Five neighbors joined Team Austin Parks Foundation to run the Austin Marathon 5K on Sunday, February 18. Lucia (6), Nico (8), and Robert Miller, Jennifer Potter-Miller and Cerece Rosenthal raised $595 for Patterson. It was a cool, damp morning perfect for running, and it was a lot of fun being part of a large crowd running across Lady Bird Lake on Congress Ave. The Moody Foundation is matching 100% of donations to Team APF so another $595 will go into the APF coffers. We are so grateful for the support of our family, friends, and neighbors!
Join Friends of Patterson Park on Saturday, March 3rd for It’s My Park Day! Meet us at 9am at the pavilion for a family work day.
WHEN: Saturday, March 3
WHERE: Patterson Park pavilion
Sign up at this link to receive an awesome t-shirt and sign a liability waiver. The plan is to prepare the area just west of the playground to plant a new grove of trees including a diverse range of species. PARD will dig the holes, and volunteers will engage in several activities including laying cardboard and mulch to suppress bermuda grass around the new trees, root collar clearing and trash pickup.
This is an opportunity for the folks of all ages to volunteer. We will have coffee, lemonade, tacos, and muffins to fuel our volunteers. Thank you to the Austin Parks Foundation for organizing this city-wide work day at Austin’s parks. We’ve accomplished so much at volunteer work days over the last several years and always have a great time!
We are also looking for volunteers for the Patterson Tree Planting.
WHEN: Saturday, March 10
WHERE: Patterson Park pavilion
Friends of Patterson Park is organizing a group of neighbors to “adopt” the grove and commit to get them established by watering for three years. This pilot project is a partnership between the Friends of Patterson Park, Austin Parks Foundation, TreeFolks and the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department. If you want to join the watering crew and get one of the trees labeled with your family name, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trees in the new grove include Burr Oak, Monterrey Oak, Flameleaf Sumac, Goldenball Lead, Texas Kidneywood, Mexican Plum, Texas Persimmon, Red Bud, Desert Willow, Anacacho Orchid. Read more about the new grove.
Twelve Friends of Patterson Park met at the playground on January 20 to review plans for spring projects. The major topics were 1) the tree planting planned for March 10, 2) grant application for playground improvements due April 30, and 3) spring fundraising. There was a great discussion with several issues resolved and we enjoyed dinner together at the pavilion afterward.
Guest speakers Bill Stout (Austin Parks Foundation) and Suzannah DesRoches (TreeFolks) spoke about the location of the new grove of trees to be planted in March, and led a discussion of how to organize a “Patterson Tree Huggers” watering crew, what it would involve, and ways to offer an “adopt-a-tree” marker for families participating in the crew as an incentive. The decision was made to use Treegator watering bags to maximize ease of watering and efficient soaking, and to search for markers that can be attached to tree branches identifying the species and recognizing a tree adopter.
The area where the grove will be planted is just west and north of the playground. Bill has worked out a plan with PARD where they will use their equipment to clear the bermuda grass and dig post holes prior to planting day. Austin Resource Recovery will donate cardboard, and APF will donate mulch, so that on March 10 volunteers will plant the trees, and cover the entire area with cardboard and mulch to suppress grass. This will allow mowing crews to stay clear of the young trees.
The list of trees included in the planned grove is Burr Oak, Monterrey Oak, Flameleaf Sumac, Goldenball Lead, Texas Kidneywood, Mexican Plum, Texas Persimmon, Red Bud, Desert Willow, Anacacho Orchid. TreeFolks plans to procure them from the Barton Springs Nursery.
FoPP has worked with PARD to identify circular monkey bars and spinners as equipment that will 1) fit in this area 2) meet need for new equipment focused on strength and balance, and 3) be durable. The preferred vendor is Landscape Structures. Paige Oliverio Hill (Urban Patchwork) presented her design for seating around the area where the playground addition is planned. This is immediately adjacent to the playground, on the west side. Plans also include steps down to the bathrooms, and boulders for natural play and seating in front of the bathrooms.
