The Barton Springs Salamander Conservation Grants

Everyone loves Barton Springs, but key to its future is protecting the little-known Barton Springs Salamander. Researchers, educators and planners are invited to learn more about applying for funds below.

Grant Guidelines


The Barton Springs Salamander Conservation Fund has been established to promote conservation and research that benefit the federally endangered Barton Springs Salamander, Barton Springs, and the Barton Springs watershed.

  • The funds may be used to study Eurycea salamander biology, captive breeding and refugium populations, watershed dynamics, and potential maintenance techniques for Barton Springs Pool.
  • The funds may also be used for development of educational
    tools or land acquisition.
  • The Austin Community Foundation is managing this fund on behalf of the City of Austin and in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • The City of Austin contributes to this fund annually and it is open to private donations, but funds are limited. Therefore, smaller grant requests (for example, $25,000 for a one-year project) have a greater chance of being awarded, although exceptions will be considered.


  • Public or private entities are eligible, including qualified individuals, firms, governmental agencies, academic and private institutions, and non-profit organizations.
  • Project proposals must show a clear conservation or management benefit to Eurycea sosorum, the Barton Springs Salamander.
  • Potential projects could be guided by goals described in the Barton Springs Salamander Recovery Plan and/or research goals of the City’s species management program.*
  • Projects designed to enhance educational materials at Barton Springs Pool are also eligible.
  • Acquisition of state and federal permits for projects are the responsibility of the applicant. In addition, all projects must comply with federal and state endangered species permits held by the City of Austin that cover Eurycea sosorum.
  • All applications will be peer-reviewed on a blind basis through the Austin Community Foundation.
  • The City of Austin and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make final funding decisions based on blind peer and internal agency reviews.
  • Funding recommendations will be made to the Austin Community Foundation, who will manage financial and contractual aspects of projects.
  • The City of Austin will manage all other aspects of projects, including permit oversight and project review.

Project Resources:

  • For initial inquiries concerning the City of Austin's federal and state permits, salamander biology, and/or high priority salamander conservation topics, applicants can contact Tom Devitt, Environmental Scientist, City of Austin, at 512-974-6340.
  • Obtain The Barton Springs Salamander Recovery Plan from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas, 78758; (512) 490-0057 or online.
  • Learn about the City’s Barton Springs Salamander program


None. Proposals will be reviewed as they are submitted. Applicants will be notified within 6 months from the date of proposal submission whether or not funding will be awarded.

Proposal Format:

Applicants should submit proposals containing the following information to the Austin Community Foundation:

  1. Project Title
  2. Abstract (1-2 paragraphs, no citations)
  3. Introduction and Objective(s)
    Describe the conservation topic(s) the project would address and the potential benefits to the Barton Springs Salamander and/or its habitat. Provide a clear and detailed statement of the project objectives, relation to the present state
    of knowledge in the field, and hypotheses to be tested. (Educational projects need not include hypotheses to be tested.)
    If applicable, identify pertinent species management goals of the City and/or recovery actions listed in the Barton Springs Salamander Recovery Plan.* Include all relevant literature citations.
  4. Approach/Methods
    Describespecific methods and/or materials that will be employed, the expected results, detailed description of educational materials if applicable, and time frame from initiation to completion of the project. Objectives and methods description are not to exceed 10 single-spaced pages.
  5. Literature Cited
  6. Budget (1 page) Identify the amount of funding requested, including salaries, supplies and materials, travel expenses. Because of the limited availability of grant funds, smaller requests have the best chance of being funded. Austin Community Foundation does not pay indirect or overhead expenses.
  7. Permitting Information If applicable, provide information on applicable federal state permits held by applicant (include permit numbers) or expected time of issuance of relevant permits (include permit application materials).
  8. Qualifications of proposed personnel (1 separate page): This page should be separate from the remainder of the proposal so that it can be removed and will not be forwarded to the peer reviewer(s). This section should identify appropriate facilities available to conduct the proposed work and include names, qualifications, and contact information for all personnel who would be assigned this project. State the primary work assigned to each person and the percentage of time each person would devote to this work. Identify key persons by name and title. Provide all resumes/C.V.s describing relevant experience.

Applicants should mail three copies of the proposal to the Austin Community Foundation:

The Barton Springs Salamander Conservation Fund
C/O Austin Community Foundation
4315 Guadalupe St., Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78751

Download these guidelines.