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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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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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.

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

 

Patterson Park Community Garden Grand Opening and Dance of the Cosmos Unveiling

Celebration of Patterson Community Garden & Dance of the Cosmos to be Held May 27

Join Friends of Patterson Park for a celebration of our community garden and new sculpture, Dance of the Cosmos, this Saturday, May 27! There will be tacos, ice cream, a bouncy house, music, and screen printing of Friends of Patterson Park t-shirts by Bibliographia. The event is 10 a.m.-12 p.m., with a formal program from 10:30-11 and tour of the garden at 11. If you’d like to volunteer as an ice cream scooper, please sign up here: https://givepul.se/x61n1.
 

COMMUNITY GARDEN GRAND OPENING
& DANCE OF THE COSMOS UNVEILING

May 27, 2017

10:00 am                Patterson Park Community Breakfast
10:30 am                Welcome

  • Meredith Gauthier, City of Austin

Parks and Recreation Department, Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Coordinator

10:35 am                 Remarks

  • Sari Albornoz, Sustainable Food Center, Grow Local Program Director
  • Mark Smolen, Patterson Park Community Garden, Chair
  • Ladye Anne Wofford, Austin Parks Foundation, Program Director
  • Jennifer Chenoweth, Dance of the Cosmos, Artist
  • Jennifer Potter-Miller, Friends of Patterson Park, Chair

11:00 am                 Garden Tour and Park Activities

Download the program here.

About the Community Garden

Located at Patterson Park, the Patterson Park Community Garden was realized through a partnership between the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Austin Parks Foundation and is sponsored by Sustainable Food Center.  The all-organic vegetable garden was first proposed in 2012 and broke ground in May 2016.  There are 68 garden plots and community members are welcome to join.

For more information about the garden, visit: https://pattersonparkcommunitygarden.wordpress.com

About the Art

The sculpture Dance of the Cosmos by Jennifer Chenoweth of Fisterra Studio was inspired by Robert Putchik’s Emotional Windows study and a Tibetan lotus mandala. It is part of the XYZ Atlas, a Hedonic Map of Austin, an interactive public art project about our collective experiences of place.

Many thanks to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Parks Foundation, and PSW Real Estate for their support of this art project.

For more information about the artist, visit: http://fisterrastudio.com/

Photo credit:
Jennifer Potter-Miller (community garden), Michelle Atkinson (Dance of the Cosmos)

Patterson Playground repairs 2017

Playground Work Nears Completion

The Patterson Park playground remains closed, but the crew from Parks and Recreation is making great progress and may be done by the end of the week. The half of the playground with equipment for toddlers is finished, with fresh mulch laid over a weed barrier and rocks for drainage. The main part of the playground is prepped and ready for mulch. We look forward to the reopening of our neighborhood park’s playground soon!

FoPP Receives Austin Parks Foundation Grant to Update Pool Area Benches and Tables

Friends of Patterson Park is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a Neighborhood Grant from the Austin Parks Foundation to replace the furnishings at the Patterson pool. The grant is for $4,910 to purchase two new picnic tables, six benches and a trash can to replace the existing ones, which are in severe disrepair. The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department has generously offered to install them. We are so grateful for the continued support the Parks Foundation and PARD, and look forward to a more comfortable summer swim season at our updated neighborhood pool!