Join Those Great Folks Who Donated Through Chalice Lighter Call!

UBarU Camp and Retreat Center is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit facility located on 142 acres in the scenic Texas Hill Country some 90 miles from San Antonio and 15 miles west of Kerrville. The mission of UBarU is “to provide a welcoming, peaceful place to gather for spiritual, educational and recreational purposes in harmony with our UU Principles and the Land.”

We are thrilled to have been identified by the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Southern Region Chalice Lighters to benefit from a Call to donors to help fund the UBarU ADA Accessibility Improvements Project.

The ADA Accessibility Project

With a fund-raising effort exceeding $600,000, UBarU expanded its ADA accessible facilities with the construction of the Rev. Dwight and Marie Brown Center (DMB Center), completed in 2015. This lodging facility consists of two buildings with bunk-style housing and eight fully accessible family suites along with accompanying bathrooms and showers, an accessible parking pad with a pathway to the DMB Center and thence to the Meeting House.

We have expanded ADA accessibility by tying the larger existing parking lot to the new walkway between the DMB Center and the Meeting House and accessing the Campfire Circle.

Donor support was absolutely essential in completing this project. We have used private appeals and to fund projects in the past and will use these venues to complement funding for this ADA Accessibility Improvements project. We hold a long term goal of expanding accessibility to each of our facilities as well as contemplative and recreational venues on the property with each new investment we make. With this project, we have targeted and limited our request to focus on the Meeting House and the Campfire Circle as the daytime and evening centers of social, instructional and contemplative activities.

Continuing the Progress

The goal of this project is to continue to expand ADA accessibility to the most prominent, most used, and most enjoyed facilities on the site.  The project has expanded accessibility by funding the construction of two ADA accessible parking spaces immediately in front of the Meeting House, establish an ADA accessible paved, concrete walkway from the parking area to the sitting porch of the MH in one direction and to the evening’s most popular attraction, the Campfire Circle in the other.

The Meeting House is the central focus of dining, instruction and indoor recreational activities of all types and for all ages. The Campfire Circle seats upwards of four dozen persons and is the focus of evening activities of fellowship, reflection, story-telling and star-gazing.

Funding from the Chalice Lighter Call was essential in expanding ADA accessibility to persons of limited mobility to the most prominent and rewarding locations on the property.

Elements of the project

The project consists of, but is not limited to the following list of specific ADA accessibility-focused infrastructure investments.

a)      Construction of two concrete-pad, handicap accessible parking spaces in the parking area immediately in front of the Meeting House.

b)      Construction of a concrete sidewalk connecting the ADA parking spaces (a) above and the parking area to the front steps of the Meeting House.

c)      Construction of a concrete sidewalk crossing the newly-constructed sidewalk in (b) above, to the Meeting House and providing a new sidewalk and accessible ramp to the walkway currently connecting the DMB Center and the Meeting House.

d)      Construction of a concrete sidewalk intersecting the newly-constructed sidewalk to the Meeting House in the same location as (c) above and proceeding to the Campfire Circle.

e)      Construction of a concrete pad at the Campfire Circle to accommodate two wheelchairs, and adjacent to companion bench seating, in-line with existing seating in the circle.

These are detailed in the Accessibility Improvements site plan drawings generously provided by Environmental Disciplines Inc., a Corpus Christi based architectural design firm. UBarU’s website ( hosts this link to allow aspiring contributors to access the Site Plan, Cost Estimate and an Aerial Drone Overview of the project location.

UBarU Camp and Retreat Center is owned and managed by the Unitarian Universalist Friends Retreat Foundation (UUFRF), whose sole purpose is the care of UBarU.  UUFRF trustees are members of Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations in Texas, currently representing Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Kerrville, Plano and San Antonio.

Answer the Chalice Lighter Call

Site Plan

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Cost Estimate

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Aerial View of Brown Center, Meeting House, & Campfire Circle