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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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

Patterson playground closing

APF and FoPP Advocating for Parks Funding in City Budget

On Thursday night, the City Council held the first of two public budget hearings leading to the adoption of the upcoming fiscal year’s budget in September. Austin Parks Foundation is advocating for an additional 5 million dollars to be allocated to the Parks and Recreation Department, and FoPP and other park groups were invited to support them.

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The city’s parks have 700 million in deferred maintenance, plus 80 million to make them ADA compliant and many millions more to keep our aging neighborhood pools from failing. According to APF, “ParkScore, the Trust for Public Land’s gold standard index for parks, ranked Austin 46 out of the 100 most populous U.S. cities for how well we meet our resident’s needs for parks in 2017.”

The council also reviewed the recently released Aquatic Master Plan, and decided to form a task force to review its implementation in an equitable way. There was lots of discussion about how many East Austin pools are in relatively poor condition, and that there are large newer areas of the city with little access to aquatic facilities. Our group should keep up with this as it develops.

Examples of deferred maintenance and improvements at Patterson include our 50+ year old bathroom facilities, a basketball court that’s been in need of resurfacing for 15+ years, a tennis court that was never surfaced, and a playground that is near the end of it’s 20 year life. While we are deeply grateful for recent updates, including new signage, trash cans, fresh paint, and most importantly the resurfacing of the playground, there is much that remains to be done. Parks are the heart of our city’s neighborhoods and require regular attention as Austin’s population continues to grow. If you would like to email City Council members to support parks funding, you can do so here.

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City of Austin Releases Aquatics Master Plan, Plans for Patterson Pool

The Parks and Recreation Department has released the final draft of their Aquatics Master Plan.  The Executive Summary is worth reading in full, and this is what the report says about the Patterson Pool (see Appendix E-Improvements by Pool).

Patterson Pool Recommendations

ƒ* If this pool is to continue in operation, a new bathhouse will need to be developed.
ƒ* If the pool is to continue in operation, completely reconstruct the pool as a Neighborhood Pool as defined in Chapter 5.
ƒ* The wading pool must be replaced and include zero-depth access.

Site Recommendations

ƒ* Additional parking is not required
ƒ* Reconstruct one parking space to be TAS compliant accessible spaces
ƒ* Provide accessible pedestrian and bicycle access from right-of-way
ƒ* New utility connections (domestic water, reclaimed water, fire line, fire hydrants, and sanitary
sewer)
ƒ* Install stormwater detention
ƒ* Install a parking lot light

Existing Architectural Features

*Shade structure: Wood pergola adjacent to the wading pool and fabric canopy entirely shading
* wading pool
ƒ* Office: None
ƒ* Storage: None
ƒ* Bathhouse/Family Restroom: None
ƒ* Pump House: Separate building with community mural

Building Repairs Recommendations

* Pergola in need of replacing in 5 years
ƒ* Add Office
ƒ* Add Storage
ƒ* Add ADA and family restrooms
ƒ* Add bathhouse
ƒ* Pump house doors and frames in need of replacing

Building Recommendations

ƒTotal pool replacement. Construct bathhouse. Minor refurbishment to the pump house

TOTAL COSTS: $4,628,650

(FoPP note: Considering PARD’s huge budget shortfall, the work outlined in the Master Plan may involve a bond and is likely not happening soon, but we are delighted with the planned improvements.)

Patterson park plan mtg June 21

June 21: Creating a Neighborhood Park Plan

Friends of Patterson Park will lead a community effort to develop a Neighborhood Park Plan to guide our work over the next five years. We will be guided by the Survey of Community Priorities, which was completed by 255 park users in 2016. Join us for the first of two community meetings on Wednesday, June 21 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. 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 would 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 $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

  1. June 2017: Full analysis of Survey of Community Priorities for Patterson Park
  2. September 2017: Two community meetings: June 21, 5:30 @ Servant Church and 2nd meeting in September
  3. October 2017: Preparation of Plan
  4. November – December 2017: Presentation of Plan at Neighborhood Association meetings in Delwood 2, Cherrywood, Mueller, Schieffer-Willowbrook, and Wilshire Wood
  5. December / January 2017: Submission to Parks and Recreation

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

 

Patterson Park Community Garden Grand Opening and Dance of the Cosmos Unveiling

Celebration of Patterson Community Garden & Dance of the Cosmos to be Held May 27

Join Friends of Patterson Park for a celebration of our community garden and new sculpture, Dance of the Cosmos, this Saturday, May 27! There will be tacos, ice cream, a bouncy house, music, and screen printing of Friends of Patterson Park t-shirts by Bibliographia. The event is 10 a.m.-12 p.m., with a formal program from 10:30-11 and tour of the garden at 11. If you’d like to volunteer as an ice cream scooper, please sign up here: https://givepul.se/x61n1.
 

