Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Neighborhood Park Plan Approved by FoPP

Friends of Patterson Park voted by a strong majority to support the proposed Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan.  The poll was held online September 29–October 2, and 63 members participated. The final tally was 61 in favor and 2 against.

The next steps will be to submit the plan to the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department for approval, and to present it for a vote at the Cherrywood, Delwood 2, Mueller, Schieffer Willowbrook and Wilshire Wood/Delwood 1 Neighborhood Associations at their fall meetings. The plan will also be presented to the Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood Contact Team at their Oct. 23 meeting.

Many thanks to everyone who participated! We look forward to implementing our plans for our neighborhood park.

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Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Proposed Project: Tree Planting

Part of the Neighborhood Park Plan series of posts.

Austin Parks Foundation and TreeFolks, in partnership with the Urban Forestry Division at PARD, have proposed a partnership with Friends of Patterson Park in order to plant two small groves of trees at the park this October. The objective is to increase the diversity of tree species and add more beauty and health to the park. Urban Forestry will approve this project if FoPP members can commit to watering and maintaining the trees for two years while they get established.

All materials costs, education and information resources, tool supply and organizing the tree planting will be provided by Austin Parks Foundation and TreeFolks; supplemental watering for two years (commitment to establish the trees), tree mulching and other maintenance will be the responsibility of the Friends of Patterson Park.

Patterson Park proposed tree grove.edw

Tree Species List-TFolks 9-2017

Tree Species List. May be modified.

Google Earth view of Patterson: tree planting areas 1 and 2

Groves 1 and 2 north of restrooms, west of pool.

Grove of post oaks at Patterson Park

Grove of post oaks at Patterson Park near volleyball court

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Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Community Priorities and Potential Projects with Comments

Thank you to everyone who attended our community meeting on the Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan on Sept. 13. We had a productive discussion of the various projects that could meet the community priorities identified in the 2016 survey.You can see the survey results here: http://bit.ly/pattersonsurveyresults. The draft Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan is forthcoming.

Patterson Park Community Priorities and Potential Projects with Comments
9/13/17 FoPP Community Meeting

1. Playground improvements

  • Add freestanding play elements
  • Add seating
  • Add shade
  • Add natural play area

 

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COMMENTS:
Monkey bars would be GREAT for older kids! Everyone would benefit from more shaded seating. Some simple boulders for natural play might fit well under oaks by community garden.
Good idea but make sure of the hanging apparatus at height adult 5 ½ to 6 ½ ft tall can use it.
Check!
Love the circle monkey bars & spinners.
Tree climbing playground equipment (aka Dove Springs park)

2. Pool improvements

  • Rebuild pool and bathhouse
  • Plant shade trees

 

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COMMENTS:
Love the shade additions!
Water park features like Peace Park might be cheaper & fun.
More shade at the pool. Changing rooms, lockers.

3. Bathroom improvements

  • Remodel/new construction
  • Add soap dispensers

 

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COMMENTS:

When rebuild move so not in the middle of oaks and playground, merge with pool bathrooms.
My favorite bathrooms in Austin! (Johnston Creek example)
Integrate with pool
It would be AMAZING to have clean, simple, modern bathrooms like these (Johnston Creek example) at our park
We need new bathrooms with soap dispensers and perhaps closer to the pool

4. Trail improvements

  • Complete trail between Schieffer Ave. and Brookview Rd. roundabout
  • Improved trail maintenance (add granite, remove weeds)
  • Add lighting
  • Add seating
  • Add trail markers, map
  • Transitions from concrete sidewalk to crushed granite trail at each end of the sidewalk.
  • Improve connection to Mueller trail with signage, shaded seating at intersection of Wilshire Pkwy. and Airport Blvd.

 

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COMMENTS:
Large limestone barriers to provide perimeter seating along trails & prevent vehicle entry. This might happen with future Airport Blvd. redesign.
Some lighting along trail would be great, also trail markers, a park and trail map, and lots of seating.
Careful of cluttering with too many benches and signage – dual/multi purpose?
Trail to volleyball, skate park, community garden.
Need continuous loop of trails.
Connect with Mueller; consider merging trail with Gordon Bennet Way.
Not too much lighting.
Just walked to Mueller last night and was too too dark on walk home at Patterson.
Something more natural, not so George Orwell 1984 [as in example photo].
Check, check, check.

