Patterson playground closing

APF and FoPP Advocating for Parks Funding in City Budget

On Thursday night, the City Council held the first of two public budget hearings leading to the adoption of the upcoming fiscal year’s budget in September. Austin Parks Foundation is advocating for an additional 5 million dollars to be allocated to the Parks and Recreation Department, and FoPP and other park groups were invited to support them.

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The city’s parks have 700 million in deferred maintenance, plus 80 million to make them ADA compliant and many millions more to keep our aging neighborhood pools from failing. According to APF, “ParkScore, the Trust for Public Land’s gold standard index for parks, ranked Austin 46 out of the 100 most populous U.S. cities for how well we meet our resident’s needs for parks in 2017.”

The council also reviewed the recently released Aquatic Master Plan, and decided to form a task force to review its implementation in an equitable way. There was lots of discussion about how many East Austin pools are in relatively poor condition, and that there are large newer areas of the city with little access to aquatic facilities. Our group should keep up with this as it develops.

Examples of deferred maintenance and improvements at Patterson include our 50+ year old bathroom facilities, a basketball court that’s been in need of resurfacing for 15+ years, a tennis court that was never surfaced, and a playground that is near the end of it’s 20 year life. While we are deeply grateful for recent updates, including new signage, trash cans, fresh paint, and most importantly the resurfacing of the playground, there is much that remains to be done. Parks are the heart of our city’s neighborhoods and require regular attention as Austin’s population continues to grow. If you would like to email City Council members to support parks funding, you can do so here.

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Community Garden to Host Open House August 19

Are you interested in growing your own organic veggies? The Patterson Park Community Garden is still accepting new members, and will be hosting an open house this Saturday, August 19, 9–11 a.m. Details can be found at the garden’s website.

Program

9–9:30 a.m. Master Gardener Brittany Taylor will be available to answer gardening questions

9:30–10:30 a.m. Compost Tea demonstration. Mark will demonstrate step by step how to make your own.

10:30–11 a.m. Seed Exchange

Patterson Piranha Swim Team Wraps up Season

By Dusty Harshman

Another summer brings another joyful gaggle of kids at Patterson pool to participate in the City of Austin’s Summer Swim Team season. While Patterson pool is among the smallest in the City of Austin park system, the Patterson Piranhas swim team reached the city’s maximum 120 swimmers just days after signup in April. The Piranhas have earned a reputation for their casual, educational, and family-centered approach to swimming. Many kindergartners have learned their strokes through the Patterson swim team

As practices began in early June, swimmers aged 5 to 15 were gathered at the pool in the evenings for six weeks. There were four neighborhood swim meets around the city culminating in a regional meet at UT’s Jamail Swim Center and the State TAAF Summer Games in McAllen, Texas in late July. From these humble beginnings, many Patterson swimmers have continued to swim for their respective high school teams. All prospective parents who would like to register their children for the swim team should mark their calendars for April 2018 for signups. More information is available on the City of Austin Swim Team page.

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Patterson Piranha swim team 2017. Photos by J Potter-Miller.

APF summer fundraiser FoPP

FoPP Featured in Austin Parks Foundation’s Summer Fundraising Campaign

A few months ago, I was asked to write a letter for Austin Parks Foundation‘s summer fundraising campaign. I was honored at the opportunity to highlight everything that Friends of Patterson Park has accomplished with APF’s support to their donors and volunteers. Between the community garden, new picnic tables and benches, and funds to refurbish and move the Dance of the Cosmos sculpture, APF has invested $40,000 in Patterson Park over the last few years. These improvements have made a tremendous difference in our park, and our community has had a strong positive response. We love our park and appreciate the TLC!

I’ve signed up to give $25 as an Evergreen monthly gift in honor of Austin Parks Foundation’s 25th anniversary, and hope you’ll donate what you can.

Jennifer Potter-Miller
Chair, Friends of Patterson Park

City of Austin Releases Aquatics Master Plan, Plans for Patterson Pool

The Parks and Recreation Department has released the final draft of their Aquatics Master Plan.  The Executive Summary is worth reading in full, and this is what the report says about the Patterson Pool (see Appendix E-Improvements by Pool).

Patterson Pool Recommendations

ƒ* If this pool is to continue in operation, a new bathhouse will need to be developed.
ƒ* If the pool is to continue in operation, completely reconstruct the pool as a Neighborhood Pool as defined in Chapter 5.
ƒ* The wading pool must be replaced and include zero-depth access.

