News From Mayfield Park 2018

Mayfield Park/Community Project

The Mayfield Council

September 2018

As always things have been busy inside the walls at the Mayfield Cottage and Gardens. On Saturday March 3rd we participated in the semi-annual “It’s My Park Day” sponsored by our good friends at the Austin Parks Foundation (APF). Using garden funds collected in 2017 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 University of Texas Global Medical Training students, we beautified the paths in the gardens in preparation for Trowel & Error (T&E) 2018 held on April 7th. A big “Thank You!” to this year’s sponsors of T&E 2018, 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 2019 will be on Saturday 6 April 2019!

As reported last year, 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 (N.K.A.-Visit Austin!). Under the guidance of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) and the Historic Preservation Office, we chose Allied Fence to work with Brian Ash’s Historic Masonry group to install the fencing. If you haven’t been to the park in a while I think you will find it not at all intrusive. And the anxiety of seeing our small visitors to the park standing on the wall and looking down at the ravine below is now diminished.

Using another allocation from the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT), PARD had the repairs completed to the collapsed portions of the historic rock wall facing the parking lot and W. 35th Street. An additional allocation of HOT monies is being used to affect a much-needed rehabilitation of the two auxiliary sheds. This rehabilitation work is ongoing and should be completed by the end of September. The sheds are looking very nice.

We applied for and received a grant from Preservation Austin to do repairs to the stairs leading down to and the pathways inside the historic rose garden area where the sundial is located. Thank you very much Preservation Austin!

Jeannie Ferrier and The Austin Pond Society continue to do amazing work at Mayfield. As stated last year, 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?).

Our current project is an emergency repair to the stone arch leading into the gazebo space at the back of the gardens. Due to deterioration of the mortar holding the rock apart, it was determined that the arch is in imminent danger of collapse and the area has been cordoned off. The Mayfield Council, in coordination with PARD and the City’s Historic Preservation Office, has privately contracted with Brian Ash’s group to do the repair. Initial estimates are in the 12 to 15 thousand-dollar range, and we have the money but it will definitely deplete our funds. This extraordinary expense aside, we continue to work on implementing the long term historic Landscape Treatment Plan and working with our private arborist on ongoing maintenance of the tree canopy.

There are only limited funds and manpower that PARD is able to allocate to a park, and it is through volunteer efforts that allow Mayfield to truly shine. 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. 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
c/o Blake Tollett
3701 Bonnie Road
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.

On a final organizational note, our Karen Cannatti has determined that now is the time for her to begin stepping back from the organization. In the mid 1980s Karen, Barbara Watt and Mary Kaiser determined that the Mayfield Cottage and Gardens were worth preserving for future generations, and they did this. We continue their legacy going forward.

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

Blake Tollett, Chair
Mayfield Council
3701 Bonnie Road 78703

The Mayfield Council
Karen Cannatti            Rick Chance                Janice Brown             Tom Kidd      

Tricia Ziegler              Barbara Watt               Sharon Lamb               Shawnee Merriman



Mayfield Park/Community Project

The Mayfield Council

November 2018

As our masons were slowly disassembling the stone arch leading into the gazebo space at the back of the garden, the entire structure collapsed. We knew the mortar was weakened and the internal iron rods had scaled and were starting to decompose, but this caught everyone by surprise. The masons have now placed a new foundation for the arch on the underlying bedrock and are using cement and stainless steel reinforcing rods for structural integrity as they reuse the original stone. They are doing beautiful work, but this repair is coming at a cost. The current estimate is in the $45,000 range. Our monies are very tight as we look at covering this extraordinary expense. Fortuitously our friends at Friends Of The Parks Austin have given us a $2,500 matching grant, so we are looking to you, our friends, to help us take advantage of this generous offer. You know where the money is going to be spent. We need your help.