News Updates

News From The Mayfield Park Community Project

The Mayfield Council

We remain busy inside the walls at the Mayfield Cottage and Gardens although the continuing Covid-19 pandemic has moderated somewhat our volunteer efforts. The City of Austin and the Parks & Recreation Department (PARD), in accordance with the health authorities, deemed it unsafe for us to have Trowel & Error this year, and that was the correct decision. At that time there were just too many unknowns. The Austin Parks Foundation (APF) also felt it was not advisable to have a spring It’s My Park Day workday, so that opportunity to bring in outside volunteers to help spruce up the garden paths with new mulch passed. But 2022 we hope will be different.

Trowel & Error 2022 is set for Saturday, April 2!

It will be a welcome return to normalcy if we can welcome our friends back to the symposium, so let’s keep positive thoughts on this.

The winter storm Uri that accompanied Valentine’s Day this year was something to behold as we all experienced. We lost some early blooming plants and there was some damage to the trees and palms, but surprisingly it wasn’t too devastating. I did make it to the park one day to check on our peafowl, and they all seem to have made it through fine. After things warmed up a bit, Janice and her volunteers got busy cleaning up. Of particular note was the Amaryllis that seemed to have thrived under the snow blanket. Many of these perennials are donations from our friend Ginny Thomas. Her house on Enfield Road across from the entrance to the golf course had sold and was slated for demolition; these bulbs originally were planted by her father Raymond Prasatik probably 80 years ago.

We also planted the Ellen Bosanquet Crinums that were donated by the Sachin Parate family around the front beds of the cottage and added Caladiums to all of the patch gardens. This fall we are going to also replace and replant the Lady Banks roses that are on trellises in the cottage beds.

Repair and restoration

As reported last year, MP/CP in coordination with PARD and the City’s Historic Preservation Office, undertook the repair and restoration of the rock wall section behind the dovecote. Our original plan called for the dismantling of a 75-foot section of the wall, adding a foundation, and then rebuilding under a $51,874 contract with Ash Masonry Masterworks. We received a reimbursable grant from the City’s Heritage Grant program for $37,492 towards this project, and after consultations with the mason and historic preservation experts, we have stretched the money out to clean up more areas along that section. The project should be finished by the end of October.

We had a successful fundraising round last fall, and even after replacing the $20,000 we took from our operating fund at the Austin Community Foundation to do this repair, we will be having our masons do some other minor repairs to the rock walkways and pond copings. Our next major project, future funds allowing, will be the restoration of the dovecote itself. There are structural fissures in the building’s walls that were addressed poorly in the past and need to be revisited before too long. Our thought is to fund this project in-house.

Our friends at PARD have been generous to Mayfield this past year and the roofs on both the volunteer shed and the visitors’ shed have had their composition shingles replaced with standing seam metal. The damaged exit gate from the parking lot has been repaired along with the posts and gate leading into the back gardens from the Preserve. 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, for 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 ProjectPO Box 5721Austin, 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 and the ongoing rock wall restorations. 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 StreetAustin, 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,
ChairMayfield Council
3701 Bonnie Road 78703
512-477-4028
Blake.tollett@earthlink.net

The Mayfield Council04/10/2024
Karen Cannatti
Rick Chance
Janice Brown
Tricia Zeigler
Barbara Watt
Sharon Lamb
Shawnee Merriman

Trowel & Error 2022 is set for Saturday, April 2!

It will be a welcome return to normalcy if we can welcome our friends back to the symposium, so let’s keep positive thoughts on this. The winter storm Uri that accompanied Valentine’s Day this year was something to behold as we all experienced. We lost some early...

read more

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