2014 Tour a Big Success!
2014tourlogo50.pngThe 2014 Pond Tour was a great success! Everyone - visitors and owners alike - seemed to be having a wonderful time at each of the ponds. Be sure to come to our next Austin Pond Society meeting, June 16, 2014, at the Zilker Garden Center, to see pictures taken by the club photographer and to discuss your experiences on the tour. We'll be doing a pot luck, so bring a dish if you are able! Keep an eye out here for a more extensive write-up about the tour. †Thanks again to the pond owners, pond tour visitors, and tour organizers for another job well done!
 
20 Years of Giving

The Austin Pond Society: 20 Years of GivingImage

By BJ Jenkins

It would seem that the pond and garden tour sponsored by the Austin Pond Society would be all about water features, lilies and fish. On the surface, it is. But if you were to ask board members why itís important that the tour be successful, they would reply that it enables a donation to the organization selected as that yearís beneficiary.

For 20 years a portion of the proceeds from the Austin Pond Tour has been given to a group selected by the board and the membership. Monetary contributions have gone to a wide variety of recipients. The APS has supported KLRU in the form of a donation to The Central Texas Gardener, which graciously spotlights the tour each year. The APS is also grateful for its association with the Zilker Botanical Garden and has helped with funding repairs of the Lotus Pond and the Rose Garden Pond.†††††††

The APS has also made contributions to community organizations that donít have a direct connection to ponds and gardens. For instance, The Wright House offers care and compassion to those with chronic illnesses; SafePlace provides support and sanctuary for women who have experienced domestic violence; Down Home Ranch, in Elgin, is a non-profit working farm and ranch for people with special needs and those who share their lives. TherapyWorks rehabilitates horses that have been abused and pairs them with abused children to begin the healing process for both; Marbridge is a private alternative to group homes for mentally challenged adults.

After the fire that devastated Bastrop County, a contribution was made to Bastrop State Park. That same year a donation from the APS was given to the Austin Independent School Districtís Media Center for the purchase of materials related to ponding. Two years ago, Gus Garcia Middle School, Perez Elementary, Ridgetop Elementary and Williams Elementary were awarded grants to expand science programs that make use of ponds and native plants. Many other schools have been given koi, water plants and been visited whenever pond advice is needed.

But the APS is hands-on as well, having donated time and effort in actually rebuilding and cleaning ponds at various facilities throughout the Austin area. Besides volunteering during the resealing of the ponds at Zilker Park, members help maintain the pond outside the Zilker Garden Center each month during spring and summer. Members made several trips to Elgin last year to completely rebuild the two ponds at Down Home Ranch, and each spring members participate in an annual pond cleanup there. The APS also gave the ranch a new pond vacuum and plenty of koi.

Recently, 15 members of the Pond Society participated in a fish rescue at one memberís pond and took about 50 goldfish to the ponds at Dell Childrenís Medical Center. This began a dialogue that resulted in the selection of the Healing Garden within the Medical Center as the beneficiary for the 2014 tour. This garden and pond, which is reserved as a sanctuary for young patients and their families and not generally open to the public, can be visited during the Sunday morning hours as part of this yearís tour.

The members of the Austin Pond Society are all looking forward to the tour on June 7 and 8. This year, they will be celebrating 20 years of serene ponds, lovely water lilies, and jewel-like koi; but most important, they will be celebrating 20 years of giving.

 
2014 Board Changes

If you've been at the last couple of meetings, you know that we've had some changes to the board. We'd like to welcome Barb Lenhart as our new programs person, and Betty Blackson as our librarian. Nancy Reinert has stepped up to fill the treasurer position. Thanks everyone for your patience as we went through the nomination/election process for these changes.†

2014 Board

President - Jeannie Ferrier
Treasurer - Nancy Reinert
Secretary - Julienne Smith
Programs - Barb Lenhart
Special Events - Sonja O'Sullivan
Publicity - BJ Jenkins
Editor - Frank Allcorn
Photographer/Historian - Glen Hubenthal
Pond Tour/Webmaster - Karl Tinsley
Membership - Darren Bayhi
Hospitality - Sonja O'Sullivan
Parliamentarian - John O'Sullivan
AAGC Representative - Steve Blackson
Librarian - Betty Blackson†
Since the original posting of the elected Board members, Linda Tinsley has resigned from her position as Special Events Coordinator due to work pressures. The President, Jeannie Ferrier, has appointed Sonja O'Sullivan to fill the role.

 

 

 

 
Next Year's Board Elected and New Bylaws Adopted!

Thanks to everyone who attended last Monday's meeting and participated in amending and passing the new bylaws. It was tedious, and not nearly as interesting as our usual speakers and discussions, but it was an important task to accomplish, and everyone gave some great feedback and made some thoughtful amendments before we adopted the bylaws. Thanks again to everyone, and thanks to our parliamentarian, John O'Sullivan, who walked us through the process and kept everything on track! The approved bylaws will be posted on the website as soon as we get all the amendments made.
We also elected most of next year's board positions at the meeting. Most of the same folks will be on the board next year, with a couple of folks changing positions. The board would like to welcome our newest members, Nancy Reinert and Frank Allcorn. Next year should be another great year for the Austin Pond Society!

2014 Board
President - Jeannie Ferrier
Treasurer - Rollie Sidla
Secretary - Julienne Smith
Programs - Nancy Reinert
Special Events - Linda Tinsley
Publicity - BJ Jenkins
Editor - Frank Allcorn
Photographer/Historian - Glen Hubenthal
Pond Tour/Webmaster - Karl Tinsley
Membership - Darren Bayhi
Hospitality - Sonja O'Sullivan
Parliamentarian - John O'Sullivan
AAGC Representative - Steve Blackson
The librarian position is still open - if you're interested, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
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Membership News

Meeting Location
We meet in the Austin Area Garden Center, located inside the Zilker Botanical Gardens at Zilker Park. The Zilker Botanical Gardens are at 2220 Barton Springs Rd. in Austin, Texas. Parking at the Austin Area Garden Center is free for the meeting.
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