by Rowan Prothro and Casey Carter
Mayfield Park and Preserve is located in Central Austin, and has a variety of amenities. There are hiking trails, a creek, shared gardens, ponds, and peacocks!
At the center of the Mayfield facility sits a home, which once belonged to Allison Mayfield. Mr. Mayfield left the house to his beloved daughter, Mary Frances, and her husband, Milton Gutsch. The cottage has been restored to historical accuracy on the exterior. The Mayfield-Gutsch’s added many beautiful touches to the land – including exterior rock walls, beautiful gardens, as well as the ponds in the shape of a flower in the center of the property. In addition to the beautiful developments, the beloved peacocks who call the property home also came about due to the pair. Upon Mary Frances’ death in 1971, the home and property were donated to the city to be used as a park facility.
The facility now houses around 18 different peafowl. The two species, India Blue and Black-Shouldered, live seamlessly together and provide a unique experience for visitors. The birds wander freely through the gardens and ponds, and occasionally even down into the preserve. The ponds are home to a wide variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Koi live in each one of the ponds, as Mayfield also serves as a city-wide Koi rescue. Bullfrogs, a variety of aquatic turtles, and Diamondback Water Snakes are regularly seen relaxing in the ponds. Great-Blue Herons and Great Egrets frequent the ponds for the easy meals, too!
The Mayfield preserve sits directly behind the home. The preserve is home to 21 acres of protected land, containing some short hiking trails, a creek, as well as lakeshore. The hiking is basic level, and affords visitors the opportunity to see a wide variety of plant species. Along the lakeshore visitors might see reptiles, such as the Plain-Bellied Water Snake or the Dekay’s Brown Snake. Other visitors include a variety of waterfowl.
Mayfield Park and Preserve is open 7 days per week, and is free to the public. The park is closed from 10PM-5AM each day.
Located at 3505 W 35th Street, Austin, TX 78703