New playground equipment. Source: Whirlix.

Patterson Park Playground is Expanding

By Jennifer Potter-Miller
Originally published in the August 2018 issue of The Flea

Friends of Patterson Park (FoPP) received a $50,000 ACL Music Festival Community Grant from the Austin Parks Foundation in June, which will support the construction of new playground equipment and park seating—addressing playground improvements, the number-one goal in our Neighborhood Park Plan.

The project, a collaboration with Austin Department of Parks and Recreation, Urban Patchwork, and Landscape Structures, includes a circular monkey bar and two spinners. New benches will be placed under the park’s oak trees, and small boulders will be grouped to form natural play elements and extra seating. Matching funds raised by the neighboring community during Amplify Austin will be instrumental in executing the improvements. FoPP is tremendously grateful to all the neighbors and neighborhood businesses who have supported its fundraising!

FoPP’s grant application to the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Partnering Program is currently under consideration. This grant would allow for updating park furnishings and making trail improvements.

In June, Patterson Park held a screening of How to Train Your Dragon, part of the Movies in the Park series hosted by Austin Parks Foundation, Alamo Drafthouse, and other sponsors. More than 250 people enjoyed the charming animated movie and food trucks on the lawn. Upcoming events include an End of Summer Pool Party (Aug. 18), National Night Out (Oct. 2), It’s My Park Day (Nov. 3) and CherryWoodstock (Nov. 10).

FoPP plans to wrap up the installation of the playground addition at It’s My Park Day 2018, and would love the help of all park lovers! To get involved, follow FoPP on Facebook or email fopp.atx@gmail.com.

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End of Summer Pool Party

The 2018 summer swim season wraps up on Saturday, August 18, and Friends of Patterson Park is hosting a pool party!

Saturday, August 18, 3-5 p.m.
End of Summer Pool Party

We’ve loved spending so many summer days hanging out with friends and neighbors at Patterson pool, and want to say goodbye with a splash. Join us on the last day of the summer swim season and we’ll have ice cream sandwiches to share.
We’re also celebrating our grant from the Austin Parks Foundation for playground improvements. The new play equipment will be installed later this fall, and we are so grateful for the funding!
APF Movies in the Park How To Train Your Dragon

Movies in the Park at Patterson: “How to Train Your Dragon” June 21

Friends of Patterson Park is thrilled to host APF’s Movies in the Park at our neighborhood park this week! Join the Austin Parks Foundation, Alamo Drafthouse and Whole Foods for a FREE screening of “How To Train Your Dragon”, on Thursday, June 21 at 9p.m.  Bring a picnic or pick up dinner/snacks from one of the food trailers that will be there. The movie will start at 9 p.m., when it gets dark. Rain date is June 28.

Garbo’s Lobster Truck ATX
Connor’s Creamery
Noble Sandwich Co.

https://austinparks.org/movies-in-the-park/

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

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

Team APF finish lin

Team Austin Parks Foundation raises $595 for Patterson

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!

MLK Day of Service

It’s My Park Day at Patterson March 3

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
REGISTRATION: https://givepul.se/a6pwk

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
REGISTRATION: https://givepul.se/55jph

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 fopp.atx@gmail.com.

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.

Friends of Patterson Park community meeting January 20, 2018.

Notes: FoPP Community Meeting Jan. 20

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.

Tree Planting

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.

Playground Improvements

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.

Spring Fundraising

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.

MLK Day of Service

AYLA Mulches at Patterson for MLK Day of Service

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.

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Photos by J. Potter-Miller/Friends of Patterson Park