5. Amenities

  • Replace old picnic tables, benches, trash cans
  • Add new picnic tables, benches, grills, trash cans, bike racks
  • Amphitheatre (using landscaping rocks, as implemented in Mueller and Ramsey Parks)

 

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COMMENTS:
Benches near volleyball court (but be strategic where it doesn’t inhibit future desires to expand the volleyball courts)
Thing through grouping of benches and/or picnic tables to allow for smaller + larger groups of family + friends at various spots.
Natural limestone benches.
I like the limestone bench idea.
Add more grills; add some picnic tables at East end of the park – it is now more of a destination; add seating by Dance of the Cosmos.
Consider crushed granite pad for new picnic tables.
Strategic planning for where to put new trash cans.
Add bike racks near destinations, not randomly.
Super simple amphitheatre at Ramsey is used for everything from kids musical performances to Shakespeare in the Park!

6. Landscaping

  • Shade tree planting in groves and along trails

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COMMENTS:
“If you plant them, they will grow”
Shade is always a benefit in Texas.
Yes!
Yes! If not post oak, live oak, lacey oak, & burr oaks.
Shade trees, some flowering natives & fruit/pecan trees.
APF/TreeFolks planting project would require two-year commitment by FoPP to watering new tree groves.

7. Shade covers

  • Add shade structure over part of playground
  • Add shade structure over basketball court

 

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COMMENTS:
Shaded and lit basketball court would be a huge “game” changer. Now it gets very little use daytime or night.
Shade over basketball court would maximize use in daytime and evening.
Shade over basketball court!

8. Athletic field/court improvements

  • Resurface basketball court
  • Add shade structure over basketball court
  • Add lighting around basketball court
  • Surface tennis court
  • Replace benches and trash cans around tennis court
  • Replace fencing around tennis court
  • Add lighting around tennis court
  • Add mulch barrier around volleyball court
  • Add seating around volleyball court

 

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COMMENTS:
There are TOO MANY sticker burrs! The volleyball court is covered in sticker burrs that are hidden in the sand and stab your feet. The volleyball court was completely unplayable last time the grass was mowed because the burrs spread out. The volleyball court is my sanctuary and it breaks my heart & kills my feet trying to play there.
A bench/picnic table would be nice too; & a water hose to spray down the court in summer; & a light!
I’ve suggested to many people to play vball at Patterson, everybody says it’s the worst place in city to play because of sticker burrs. Suggest a mulch or sand barrier around the courts (Zilker has a barrier).
Desperately need to surface/resurface courts! Lighting and shade would be great to maximize use and health benefits to community.
Field: yard markers for ultimate frisbee/football; open spaces for free play!
Add soccer goals

9. Skate park improvements

  • Resurface ramp
  • Repair stairs
  • Add landscaping

 

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COMMENTS:
Seating & viewing area around skate ramp would encourage congregating. Be sure to ask skater community on plants and mulch, which could change aesthetic of what they prefer.
Teenagers need places too!
Maybe some tree plantings to create shade.

10. Lighting

  • Add solar lighting along trails
  • Add lighting around athletic courts

 

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COMMENTS:
It’s hot in Texas, people like to play ball at night. Light this baby up!
Yes!!!
Yes, basketball court.
Volleyball courts.
Be careful about light pollution and fireflies.
Low trail lights are a good idea to consider.
Solar lights along the most busy parts of the trail would be very useful, and lighting of the athletic courts would bring a lot more people to the park.
Lighting needed on trail along Wilshire Pkwy.

11. Fitness equipment

  • Add small workout area with 2-4 pieces of equipment (e.g. pull up bar, sit up bench)
  • Remove old pull up bar by playground

 

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COMMENTS:
The athletic equipment along east side of Lady Bird trail is phenomenal. Please reproduce as much as possible.
Resistance training using body weight for upper body – check out what Camp Mabry uses.
I would love a sit up bench & maybe a pull up bar (for other people who seem to want them).
Please remove the dangerous old pull up bars near playground ASAP!
Consider stations around the trail.

12. Other

  • Add limestone blocks along Airport Blvd. sidewalk as seating & barrier
  • Add water fountains along trail
  • Add trail markers, signage, map

 

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COMMENTS:
Use same stone marker system as at Gordon Bennett Way in Mueller
Agree.
I would love trail signs and also really liked the Patterson Park map designed by Chris Levack.
Trail markers would be great addition (maybe more natural wood ones instead of more formal stone signs at Mueller), as would directional signage and a map of the park.

Idea boards used at community meeting

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Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin B. Alexander, commissioned by Friends of Patterson Park. Use only with permission.

 

Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood Plan and Patterson Park

The Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood Plan was adopted in August of 2002 by the City Council.  The section on Parks, Open Space & the Environment (see p. 67) deals with Patterson Park.

The plan states that one of the neighborhood’s objectives is to “raise the quality of Patterson Park to the level of other major parks in Austin. People of all backgrounds and ages should enjoy the park. Members of the community should form a “Friends of Patterson Park” organization to help implement suggested improvements. Ensure that there is continued maintenance and care for the post oaks and other trees throughout the park.” This is broken down into 16 proposed action items.