Jennifer Potter-Miller, FoPP Chair, shared plans to raise funds through the Austin Parks Foundation during the Austin Marathon races (Feb. 18) and Amplify Austin (March 1-2). There will be a taco night on Feb. 20 at her house for neighbors interested in creating individual fundraising pages for Amplify.
On January 15, Friends of Patterson Park partnered with the Austin Parks Foundation and Austin Young Lawyers Association for a Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day of Service. Lots of area attorneys and neighbors came out with their families on the holiday to mulch the large oaks and clear root collars of accumulated soil. This will nourish the trees and allow them to breath better. Thanks for the great work everyone!
Volunteer opportunities this spring include It’s My Park Day (March 3) and a tree planting with TreeFolks and APF (March 10). We are also looking for people to adopt the trees and join the watering crew that will be responsible for our new grove of trees for the next few years, to help the future great trees of Patterson get established. This is a pilot project in coordination with the Parks and Recreation Department to demonstrate that neighbors can take responsibility for new plantings in public parks.
Photos by J. Potter-Miller/Friends of Patterson Park
Please join Friends of Patterson Park at the pavilion on Saturday, January 20 for a community meeting to discuss projects planned for 2018. We can order pizza for dinner afterward!
4-4:30 pm Tree planting
Finalize project plans, including location of new grove, selection of tree species, and watering commitment. Planting is scheduled for March 10, and planting prep will take place on It’s My Park Day, March 3.
4:30-5 pm Playground addition
Guest speaker: Paige Oliverio Hill, Urban Patchwork
Review plans for installation of circular monkey bars, spinners, and seating,
5-5:30 pm Upcoming fundraisers and discussion of small project/phased addition of park furnishings
Speaker: Jennifer Potter-Miller, FoPP
In search of neighbors to fundraise for Friends of Patterson Park during the Austin Marathon races (Feb. 18) and Amplify Austin (Mar. 1-2). Also, should we consider a small project this spring as playground addition would not be implemented until fall?
Friends of Patterson Park, Austin Parks Foundation and the Austin Young Lawyers Association have partnered for a mulching day on Monday, Jan. 15, 9:30-12:30, and it’s open to the community! If you want to honor Dr. King’s life by participating in the National Day of Service, sign up at Give Pulse and join us at Patterson Park. Kids are welcome. Hope to see you there!
It’s My Park Day, March 2017
Photo by J. Potter-Miller
By Robin Graham-Moore
The first Saturday in November found a group of more than 40 friends and neighbors in Patterson Park looking at an impressive mountain of steaming mulch. Fueled by Mi Madre’s breakfast tacos, Thunderbird coffee, and drinks and pastries brought by generous neighbors, the group grabbed tools and attacked the huge pile.
Three hours later found the pile gone and a bunch of exhausted, but exhilarated people looking with pride at over 40 mulched trees. The event gave parents an opportunity to work side by side with their eager kids. Others came with their families to work in a park they remembered fondly from family reunions and birthday parties. A nearby business, Liaison Creative + Marketing, brought many hands to help the park they love thrive. Thanks to the Austin Parks Foundation for organizing such a magical day in our community!
Join Friends of Patterson Park on Saturday, November 4th for It’s My Park Day! Meet at 9am at the playground for a family work day. We will be mulching the heritage oak trees surrounding the playground to help keep them healthy and providing much needed shade for years to come.
This is an opportunity for the folks of all ages to volunteer, and we will have kids sized shovels, gloves and mulch sleds. If you have wheelbarrows or wagons, please bring them! We’ll have shovels, gloves, and mulch sleds.
We will have coffee, lemonade, tacos, and muffins to fuel our volunteers. Please register at https://www.givepulse.com/event/58508 to get your t-shirt and sign the necessary waiver! Thank you to the Austin Parks Foundation for organizing this city-wide work day at Austin’s parks. We’ve accomplished so much at volunteer work days over the last several years and always have a great time!
Photo credit: J. Potter-Miller/FoPP. See more on Flickr.
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.
Photos by J. Potter-Miller, Friends of Patterson Park
Banner photo by CM Alison Alter/@ALTERforATX
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.
Chair, Friends of Patterson Park