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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Patterson Park playground addition

Playground Addition Grant Submitted

This week Friends of Patterson Park submitted an application to Austin Parks Foundation for an ACL Music Festival Community Grant to fund the playground addition project we developed over the last year.  The project includes 1) new playground equipment (circular monkey bars and spinners next to the current playground), 2) additional benches (under the shade of the oak trees),  3) boulders and stumps for natural play and seating (in front of the bathrooms), and 4) a line of stepping stones (under the trees next to the toddler playground). The addition was approved in October, and the surrounding neighborhoods voted in favor of it at the same time they voted to support our Neighborhood Park Plan.

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playground addition site panoramic.sm

Site for proposed playground addition.

The playground addition addresses the first priority identified in the 2016 Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park, improvements to the playground. Potential projects were identified as new play equipment, additional seating, and natural play opportunities. The full set of community priorities 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 illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Park Plan Submitted to City for Review

The Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan developed over the last two years has been submitted to they City of Austin’s Department of Parks and Recreation for final review and adoption. The plan was based on the Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park conducted in 2016 and community meetings held in 2017. Friends of Patterson Park approved the plan 61-2 in an online poll held in October 2017, and the Cherrywood, Delwood 2, Mueller , Schieffer-Willowbrook, and Wilshire Wood/Delwood 1 Neighborhood Associations voted to approve the plan at meetings held that fall and winter.

The Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan is available for review and download here.

Patterson egg hunt March 31, 2018. Photo by J. Potter-Miller/FoPP.

Egg Hunting, Mulching, and Planting on a Spring Weekend at the Park

We hosted the biggest Easter egg hunt yet at Patterson on Saturday, with 200+ neighbors coming out to search for 1000 stuffed eggs + many hundreds of chocolate eggs, enjoy a potluck brunch and crack dozens of cascarónes. Servant Church volunteers were a huge help once again. Lots of photos on Flickr at http://bit.ly/pattersonegghunt2018

The Austin Parks Foundation organized a mulching day to add another 20 yards of to the new grove downhill from the playground, and volunteers from the Florida State University alumni association and Texas Parks Rangers knocked the work out in record time.

Lastly, the community garden held a dedication ceremony for a plaque in honor of a friend of the garden, and planted their Giving Garden.

What a fantastic way to welcome spring!

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Photos by J. Potter-Miller/FoPP. See more on Flickr.

 

4th Annual Patterson Park Easter Egg Hunt is March 31

The 4th annual Patterson Park Easter Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, March 31 at 10 a.m! Friends of Patterson Park is pleased to partner with Servant Church for another great community event at the east end of the park. We will meet at the small pavilion by the community garden to hunt for eggs, blow lots of bubbles, smash cascarónes and enjoy a potluck brunch in our beautiful neighborhood park!

Wondering what you can bring on Saturday morning? Extra plastic eggs with toys/stickers/candy, extra chocolate eggs, extra cascarónes, OJ, fruit, pan dulce, muffins, tacos or other brunchy food to share. We’ll have coffee and lemonade.

Egg hunt starts at 10 a.m. sharp! We’ll have separate search areas for the 4+ and >3 kids, and a golden egg prize!

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2017 egg hunt. Photos by J. Potter-Miller/FoPP

 

giving garden Patterson Park Community Garden

Giving Garden Construction at Patterson on March 24

Via our friends at the Patterson Park Community Garden.

Patterson Park Community Garden aspires to be part of the solution to ending local hunger. To that end we would like to build a Giving Garden that we hope will become a place for learning and sharing, not just among ourselves but with the larger community.

On March 24, we will build the plot! We will be using a method that requires no money at all to demonstrate that gardening does not have to be a rich person’s pursuit. Members have gathered the needed material and we are now set to begin.
Everyone is invited to attend the construction party scheduled for Saturday, March 24 at noon. For more info on the Giving Garden, email fopp.atx@gmail.com.
giving garden Patterson Park Community Garden
Patterson tree planting, March 2018. Photo by J. Potter-Miller/FoPP.

New Grove of Trees Planted at Patterson Park

There’s a new grove of trees at Patterson Park! Volunteers planted 15 saplings on March 10 as part of a pilot project in collaboration with TreeFolks and Austin Parks Foundation.   Neighbors from all around the park came out to plant native trees under the supervision of Treefolks staff.  They added a layer of cardboard to suppress weeds and several inches of mulch to protect them. A volunteer watering brigade will use Treegators to give them a slow, deep soak with ten gallons of water once a week.

The grove includes Burr Oak, Monterrey Oak, Flameleaf Sumac, Goldenball Lead, Texas Kidneywood, Mexican Plum, Texas Persimmon, Red Bud, Desert Willow, and Anacacho Orchid and is intended to add biodiversity to the park. The trees are doing great so far and FoPP is determined to be a good steward for the next generation of great trees at Patterson. Stop by to check them out just downhill from the restrooms!

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IMPD Sp2018 Patterson-

Another Great It’s My Park Day at Patterson!

We had another great It’s My Park Day on Saturday, with almost 40 volunteers working to mulch the large oak trees around the playground. It was a beautiful morning and we were thrilled to have the Assistant Director of PARD, Director of Development at Austin Parks Foundations, and a forester with Texas A&M Forest Service join us.

Forester Brad Hamel gave a great short presentation on how mulch works like a cushion to protect the root system in high traffic areas like where we were working, and the value of clearing root collars of the soil that accumulates over the years, stressing the trees.
Thanks to everyone who came out to lend a hand, to Austin Parks Foundation for organizing the city-wide volunteer day, and to Thunderbird for the great coffee! If you’d like to help plant trees this Saturday, please sign up here: https://givepul.se/55jph.

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Photos by J. Potter-Miller

Amplify Patterson 2018 thank you

Friends of Patterson Park Raises $5,705 During Amplify Austin

A team of Friends of Patterson Park worked together during Amplify Austin, and raised a total of $5,705. We brought together six business sponsors to provide matching funds, five individual fundraisers, a match from Austin Parks Foundation, and neighbors and friends who supported our campaign.  We are filled with joy and gratitude at the generous outpouring of support!

Amplify Patterson 2018 thank you

Business Sponsors

Nature’s Treasures, Erin Tassoulas Design + Build, Nicole Cooper -NBC Realty, Thunderbird Coffee, Urban Patchwork and Franklin Barbecue each provided matching funds to the first $1,750 donated. Nature’s Treasures provided $500 in matching funds, and the other neighborhood-based businesses $250.

Individual fundraisers

Cynthia Soliz, Jane O’Brien, Kate West and Susan Potter, park lovers who live in Mueller, and Wilshire Wood,  and Cherrywood each had individual fundraising campaigns, as did the Cap City Cobra baseball team, which practices at the park.

Austin Parks Foundation

Our fiscal sponsor APF generously matched 25% of the first $2,500 raised. This totals $625, making the final amount raised $5,705.

What’s next?

We have a lot planned for the next few weeks! Next Saturday, March 10, we will be planting a new grove of trees at the park, and our annual Easter egg hunt is planned for March 31. We also plan to submit an application in April for funding to for the first part of our Neighborhood Park Plan, new circular monkey bars and seating at the playground. Email fopp.atx@gmail.com to join our mailing list and get involved!

P.S.

Ice cream parties are so much fun, and we had a blast kicking off Amplify at the park on Thursday.

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I #AmplifyATX because…