  • Action Item 83. Control the erosion on the west side of the park by installing a system of terraces or some other erosion control device and combine it with a gravel jogging path around the perimeter of Patterson Park.

Improve local access to Patterson Park

  • Action Item 84. Install a wheelchair- and stroller-accessible path leading from the playscape area to Wilshire Boulevard on the west side of Patterson Park.
  • Action Item 85. Complete the sidewalk at Patterson Park that is partially installed between the picnic shelter and Brookview Avenue.
  • Action Item 86. Resurface Brookview Avenue as it enters Patterson Park.

Preserve and enhance the natural beauty and functionality of Patterson Park

  • Action Item 87. Upgrade the playscape area at Patterson Park to promote its use by children of a variety of ages and their parents.  These improvements could include:
    • Replace the sand groundcover with pea gravel.
    • Remove wooden playscape and replace it with one suitable for children ages 1-3.
    • Remove metal playscape and replace it with one suitable for children ages 4-10 (as in Shipe Park or Maplewood Elementary playground).
    • Install baby swings.
    • Keep the tire and regular swings
  • Action Item 88. Install a shade cover over the baby pool at Patterson Park.
  • Action Item 89. Removed from plan. 

Improve safety conditions of Patterson Park

  • Action Item 90. Increase police patrols of Patterson Park to enforce the parks no alcohol rule.
  • Action Item 91. Move the electrical boxes near the swimming pool to just behind the lifeguard station and erect a new fence around it.
  • Action Item 92. Repair the manhole cover at Wilshire Boulevard (across from Wilshire Pkwy) to prevent further accidents.

Encourage responsible enjoyment and sense of stewardship of park by all users. In particular, encourage its users to uphold standards of cleanliness

  • Action Item 93. Raise the awareness of picnickers in Patterson Park to clean up after themselves.
  • Action Item 94. Install a dispenser for dog waste bags and raise awareness among dog-walkers for the need to use dog waste bags from a dispenser (or to bring their own bags) and to clean up after their dogs.
  • Action Item 95. Minimize the number of signs in Patterson Park and strategically place them in areas that will gain the greatest exposure to park users.
  • Action Item 96. Restrict the playing of loud music at Patterson Park before 12 noon on Sundays, out of deference to Genesis Presbyterian Church.

Increase community involvement in the improvement, maintenance, and upgrading of Patterson Park

  • Action Item 97. Conduct a survey among Patterson Park users and neighborhood residents of their perceptions of needed improvements in the park including a community/recreation center
  • Action Item 98. Install a community bulletin board/kiosk with announcements of local events and information about the vegetation found in the park. This would be a good place for community education about picking up litter and dog waste.

Learn more about the Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood Contact Team at https://upperboggycreek.com.

Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Proposed project: skate ramp improvements

Part of the Neighborhood Park Plan series of posts.

One of the community priorities for Patterson Park identified in the 2016 survey conducted by FoPP was improvements to the skate ramp. The ramp was designed and built by the Austin Public Skatepark Action Committee and Lonestar Skateparks in 2006. It is a popular park feature, and after 11 years of heavy use it is in need of some repairs. It would benefit from 1) resurfacing the ramp, 2) repairing the stairs, and 3) adding a rock garden/native planting to the side. Schieffer-Willowbrook neighbor David Boston has developed the proposal below.

Skate ramp improvement project. Design by David Boston.

Skate ramp improvement project. Design by David Boston.

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Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Proposed project: addition to playground

Part of the Neighborhood Park Plan series of posts.

One of the community priorities for Patterson Park identified in the 2016 survey conducted by FoPP was improvements to the playground. The most common requests were for 1) a natural play area, 2) a piece of climbing equipment, and 3) additional seating.

The natural play area will not fit with the current playscape, but might be developed in a different part of the park. A new climbing structure could be as simple as monkey bars or more innovative like a climbing net dome. Members of the FoPP executive committee met with sales representatives from Landscape Structures and We Build Fun over the summer to explore options. Both commercial playground companies were recommended by PARD. Because of cost and space limitations and in the interest of adding a piece that is both durable and timeless, the current idea is for install a circular monkey bar with a new seating wall around it and steps leading down to the bathrooms. This would be installed on the western edge of the playground, between where the current footprint of the playground extends and the bathrooms.

We Build Fun proposal

Patterson Park - Landscape Stuctures

Landscape Structures proposal

seating wall + steps

seating wall + steps

 

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Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Community Priorities and Potential Projects

Work on the Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan will be guided by the community priorities identified in the 2016 survey we conducted. The results of the survey are reported in full here: Patterson Community Survey Results (download the PDF). priorities are listed below, with potential projects. Please join us at the September 13 community meeting to discuss what we want to include in the park plan!

