in the SPLASH Exhibit with LIVING SPRINGS!

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    Guided Greenbelt Hike for 8

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a Barton Creek greenbelt hike and swim (if there is water) guided by Save Our Springs' (and LIVING SPRINGS subject) Bill Bunch. Up to 8 people can join so get together with your friends and come out to hike with Bill!

    (travel to Austin not included)

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    Didgeman's Framed "Noon"

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + LIVING SPRINGS subject, Omid Laridjani's "Noon" 8x11 original ink on paper, framed. Omid says the print, "represents my silhouette shadow cast on to the water at Noon time. This original art is my gratitude for this experience that the Springs gives me."

    Get to know Omid, his artistic inspiration, and the part he plays in Barton Springs's story at livingsprings.org!

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    "Rose"

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + Nancy Mims's original, "Rose" photo on 34"x34" Belgian linen. Nancy is a regular swimmer at Barton Springs and loves sharing her work with a community that understands the importance of this special natural resource!

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    Arch(ival) Angel

    LIVING SPRINGS HOWL + a special sponsorship opportunity to cover all the license fees for archival material to be included in AGE OF CONCERN. Grabbing this reward means you'll make sure the video and its contents are available to people all over the world forever and ever AND receive credit on the finished video "Archival Material made possible by the generous support of YOUR NAME HERE".

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Funding period

- (30 days)