A News Update 2017

NEWS FROM MAYFIELD PARK 2017

Mayfield Park/Community Project

The Mayfield Council

September 2017

 

As always things have been busy inside the walls at the Mayfield Cottage and Gardens. On Saturday March 4th we participated in the annual “It’s My Park Day” sponsored by our good friends at the Austin Parks Foundation (APF). Using garden funds collected in 2016 at our annual Mayfield Trowel & Error fundraiser, we purchased 10 cubic yards of second grind hardwood mulch from Whittlesey Landscape Supplies and with volunteers from the garden adopters’ group and other lovers of the park, we beautified the paths in the gardens in preparation for Trowel & Error (T&E) 2017 held on April 1st. A big “Thank You!” to this year’s sponsors of T&E 2017, Friends of the Parks Austin, Friends of Reed Park, Barton Springs Nursery, West Austin Neighborhood Group, McCarthy Print, The Natural Gardener, the law firm of Scott, Douglass & McConnico, and Austin’s Parks & Recreation Department; we had an informative and well attended event, as usual. T&E 2018 will be on Saturday 7 April, 2018!

 

In the fall of 2016 we submitted a grant application to the Austin Parks Foundation to repair failed sections of the rock wall along the park’s southwestern border overlooking the drop to the creek below. In December 2016 APF awarded us $33,200, and along with a $2,500 outlay by us, Mayfield Park/Community Project (MP/CP), emergency repairs were commenced immediately. As all projects at the park are coordinated with the Parks & Recreation Department (PARD), during the construction it was determined that for safety going forward that some sort of fencing be incorporated into this area of the historic rock wall. Yes, in the many decades the park has been open to the public no one has pitched over the low wall and been gravely injured, but there has now been official notice and accidents do happen.

 

In the spring of 2017 we applied to the Austin Visitors and Convention Bureau (AC&VB) for a Heritage Grant in order to incorporate a wrought iron picket fence into the section of the rock wall overlooking the creek as well as to do repairs to the rock waterfall that circulates water in the hourglass pond. We were subsequently granted $41,630 from AC&VB (NKA Visit Austin!) and preparations for the inclusion of the safety fencing and repairs to the waterfall are ongoing.

 

Also this last spring we submitted two new applications to APF, one for up to $2,800 in order to purchase additional plants for the park under their Austin City Limits (ACL) Neighborhood Grant program and one for $22,000 to begin implementing the historic Landscape Treatment Plan (LTP) under their ACL Community Grant program. We received the smaller grant request to add new plants to the park, and with the inspiring volunteer help from our several hundred new friends from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders those plantings have begun. Our request for funding to begin the landscaping recommendations outlined in the LTP were denied, but we were encouraged to resubmit the request this fall and we are in the process of doing so. One of the implementation recommendations in the LTP was a reduction in the tree canopy of the park so as to allow more sunlight, and this summer MP/CP spent just under $10,000 of our own monies with a private arborist doing that.

 

If you have been to the park in the last few months you would have noticed the continuing collapse of the perimeter rock wall, especially along the W. 35th Street side and the wall facing the parking lot. As reported before, this deterioration will only be halted when the entire wall is disassembled, a foundation beam is placed, and the wall is reassembled with new mortar. On a positive note, PARD was allotted just under a million dollars from the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT monies) fund for repairs and rehabilitation of historic elements of the City’s parks, and it looks like Mayfield will be getting $80,000 from this initial allocation. $45,000 will be used to repair these collapsed sections of the rock walls and $35,000 will be used to rehabilitate the garden shed.

 

We have been very fortunate this past year in receiving grant monies, but the grants basically addressed emergency repairs the City could not address. We have some breathing room but we still have a need to follow through on the recommendations of the Landscape Treatment Plan, and that requires money. For tax purposes, contributions to the Mayfield Park/Community Project are channeled through an IRS § 501(c)(3) entity (Austin Community Foundation, MP/CP Fund) and can be sent to:

 

Mayfield Park/Community Project

2704 Macken

Austin, Texas 78703

 

Austin Community Foundation

Mayfield Park/Community Project Fund

4315 Guadalupe Street

Austin, Texas 78751

 

We also have an endowment fund with the Austin Community Foundation that we opened with an initial donation of $20,000 from the Mayfield Council. Our goal is a million dollars (maybe not in my lifetime) with the long-range well being of the cottage and grounds in mind.

 

The Mayfield Council wants to thank those who have given their money, but especially those who have given their time, to the preservation and maintenance of this true gem in the City’s parks system. The Mayfield Cottage and Grounds, a City of Austin historic landmark and a National Registered District, would not be what it is today without these volunteer efforts.

 

Finally, we would be very remiss to not single out the fine folks of the Austin Pond Society. We are truly blown away by what this organization has done to rehabilitate the flower ponds (you have noticed the central ponds are in the stylized shape of a flower haven’t you?). Society President Jeannie Ferrier has spearheaded an adoption process that removed every plant, cleaned them up and repotted them, and then replaced them in the ponds after first cleaning the ponds themselves. And they did a lot of this work in the rain. This herculean volunteer effort was a marvel to behold. Thank you, thank you.

 

Keep us in mind and come visit the park. We are expecting you.

 

Blake Tollett, Chair

Mayfield Council

3701 Bonnie Road 78703

512-477-4028

<Blake.tollett@earthlink.net>

 

The Mayfield Council <Mayfieldpark.org>

 

Karen Cannatti           Rick Chance               Janice Brown              Tom Kidd           

Tricia Ziegler              Barbara Watt              Sharon Lamb              Shawnee Merriman