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.

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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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PARD team

PARD Carries Out Extensive Improvements at Patterson Park

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department has been hard at work at Patterson for the last month. After installing the new picnic tables for the pavilion that FoPP purchased with a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation, they kept working on a long series of improvements that have given the park a much appreciated overall update. To date these include:

  1. picnic tables: new picnic tables have replaced the old plastic coated green tables throughout the park, and the cement picnic tables have all been power washed and gotten a fresh coat of paint. Two new picnic tables have been installed at the community garden.
  2. benches: new benches have replaced the plastic coated green benches at the playground and basketball court
  3. trash bins: the outdated “trash coffins” have been replaced at the pavilion and throughout the park with new trash bins. Only a few of the pebble-studded cement receptacles remain.
  4. bathrooms: the limestone building has been power washed inside and out, and the peeling wood siding repainted
  5. small pavilion: the dilapidated second pavilion located next to the basketball court has been rebuilt, and a new picnic table installed at the center.
  6. pool: the pool shell is being refurbished, the filtration system is being repaired, and the chain link fence is going to be replaced with a wrought iron one.
  7. pet waste dispensers: new dispensers have been installed throughout the park
  8. bollards: half of the wood bollards lining the driveway into the park have been replaced with new posts, the rest will be shortly
  9. playground: the broken gear and music panels on the toddler playscape have been replaced. There was a new clear bubble panel installed, and the music box was replaced with a new one.

What’s next? The pour-in-place rubber flooring on the playground has degraded over the years and been repaired several times. There are now several linear feet of concrete exposed next to the toddler playscape. PARD is closing the playground on March 27 to begin demolition. The pebbles will be removed, as will the pour-in-place flooring, to be replaced with the wood chips now standard in City of Austin parks. Work is expected to take 3-4 weeks.

We are deeply grateful for the attention and resources PARD has devoted to our neighborhood park. It has made a tremendous difference and Patterson is looking fantastic! We encourage you to take a walk around the park to see all the improvements sometime soon.

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller

 

REPORT: February 2017 Community Meeting

Friends of Patterson Park held a community meeting on Saturday morning, February 4 at Servant Church. Donuts and childcare were provided, and 8 neighbors came out to talk with artist Jennifer Chenoweth and Brian Block, PARD liaison for Adopt-a-Park groups.

Chenoweth answered various questions about Dance of the Cosmos, including the refinishing process she is using before installing the sculpture at Patterson Park, and the kind of signage she is developing.  Block led a discussion of what to do with the community priorities for Patterson Park identified in last year’s survey. He said that since the list did not include anything transformative, i.e. a major addition to the park, that a master plan would not be required for Patterson.

Block suggested that FoPP identify what the most easily achievable priorities were and work on those first, not necessarily tackling them in order. An example of the straightforward kind of project would be adding new benches to the park, and an example of a more complex and expensive project would be resurfacing the basketball court. For the full list of priorities, click here. Since PARD is currently working on a series of improvements at Patterson, future projects should be undertaken in coordination with their work plans.

Community Priorities for Patterson Park (2016)

  1. Playsground improvements
  2. Pool improvements
  3. Bathroom improvements
  4. Trail improvements
  5. Amenities
  6. Landscaping
  7. Dog park
  8. Shade covers
  9. Athletic field/court improvements
  10. Splash Pad
  11. Skatepark improvements
  12. Lighting
  13. Recycling bins
  14. Trash
  15. Fitness equipment
  16. Water fountains
  17. Events
  18. Other social
  19. Fencing
  20. Other
  21. Amphitheatre