On Saturday, November 6, 2010, Friends of Brentwood Park, in conjunction with Austin Parks Foundation and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, hosted an historic tree-planting event. Over 60 volunteers — young and young-at-heart — came together to plant 115 trees in our beloved Brentwood Park. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day of neighborly cooperation!
As they arrived, volunteers and guests warmed themselves with coffee from Genuine Joe Coffeehouse, muffins baked by neighbor Phil Tomlin, and treats from the Crestview IGA Minimax. The program started with a brief, informative demonstration on proper tree planting, presented by Walter Passmore from the Urban Forestry Program at PARD. Following the demo, Denman Glober of Friends of Brentwood Park welcomed the attendees and introduced the tree dedication donors and honorees by name.
After the ceremony, volunteers picked up scrumptious breakfast tacos from Tacodeli and headed out into the park to plant trees. With assistance from FOBP volunteer coordinators and PARD personnel, volunteers rolled up their sleeves, grabbed shovels and got to work. It was a little harder than we thought! The holes had been dug, but they were filled back in to prevent park visitors from taking a tumble. And many of the trees were quite large! So a substantial amount of manual labor was cheerfully undertaken by our intrepid volunteers. But people worked effectively in teams and all the trees were planted by noon, well ahead of schedule. With smiles and hugs in abundance, everyone felt a strong sense of accomplishment as the final tree was planted.
Each of the thirteen dedicated trees has a temporary laminated tag attached to it. If you visit the park in the next few weeks, stop and read the tags to learn a little about the type of tree that was planted there and who the tree honors. More info about the donors and honorees can be found here. In addition to the tree tags, certificates were presented to donors and honorees in attendance, either immediately after the ceremony or by their dedicated trees. Tags and certificates were lovingly crafted by Denman.
Our neighborhood historians Rob and Susan Burneson, with an assist from sound professional Kelly Green, taped many of the day’s events and interviewed more than a dozen donors and honorees. The video they produced, We Planted 115 Trees, will give future generations an opportunity to enjoy this slice of our neighborhood history. You can view the video here on Susan and Rob Burneson’s website, Voices of the Violet Crown.
There are so many organizations and people to thank, in addition to the wonderful partnerships and sponsors already mentioned. Special thanks to Violet Crown Community Works, Crestview Neighborhood Association and Brentwood Neighborhood Association for generous donations that helped us fulfill the matching funds for the Parks Foundation grant. And thanks to Texas Media Systems for the use of the audio equipment. We also appreciate talented photographers Nancy Yelle and Rick Pearson for taking many delightful pictures. Special thanks to groups sending volunteers: Pi Sigma Pi from UT and Urban Patchwork.
Thank you all from the Friends of Brentwood Park Leadership Team! (Emily, Hedrich, Karen, Denman, Elaine, Kat and Susan)
Rick’s photos here.
Nancy’s photos here.
Stay tuned for future work day opportunities and be sure to mark your calendars for our next big community workday on March 5, 2011, as part of the city-wide It’s My Park Day!
Please extend our sincere thanks to all the friends that made this project possible. It was a great privilege to work with you. The results speak louder than any words. The new trees have changed Brentwood Park and provided stronger ties between the Parks and Recreation Department and neighbors who use this site. The pictures look great and I’m sure the video will be a lot of fun to watch. Thank you again for all you invested to improve Brentwood Park and grow a greener Austin. –Walter Passmore, Urban Forestry Program Manager, Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
Planning Info from Summer 2010:
This image is version 3 of the planting plan which Walter Passmore from the City’s Urban Forestry Dept sent to us in late August 2010.
The Forestry Program has an annual budget for tree planting, and almost all the costs of this project will be covered by that budget. The one thing that the City does not have a budget for is the installation of the drip irrigation system critical to keeping the young trees watered for the first two to three years after planting. In order to raise the estimated $9,800 cost of installation, Friends of Brentwood Park applied for a grant with the Austin Parks Foundation. APF’s grant covers a large percentage of the cost of the installation with a large part of the remainder being funded by Crestview Neighborhood Association, Brentwood Neighborhood Association and Violet Crown Community Works.
Our friends and neighbors have brought us within $200 of our total grant match requirement, so we welcome any last-minute support! Tree Dedications are still open. Any donations beyond our goal will be used to help meet unanticipated costs and to fund future improvements (see “About the Project” to the left). You may send a check made out to Austin Parks Foundation to Hedrich Michaelsen at 1808 Aggie Lane and it will be deposited to our account at APF. Or you can make your donation on-line through the Austin Parks Foundation by selecting “Brentwood Park, Friends of” under “Gifts to Special Funds.”
A number of questions were raised by community members during the course of planning the layout of the new trees. They are answered here:
1. Request for more shade around the pool, specifically, the kiddie pool.
Answer: Pool maintenance staff does not want any more trees inside the fence due to potential issues with filters and pumps
2. Request for more trees (6) around the playscape area. Also, questions about the choice to plant messy pecans around the playscape.
Answer: A few more trees were added around the playscape area. They were pulled from other areas so that it doesn’t increase the total of 115 trees to be planted.
Answer: Changed Pecans to American Elms next to the playscape
3. Black walnut toxin concerns by neighbor who backs up to park – problems with toxins that are emitted by roots. Inhibit growth of Mt. Laurels and members of nightshade family.
Answer: Changed Walnuts to Pecans
4. Request to remove or use old irrigation system.
Answer: Can’t use the old irrigation system because cost of repair would exceed cost of replacement. Also, it would be costly to remove.
5. Please don’t plant redbuds near Yates and trail. They free seed into yards.
Answer: Redbuds will not be able to distribute seeds into adjacent yards since they are 50-100 feet away.
6. Didn’t like the roughleaf dogwood.
Answer: Couldn’t obtain Roughleaf Dogwood therefore Mexican Plum was substituted
7. Request for inclusion of Sugarberry (aka Hackberry) trees.
Answer: Sugarberry is a native tree species, but also a prolific seed producer that does not need to be planted to maintain adequate population in the Austin ecosystem
8. There is one neighbor who has a backyard full of the Paper Mulberry trees. Can PARD work with her to remove them from there so that they don’t come back into park?
Answer: PARD has removed some Paper Mulberry trees and will continue to work on removing them.
9. Donate wood from the black walnut/pecan removal for craftsmen? Contact Cheryl.
Answer: PARD was going to leave the wood for a few wks, however, they didn’t follow through on this.
Further updates on tree species include:
A. Couldn’t obtain container grown walnut, therefore substituted Pecan. We do have some walnut bare root seedlings which could be planted in mid-December and may not require irrigation to survive.
B. Couldn’t obtain Lacey Oak, therefore substituted Cedar Elm
C. Couldn’t obtain Blanco Crabapple, therefore substituted Mexican Buckeye