Site Recommendations

ƒ* Additional parking is not required
ƒ* Reconstruct one parking space to be TAS compliant accessible spaces
ƒ* Provide accessible pedestrian and bicycle access from right-of-way
ƒ* New utility connections (domestic water, reclaimed water, fire line, fire hydrants, and sanitary
sewer)
ƒ* Install stormwater detention
ƒ* Install a parking lot light

Existing Architectural Features

*Shade structure: Wood pergola adjacent to the wading pool and fabric canopy entirely shading
* wading pool
ƒ* Office: None
ƒ* Storage: None
ƒ* Bathhouse/Family Restroom: None
ƒ* Pump House: Separate building with community mural

Building Repairs Recommendations

* Pergola in need of replacing in 5 years
ƒ* Add Office
ƒ* Add Storage
ƒ* Add ADA and family restrooms
ƒ* Add bathhouse
ƒ* Pump house doors and frames in need of replacing

Building Recommendations

ƒTotal pool replacement. Construct bathhouse. Minor refurbishment to the pump house

TOTAL COSTS: $4,628,650

(FoPP note: Considering PARD’s huge budget shortfall, the work outlined in the Master Plan may involve a bond and is likely not happening soon, but we are delighted with the planned improvements.)

Patterson Community Garden July 2017

Summer Brings Bumper Crop to Community Garden

Patterson Park Community Garden started with a simple dream: to grow local organic food. It took nearly ten years of relentless effort to realize that dream but this summer the garden has truly come to life with many gardeners enjoying bumper crops of melons, eggplants, peppers, okra and culinary herbs. Like home grown tomatoes? We’ve got ’em. So many that if you drop by don’t be surprised if someone begs you to take some home.

If you share our vision of working as a community to produce local food for your family we hope you might consider joining us. So far we have 33 gardeners enjoying nature’s bounty but there is plenty of room for more to join. For more information on how to join us, please visit our website.

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Movies in the Park: Aladdin @ Patterson Park, July 6, 2017

Aladdin Brings 800 People to Patterson

On Thursday, July 6, 800 people spread out on the great lawn at Patterson Park to watch Aladdin.  Neighbor Isabelle Headrick said “That was a magical experience; I have never seen so many people enjoying our park!” The free screening was part of Movies in the Park, a series hosted by Austin Parks Foundation in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and presented by Carvana.

The screening of Aladdin had been reschedule twice because of weather, but the third time was the charm. It was a beautiful evening, with an almost full moon. There was a lot of cheering and quoting/singing along, especially at Jasmine’s line “I am not a prize to be won” and “A Whole New World.”

The Mmmpanadas and East Side King food trucks were at Patterson to provide snacks, and everyone had a great time. Many thanks to APF and Alamo for bringing this event to our neighborhood park!

Austin Parks Foundation to Screen Aladdin at Patterson July 6

The screening of Aladdin at Patterson Park has been rescheduled twice due to weather, but is finally happening next week! It’s starting late because that’s when it’s dark, but come to the park earlier to save a spot and enjoy a picnic. Our neighbors from Bibliographia will bring their mobile screen printing cart and you can print your own Friends of Patterson Park t-shirts! Proceeds will go toward park improvements. Kids and adult sizes available.

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Austin Parks Foundation invites you to a screening of Aladdin at Patterson Park, part of our 25th Anniversary season of Movies in the Park! This will be an all 1992 series of movies.

WHEN: Thursday, July 6, 9 PM
WHERE: Patterson Park, Great Lawn

Come early to grab a spot! Parking is limited and anywhere from 200-500 people are expected, so please walk or bike if you can.

For updates see the Facebook event.
More Info and full schedule at austinparks.org/movies

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Movies in the Park is a series of free films brought to you by Austin Parks Foundation in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and presented by Carvana. Each year, APF and the Drafthouse bring you free movies in parks all over Austin. Residents and visitors bring their blanket or lawn chairs (and often a picnic dinner!) for a fun and relaxing evening under the beautiful Austin night sky.

Dogs, picnics and lawn chairs are welcome. Alcoholic beverages, glass and styrofoam are not permitted in the park. We do provide recycling bins, but ask that you help us out by packing out all of your own trash. Smoking is also prohibited in the park, per city law.

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New Pool Furnishings Installed and Popsicle Social Planned to Celebrate

The picnic tables and benches purchased this spring with a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation were installed on Wednesday! The Parks and Recreation Dept. crew assembled and installed two tables and four benches, and plans to return next Wednesday to complete the project with two more benches and a trash can.  Friends of Patterson Park would like to invite our community to the pool this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for a popsicle social to celebrate. We are thrilled with the new furnishings and so grateful to APF and PARD!

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Miles McEntee Memorial at Patterson Park

Memorial Bench Installed for Miles McEntee

Earlier this month, a memorial bench was installed near the Patterson Park skate ramp in honor of Miles McEntee (1990-2015), and last Saturday his friends and family gathered there to celebrate his birthday. Miles loved to skate at Patterson, and we are honored to have this beautiful spot for skaters and other visitors to rest in the shade at our park.  Rest in peace Miles.