COMMUNITY GARDEN GRAND OPENING
& DANCE OF THE COSMOS UNVEILING

May 27, 2017

10:00 am                Patterson Park Community Breakfast
10:30 am                Welcome

  • Meredith Gauthier, City of Austin

Parks and Recreation Department, Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Coordinator

10:35 am                 Remarks

  • Sari Albornoz, Sustainable Food Center, Grow Local Program Director
  • Mark Smolen, Patterson Park Community Garden, Chair
  • Ladye Anne Wofford, Austin Parks Foundation, Program Director
  • Jennifer Chenoweth, Dance of the Cosmos, Artist
  • Jennifer Potter-Miller, Friends of Patterson Park, Chair

11:00 am                 Garden Tour and Park Activities

Download the program here.

About the Community Garden

Located at Patterson Park, the Patterson Park Community Garden was realized through a partnership between the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Austin Parks Foundation and is sponsored by Sustainable Food Center.  The all-organic vegetable garden was first proposed in 2012 and broke ground in May 2016.  There are 68 garden plots and community members are welcome to join.

For more information about the garden, visit: https://pattersonparkcommunitygarden.wordpress.com

About the Art

The sculpture Dance of the Cosmos by Jennifer Chenoweth of Fisterra Studio was inspired by Robert Putchik’s Emotional Windows study and a Tibetan lotus mandala. It is part of the XYZ Atlas, a Hedonic Map of Austin, an interactive public art project about our collective experiences of place.

Many thanks to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Parks Foundation, and PSW Real Estate for their support of this art project.

For more information about the artist, visit: http://fisterrastudio.com/

Photo credit:
Jennifer Potter-Miller (community garden), Michelle Atkinson (Dance of the Cosmos)

Patterson Playground repairs 2017

Playground Work Nears Completion

The Patterson Park playground remains closed, but the crew from Parks and Recreation is making great progress and may be done by the end of the week. The half of the playground with equipment for toddlers is finished, with fresh mulch laid over a weed barrier and rocks for drainage. The main part of the playground is prepped and ready for mulch. We look forward to the reopening of our neighborhood park’s playground soon!

Mulching day at Patterson Park Aprl 2017

Mulching Day with Texas Theta Chi

On April 8 a group neighbors and members of the Theta Chi chapter at the University of Texas spent the morning mulching the heritage oak trees at the west end of the park. We used 20 yards of mulch from the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and tools from the Austin Parks Foundation to nourish and protect 43 of the most beloved trees at Patterson. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to care for our park!

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Dance of the Cosmos Ribbon Cutting Celebration Planned for April 30

UPDATE: This event has been postponed to Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.–12 noon.

Join us for a celebration of Dance of the Cosmos, which is coming to Patterson Park at the end of the month!

Sunday, April 30
12:00-2:00pm
Corner of Schieffer Ave. and Airport Ave.

Event will include:

* Bring your own picnic, we’ll provide the ice cream!
* Live music by neighborhood musicians
* Bouncy house
* Screen printing by Bibliographia

About:

Dance of the Cosmos by Jennifer Chenoweth of Fisterra Studio was inspired by Robert Putchiks Emotional Windows study and a Tibetan lotus mandala. It is part of the XYZ Atlas, a Hedonic Map of Austin, an interactive public art about our collective experiences.

Many thanks to the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Parks Foundation, and PSW Real Estate for their unwavering support for this project.

wordpress-banner-dance-of-the-cosmos-photo-credit-michelle-atkinson

Photo by Michelle Atkinson

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Patterson playground closing

Patterson Playground Closing for Repairs

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department is closing the Patterson Playground for repairs on Monday, March 27.  The pour-in-place rubberized flooring has suffered extensive damage over the years is beyond the point of repair. The plan is to remove the pebbles and flooring, demo the concrete base, and replace with the mulch now standard in city parks. Work is expected to take 3-4 weeks. PARD has already done extensive work at Patterson over the last month, and this playground improvement will be tremendously beneficial to park users.

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller

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