1. Playground improvements

2. Pool improvements

3. Bathroom improvements

  • remodel/new construction (requires PARD bond funding)
  • add soap dispensers

4. Trail improvements

  • Complete trail between Schieffer Ave. and roundabout
  • Improved trail maintenance (add granite, remove weeds)
  • Add lighting, seating

5. Amenities

  • Add seating
  • Add picnic tables
  • Replace old trash cans

6. Landscaping

  • Tree plantings
  • Butterfly garden (included in Community Garden, spring 2017)

7. Dog park

  • Not feasible. PARD does not allow in neighborhood parks. (See list of 12 off-leash areas operated by the City of Austin)

8. Shade covers

  • Cover part of playground
  • Cover basketball court

9. Athletic field/court improvements

  • Resurface basketball court
  • Replace benches and trash cans around basketball court (PARD, spring 2017)
  • Surface tennis court
  • Replace benches and trash cans around tennis court
  • Replace fencing around tennis court

10. Splash Pad

11. Skatepark improvements

  • Resurface
  • Repair Stairs
  • Add landscaping

12, Lighting

  • Add solar lighting along trails
  • Add other lighting

13. Recycling bins

  • Add bins

14. Trash

  • replace old trash bins (partially completed by PARD, spring 2017)

15. Fitness equipment

  • Add small workout area with 2-4 pieces of equipment (e.g. pull up bar, sit up bench)
  • Remove old pullup bar by playground

16. Other

  • Fencing
  • Water fountains
  • Amphitheatre

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Patterson Neighborhood Park Plan: Community Meeting #2

Friends of Patterson Park is leading a community effort to develop a Neighborhood Park Plan that will guide our work over the next five years. We will be driven by the Survey of Community Priorities, which was completed by 255 park users in 2016. Join us for the second of two community meetings on Wednesday, September 13 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. play equipment, 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 will 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 vs. $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

June 2017: Full analysis of Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park
September 2017: Two community meetings: June 21 and September 13

October 2017: Preparation of Plan
November – December 2017: Presentation of Plan at Neighborhood Association meetings in Delwood 2, Cherrywood, Mueller, Schieffer-Willowbrook, and Wilshire Wood
December / January 2017: Submission to Parks and Recreation Dept.

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.

Advocating for Playground Safety Funds in the City of Austin’s 2018 Budget

By Jennifer Potter-Miller

On Thursday, August 31, I joined the Austin Parks Foundation and other park adopters to advocate for parks funding at a public hearing at City Hall on the City of Austin’s 2018 budget.  I hope that the new budget makes progress on addressing the huge shortfalls in funding for park maintenance and improvements! My testimony is below.

Good evening Mayor Adler and Council Members. My name is Jennifer Potter-Miller, and I live in the Cherrywood neighborhood in District 9. I’m with Friends of Patterson Park, and am part of a broad alliance of residents, park adopters, and organizations from across the city that are speaking with one voice on the importance of investing in Austin parks, trails and green spaces in the City of Austin’s 2018 budget.

I support the $3.4 million in PARD concept menu items outlined by the Austin Parks Foundation in partnership with many other key Austin parks stakeholder groups.

In particular, I support funds for playground safety and maintenance. Until this spring, the playground at Patterson Park had a rubberized pour-in-place flooring which had degraded terribly over many years. It had been patched repeatedly, but had reached a point where there were chunks missing throughout, creating serious trip hazards and exposing a lot of the concrete subflooring.

PARD was aware of the problem and had gotten a quote from a contractor for replacing the flooring with wood chips, which is the new standard, but at $60,000 it was outside their budget. We were informed that we would probably have to wait for a parks bond for funds to replace the flooring.

Then in the winter, a crew came to replace a broken panel on the toddler playscape, and realized that there were eight feet of exposed concrete at the base. They told me they would either have to close off that part of the playscape, or replace the flooring, and the supervisor decided to allocate two crews to do the work themselves instead of contracting it out. This was a huge commitment of human resources, and we are so so grateful to have a beautiful new mulch floor that is up to current safety standards.

I think that with additional staffing for playgrounds, problems like these at other parks will be caught and addressed before they become so severe. We recognize that PARD is doing the best that they can with limited resources, but they would be better able to serve our city’s 300 parks with additional support.

My neighbor Cerece Rosenthal said it perfectly after her 5 year old broke his arm at a private playground. “Playground safety and maintenance is important to me because I want my kids to feel happy, carefree and safe when they play at the park. Now that they have experienced Max’s break they worry about it happening again. When I can show them all the ways the city works to keep our parks safe it reassures them and let’s them play and have fun. Like kids should!”

Thank you for your time.

 

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Photos by J. Potter-Miller, Friends of Patterson Park
Banner photo by CM Alison Alter/@ALTERforATX