Baseball diamond imrovements at Patterson Park. Photo by J. Potter-Miller/FoPP.

September 6 Friends of Patterson Park Meeting

Join Friends of Patterson Park for a discussion of current and proposed projects and refreshments. We’ve got a lot to talk about but will keep things moving quickly.

Thursday, Sept. 6 @ 8-9pm
Sour Duck, 1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

1) Welcome and introductions (5 mins.)

2) Update on Austin Parks Foundation Community Grant and next steps on playground project: Jennifer PM (10 mins.)

3) Update on Neighborhood Partnering Program grant application: Jennifer PM (5 mins.)

4) CherryWoodstock Music and Art Festival: Jeremy Klitzman, Organizer (10 mins.)

5) Tree and Butterfly Party (held in parallel to Oct. 27 Family Arbor and Monarch Appreciation Day at the Zilker Botanical Garden): Kathleen Mannello, Austin Parks Foundation (10 mins.)

6) Proposed improvements to baseball field: Seth Kessler, Cap City Cobras (10 mins.)

7) Proposed tree planting & shade sails with funds raised by Patterson swim team: Dusty Harshman, Patterson Piranhas (10 mins.)

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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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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

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…

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!

Amplify Patterson 2018

Amplify Patterson 2018!

Amplify Austin Day is coming up March 1-2, and Friends of Patterson Park is planning to participate in the city-wide fundraiser again. We have been working to improve and beautify our neighborhood park since 2002, and we have big dreams for 2018. Our Amplify goal is to raise $4,000 to continue making improvements to our park and support community events throughout the year. #AmplifyATX starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, and you can schedule your donation today!

In 2017 we collaborated with the Parks and Recreation Department and Austin Parks Foundation to host three volunteer work days, eight family yoga classes, and thirteen special events at the park, including a celebration of our new sculpture and the grand opening of our community garden, an egg hunt, National Night Out, and Luminarias at the park. We also received a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation to update seating and tables at the pool.

We are now focused on raising funds to bring more programming and amenities to the park and make it an even more welcoming destination for our neighbors and all the East Austin community. We are so grateful for the support of our Amplify Business Sponsors.  Erin Tassoulas Design + Build, Nicole Cooper–NBC Realty, Franklin Barbecue and Thunderbird Coffee will each be matching $250 in donations during Amplify Austin Day 2018, and Nature’s Treasures will be matching $500. The Austin Parks Foundation has offered a 25% match of total funds raised, up to $2,500.

Join us at the Amplify Patterson Ice Cream Party at the playground to kick our campaign off March 1, 4-6 p.m.!

Original illustration by Caitlin B. Alexander.

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.

Friends of Patterson Park illustration by Caitlin Alexander

Community Meeting Saturday, Jan. 20

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!

AGENDA

4-4:30 pm Tree planting

Guest speakers: Bill Stout, Austin Parks Foundation and Suzannah DesRoches, TreeFolks

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?

proposed Patterson Park playground addition