Mayfield Park/Community Project

The Mayfield Council September 2019

As always things have been busy inside the walls at the Mayfield Cottage and Gardens. On Saturday March 2nd we again 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 2018 at our annual Mayfield Trowel & Error fundraiser, this year we purchased 10 cubic yards of Kiddie Kushion mulch from Whittlesey Landscape Supplies. This mulch was a lighter color than the mulches we have previously used, so after we spread the mulch along the garden paths the subsequent fall of the live oak leaves wasn’t so visible. Thank you Garden Coordinator Janice Brown for this suggestion. All in preparation for Trowel & Error (T&E) 2019 held on April 6th. Our speakers this year were Jeannie Ferrier, President of the Austin Pond Society, Colleen Dieter, owner of Red Wheelbarrow Landscape Design, and Joseph Baiocchi, President of the Austin Rose Society. Again, as always, outstanding speakers with informative presentations. The only downside being the rains that day forced us inside and kept the attendance down somewhat, but this is a rain or shine event and we carried on. A big “Thank You!” to this year’s sponsors of T&E 2019, Friends of the Parks Austin, Friends of Reed Park, Frost Bank, 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 (PARD).

T&E 2020 will be on Saturday 4 April 2020!

As reported last year, our major construction project during 2018-2019 was the rebuilding of the stone arch leading into the gazebo space at the back of the gardens. This began as an emergency safety repair, but as our historic mason Brian Ash disassembled the arch it completely collapsed. From an original estimate of 12 to 15 thousand dollars to do the repairs our final cost was north of 45 thousand. The generosity of our hundreds of supporters softened the impact on our bank account, and we remain grateful for their faith in our mission and their confidence in our ability to fulfill the obligation. PARD normally either covers these major repairs or we apply for and receive historic preservation grants before undertaking projects, but this was a situation everyone felt needed to be addressed immediately. Fortunately, the City Council has expanded the amount and availability of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) monies to historic properties so perhaps these issues can be addressed proactively rather than reactively.

This coming year our major project is the continuation of the implementation of the City vetted and approved Historic Landscape Treatment Plan, specifically the formalization of the landscape at the 35th Street entrance into the cottage and gardens. The focal point of the project will be a peacock themed carved stone bench, a generous gift from donors who came to us wanting to do something special for Mayfield. We are applying for grants from the Austin Community Foundation and the Austin Parks Foundation, amongst others, for the funding for the complimentary landscaping, but help is always appreciated. If the monies become available, we are also hoping to have installed metal stanchions around some of the walkways to help direct visitors to the gardens.   

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?). PARD is utilizing HOT monies to reseal the ponds and the Austin Pond Society is taking on the restocking of plants, fish and features.

Of course, 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 Friends of the Parks of Austin and can be sent to:

Mayfield Park/Community Project
PO Box 5721
Austin, Texas 78763

We also have two funds registered with the Austin Community Foundation, the Mayfield Park Community Projects Fund and the Mayfield Park Cottage & Gardens Endowment Fund. The Community Projects Fund is our reserve for projects such as the rebuilding of the stone arch. The Endowment Fund was opened with an initial donation of $20,000 from the Mayfield Council. Our Endowment Fund goal is a million dollars (maybe not in my lifetime) with the long-range well being of the cottage and grounds in mind. Donations may be sent to:

Austin Community Foundation

Mayfield Park
4315 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78751

That’s it for this year, and again, thank you. 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 Zeigler
Barbara Watt
Sharon Lamb
Shawnee Merriman