Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

May 19 Community Meeting: Updating Park Furnishings and Making Trail Improvements

Join Friends of Patterson Park for to discuss our latest proposal to make our neighborhood park an even more comfortable and enjoyable place to spend time with family and friends. Coffee and muffins provided.

WHEN: Saturday, May 19, 10a.m.
WHERE: Patterson Park pavilion

The following proposal fulfills the priorities of updating aging furnishings to current PARD standards, adding a limited number of new furnishings where they would be useful, maximizing functionality of the trail, and improving the connection to Mueller. To read more, visit https://friendsofpattersonpark.org/parkplan/.

PROJECT 1: UPDATING FURNISHINGS

1) Add seating on trail at
* Dance of the Cosmos sculpture
* hill west of playground
* under oaks on Wilshire Blvd.

2) Add picnic tables
* next to tennis court
* next to volleyball court
* under trees across from Dance of the Cosmos sculpture

3) Add grills at picnic tables
* between bathrooms and Wilshire Blvd.
* between new grove of trees and tennis court
* small pavilion next to basketball court
* under oaks next to Schieffer Ave.

4) Replace trash cans at southeastern end of park (6)

5) Add trash cans next to picnic tables
* between playground and Genesis Church
* Dance of the Cosmos sculpture

PROJECT 2: TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS

1) Add trail markers for the 3/4 mile loop
2) Add kiosk with map and information indicating location of park amenities and nearby trails and green spaces
3) Add shade structure at intersection of Wilshire and Airport Blvds. to improve connection to Mueller

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Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Proposed project: Updating furnishings and improving trails

Part of the Neighborhood Park Plan series of posts.

Friends of Patterson Park is preparing for the second step in the execution of our Neighborhood Park Plan. The plan identified community priorities for Patterson Park based on the survey we conducted in 2016. We have applied for funding for the #1 priority, playground improvements, and hope to carry out this project in the fall. The #2 and #3 priorities, pool and bathroom improvements, must be undertaken by the city due to their scope. This brings us to updating the amenities/furnishings (#4) and trail improvements (#5).

When we began the park planning process, our furnishings were all aging and the trail was in poor condition. The Parks and Recreation Department has done extensive work at Patterson in the last two years, including replacing many off the old pebble encrusted trash cans and aging metal picnic tables, and reconditioning and extending the crushed granite trail. In addition, FoPP has secured grants from the Austin Parks Foundation to update the picnic tables and trash cans at the pavilion and pool.

To complete the work of updating furnishings, we would like to

  1. replace the remaining old trash cans (6) and add some at new locations (2-3)
  2. add grills to some of the heavily used picnic tables that don’t have them, including the small pavilion (2-4)
  3. add new seating (benches or boulders) along the trail (3-4)
  4. add picnic tables next to amenities , including the sculpture and some of the athletic fields/courts (3-4)

To complete the trail improvements, we would like to

  1. add new seating along the trail at a few locations (also part of furnishings updates above)
  2. add trail markers for 3/4 mile loop
  3. add map or signage indicating location of park amenities
  4. improve connection to Mueller with signage to the Southwest Greenway trail and shaded seating at intersection

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Patterson furnishing survey

Notes: Neighborhood Partnering Project meeting, April 25

A few Friends of Patterson Park met with Marcus Primm, the Program Manager for the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) on April 25th to discuss the next community priorities identified in our neighborhood park plan and how they might fit with NPP’s mission.

For reference, the full set of community priorities in our park plan is the following:

1. Playground improvements
2. Pool improvements
3. Bathroom improvements
4. Amenities/furnishings
5. Trail improvements
6. Tree plantings
7. Shade Structures
8. Athletic field/court improvements
9. Skate ramp improvements
10. Lighting
11. Fitness Equipment
12. Other

Friends of Patterson Park recently submitted a grant application to Austin Parks Foundation to fund a project that would fulfill the playground improvements priority. There are significant pool improvements slated for Patterson in the Aquatic Master Plan completed by PARD in 2017, but no funds allocated so far. Bathroom improvements (remodeling or, more likely, new construction) would fall to PARD as they require bond funds.

Priority #4 is amenities/furnishings. Potential projects include adding new seating and grills, replacing the remaining decades-old trash cans, and adding a limited number of picnic tables.

Priority #5 is trail improvements, and potential projects include lighting, trail markers, signage. Since PARD recently reconditioned our granite trails and added the two segments we had requested (from the roundabout to Schieffer Ave. and Airport Blvd.), and both APF and PARD have suggested waiting to see how new solar lights that will be installed soon at other Austin parks work out, these two priorities could easily be rolled together into one grant.

Mr. Primm described the Neighborhood Partnering Program as helping Austin residents carry out improvement projects in the city’s right of way or on city-owned land. Park improvements are among the major categories of work that they do. The main details were:

* projects fall into two categories, under 150K and over 150K
* projects under 150K require a 30% cost share by the applicants in either funds or volunteer hours
* NPP collects bids and selects contractors for the project
* grant application deadlines are June 1 and October 1
* a high percentage of applicants are funded, and those that are not are assisted in strengthening their proposals for the next funding cycle.

Our group was encouraged to go big and roll in the next priorities, shade structure and improvements to the athletic courts and fields. However, this is more complex because we have no consensus yet on a multi-use field, so it may make the most sense to start with a smaller project this summer while we work out what it is we want in terms of improvements to the athletic fields. We could plan to apply for a second, bigger grant in October that could include some or all of the following projects

1) resurfacing and shading the basketball court
2) improvements to the baseball field
3) improvements to the volleyball court
4) a multi-use field in some configuration

The next steps are identifying what furnishings need to be updated, where additional pieces would useful, and what kind of markers and signage would be most helpful. PARD has already replaced most of the ancient pebble-covered trash cans and rusty green picnic tables, so we probably only need a few more grills and trash cans, some seating along the path, and 2-3 picnic tables by amenities like the sculpture and volleyball court.

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