Austin Parks Foundation Profiles Friends of Patterson Park

The Austin Parks Foundation is featuring Friends of Patterson Park on their website this month. The post is part of a series called “People Plus Parks ” highlighting the volunteers behind the work  APF does in Austin’s parks. The December profile by Elizabeth McGuire  starts “Some might consider Patterson Park the untamed cousin to nearby, master-planned Mueller Park, but fans of the lush green space off Airport Blvd. wouldn’t have it any other way.” Read more here!

People + Parks: Building Community and Cheer
by Elizabeth McGuire

 

Jennifer Potter-Miller. Photo by Elizabeth McGuire.

Jennifer Potter-Miller, Friends of Patterson Park. Photo by Elizabeth McGuire.

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Initial Priorities for Park Improvements

By Jennifer Potter-Miller, Chair

From May-October 2016, 254 neighbors took our Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park, and the feedback they provided is fascinating. Below is an initial analysis of what respondents said were their priorities for improvements to the park.

The survey was intended to inform the projects Friends of Patterson Park takes on in the coming years and guide our fundraising efforts. There are some items that were popular but are not feasible, like an off-leash dog park. PARD has ruled that out. There are other items which we have limited influence over, like improvements to the Patterson Pool. The City of Austin conducted an assessment of facilities in 2014 and has an Aquatic Master Plan, so we will need to work within those parameters.

However, there are lots of improvements that we are within our reach. These range from small (butterfly garden) to medium (picnic tables, monkey bars, fitness  equipment), big (resurfacing tennis and basketball courts, shade canopies) and really big (renovating the bathrooms). I have received clear feedback at various neighborhood meetings that preserving open spaces and the low-key feel of the park are priorities, so I envision updating the park but no significant transformation.

Please save the date for a community meeting to plan next steps and discuss fundraising priorities on Saturday, February 4, 10 a.m. at Servant Church (note change of date). Childcare will be provided (most likely a movie with supervision).

patterson-survey-results-pie-chart

IMPROVEMENT RESPONSES % SAMPLE RESPONSES
Playscape improvements 34 11.1% climinbg structure; additional/updated equipment; repair/replace ground cover; fencing; add accessible amenities; natural playscape; Playscape/equipment for older kids
Pool 28 9.1% longer hours; nicer pool area; new larger pool; year round swimming; expand fenced area
Bathroom improvements 25 8.1% For the love of god, new bathrooms; bathrooms improved/expanded; bathroom are creepy; soap
Trail improvements 20 6.5% better maintenance; extend inner loop; improve wheelchair accessibility; walkability on Schieffer; paved bike paths; Pedestrian bridge to Mueller park; trail markers
Amenities 20 6.5% seating; picnic tables; BBQ grills; bicycle racks; updated signage and infrastructure; lockable storage; neighborhood tool shed
Landscaping 19 6.2% trees; landscaping; xeriscaping; improve drainage; mulch trees; fruit trees; community garden
Dog park 18 5.9% off leash area
Shade covers 18 5.9% canopies over basketball court, pool, baby swings
Athletic field/court improvements 16 5.2% define athletic fields; soccer goals; defined baseball space; improved basketball court; remove the tennis court or improve it; better maintenance volleyball court; sports league; box hockey; horseshoes; badmington
Splash Pad 14 4.6%
Skatepark 13 4.2% larger ramp; fishbowl; vert ramp; skateable plaza
Lighting 13 4.2% better lighting; path lighting; solar lights; lighting for basketball courts; the park is really dark at night and people use the trail even if it is just walking to businesses at Mueller [will increase with new Alamo Drafthouse and restaurants]; lighting for basketball courts
Recycling bins 11 3.6% add recycling bins and pickup
Trash 9 2.9% more trash cans; cans with lids
Fitness equipment 9 2.9% fitness equipment for adults and youth
Water fountains 9 2.9% additiona waterl fountains
Events 8 2.6% community events; fitness classes; kids games
Other Social 5 1.6% improved wheelchair access; more welcoming to African American residents; Accessible playground for all albilites; tamp down on large parties/noise/traffic
Fencing 6 2.0% surround plascape; along Airport Blv; large sitting stones to replace wood bollards; stone barriers along the road
Other 6 2.0% preserve open spaces; keeping the green spaces; organize games; improve parking, replace wood poles around park with stone like in Mueller, keep cars and trucks from entering the park; not a private garden
Remain same 2 0.7% I like it exactly as it is
307

About the survey

The Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park was conducted online and at various community events held at the park between May 27 and October 10. There were 254 respondents, all but 28 from the neighborhoods adjacent to the park (Delwood 2, Cherrywood, Mueller, Schieffer-Willowbrook and Wilshire Wood). Of the 28, all but three were from nearby neighborhoods in East Austin, including Windsor Park, University Hills, Chestnut.

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