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.