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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Patterson park plan mtg June 21

June 21: Creating a Neighborhood Park Plan

Friends of Patterson Park will lead a community effort to develop a Neighborhood Park Plan to guide our work over the next five years. We will be guided by the Survey of Community Priorities, which was completed by 255 park users in 2016. Join us for the first of two community meetings on Wednesday, June 21 at Servant Church (1605 E. 38 1/2 St) at 5:30 p.m. Pizza and babysitting will be provided.

KEY POINTS

  • Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park conducted in 2017 finds many desired updates to the park (e.g. updates to playground, furnishings, athletic courts), no major new additions, some minor and medium-sized additions (e.g. lighting, water fountains, benches)
  • Parks and Rec does not recommend a master plan because we do not have plans for major new additions to the park
  • A plan would be helpful to organize timeline for fundraising and projects planned for coming years
  • As this is a neighborhood-led and not PARD-led process, it will be known as a Neighborhood Park Plan and not a Master Plan (e.g. Ramsey and Brentwood Park plans as models $200K Pease Park plan)
  • After plan is approved FoPP will only return to NAs for approval of new items not included in park plan/update of plan in 3-5 years

TIMELINE

  1. June 2017: Full analysis of Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park
  2. September 2017: Two community meetings: June 21, 5:30 @ Servant Church and 2nd meeting in September
  3. October 2017: Preparation of Plan
  4. November – December 2017: Presentation of Plan at Neighborhood Association meetings in Delwood 2, Cherrywood, Mueller, Schieffer-Willowbrook, and Wilshire Wood
  5. December / January 2017: Submission to Parks and Recreation

NOTES

The Parks Department will provide support in the form of maps for meeting materials, attending meetings for questions and reviewing feedback/projects for feasibility

 

REPORT: February 2017 Community Meeting

Friends of Patterson Park held a community meeting on Saturday morning, February 4 at Servant Church. Donuts and childcare were provided, and 8 neighbors came out to talk with artist Jennifer Chenoweth and Brian Block, PARD liaison for Adopt-a-Park groups.

Chenoweth answered various questions about Dance of the Cosmos, including the refinishing process she is using before installing the sculpture at Patterson Park, and the kind of signage she is developing.  Block led a discussion of what to do with the community priorities for Patterson Park identified in last year’s survey. He said that since the list did not include anything transformative, i.e. a major addition to the park, that a master plan would not be required for Patterson.

Block suggested that FoPP identify what the most easily achievable priorities were and work on those first, not necessarily tackling them in order. An example of the straightforward kind of project would be adding new benches to the park, and an example of a more complex and expensive project would be resurfacing the basketball court. For the full list of priorities, click here. Since PARD is currently working on a series of improvements at Patterson, future projects should be undertaken in coordination with their work plans.

Community Priorities for Patterson Park (2016)

  1. Playsground improvements
  2. Pool improvements
  3. Bathroom improvements
  4. Trail improvements
  5. Amenities
  6. Landscaping
  7. Dog park
  8. Shade covers
  9. Athletic field/court improvements
  10. Splash Pad
  11. Skatepark improvements
  12. Lighting
  13. Recycling bins
  14. Trash
  15. Fitness equipment
  16. Water fountains
  17. Events
  18. Other social
  19. Fencing
  20. Other
  21. Amphitheatre
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Community Meeting to be Held Saturday, February 4

Friends of Patterson Park would like to invite the neighbors from Cherrywood, Delwood 2, Mueller, Schieffer-Willowbrook, and Wilshire Wood to an open community meeting to discuss plans at the park for 2017.

Friends of Patterson Park Community Meeting
Saturday, February 4, 10-11:30 a.m.
Servant Church, 1605 E. 38 1/2 St., Austin, TX 78722

The main topics are:

1) Dance of the Cosmos, Jennifer Chenoweth’s kinetic scultpure, will be moving to the park later this year. This is our opportunity to ask the artist anything and everything we want to know about the piece, her work, and how it will fit into Patterson Park.

2) Fundraising priorities for park improvements. The results of the recently completed survey of community priorities indicated people’s top priorities are improvements to the playscape, pool, bathroom, trails, amenitites. But what’s practical and within reach? We’d like to determine a goal for fundraising during Amplify Austin in March. Brian Block, PARD’s liason for Adopt-A-Park groups, will be there to help us work through the options.

Childcare will be provided, so please feel free to bring your families. A babysitter will supervise an animated movie and we’ll have donuts and hot chocolate.

Meeting at Patterson Park. Photo by Jennifer Potter-Miller.

Dance of the Cosmos Sculpture Moving to Patterson Park in 2017

Over the past several months, Friends of Patterson Park has been working with East Austin artist Jennifer Chenoweth on the proposal to donate her sculpture Dance of the Cosmos to our park. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department recently approved a final location, and Chenoweth has received a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation to fund the refurbishment and relocation of the sculpture. FoPP and four of the adjacent neighborhood associations voted to support the move (Cherrywood, Delwood 2, Mueller and Schieffer-Willowbrook). Wilshire Wood abstained.

To maintain the kinetic sculpture in perpetuity, PARD requires a donation of $5,000, which APF does not fund. The artist will be seeking community support for that amount.

APF will host a check presentation ceremony and discussion of next steps at 11a.m. on Monday, December 5th, and FoPP members are invited to attend. Work is expected to begin in January 2017, to be completed in Spring 2017.

About the sculpture

Dance of the Cosmos was inspired by Robert Putchik’s Theory of Emotions and a Tibetan lotus mandala. XYZ Atlas, a Hedonic Map of Austin, an interactive public art about our collective experiences. The sculpture has a footprint of 20 feet and is 8 feet tall when the flower is closed. The piece is currently on loan to the Elizabeth Ney Museum in Hyde Park. Dance of the Cosmos was created in 2015 in part with a grant from the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division.

About the artist

Jennifer Chenoweth is a visual artist and entrepreneur.  She is the principal of Fisterra Studio, creating contemporary abstract painting and sculpture. Chenoweth studied Painting and Sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute, has a master’s degree from the “Great Books” program at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, and holds an M.F.A. in Painting from The University of Texas at Austin. She has curated a group show at her studio and home for the East Austin Studio Tour since its inception in 2003. Her art is in the Public Collection at the Houston Hobby Airport and she has shown extensively in Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, and at art fairs in London, Miami, New York, and Santa Fe.

Chenoweth served as a panelist for the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places and served as Design Team Artist for the East 7th Street Corridor Project, advising for the African-American Cultural Center and the new Central Library. She has received honors for her work from the City of Austin and Giving City. She recently served as the Vice Chair of the Arts Commission, appointed from District 3 to help advocate for creatives in Austin. (Source: fisterrastudio.com)

DanceCosmosColor.photo by Michelle Atkinson.sm

Photo credit: Michelle Atkinson

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Patterson Park map by Chris Levack

September 24, 2016 Friends of Patterson Park Meeting Agenda

Join Friends of Patterson Park at 10 am on Saturday morning, Sept. 24 at Patterson Park for a  discussion of current and proposed projects, coffee, and muffins.  For more info, email fopp.atx@gmail.com.

AGENDA

1) Welcome and introductions

2) Proposal for Gordon Bennett Trail markers and 3-D Patterson Park map:

3) Review of two proposed locations for “Dance of the Cosmos” sculpture by Jennifer Chenoweth, Fisterra Studio

  • Please take the online survey here: http://bit.ly/2cP6B0F
  • Note that PARD will make a final decision on location using this feedback.

3) Announcements