Published on April 22nd, 2015 |0
Mountain Way Common groundbreaking highlights Earth Day
high noon groundbreaking ceremony held at Mountain Way Common—appropriately on Earth Day.
Volunteers have spent hundreds of hours cleaning the area for the park and raising money for it, said Gordon Certain, president of the North Buckhead Civic Association. Now workers will construct a pedestrian bridge over Little Nancy Creek and boardwalks connecting the bridge.
“The bridge will transform the park, making it easy to cross Little Nancy Creek and allowing park visitors to get a unique view of the creek,” said Certain. The contract to construct the bridge and its connecting boardwalks is signed and site work slated to begin within days.
“Let’s hope the rain will hold off so we can begin construction after all this time,” said Jane Moss, a board member. The bridge’s installation is scheduled for completion in mid-July.
Certain said he first became involved with the property in 2007 at a meeting held almost where Wednesday’s groundbreaking was held—a meeting that included city of Atlanta officials, representatives of Park Pride and two representatives of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The GDOT representatives talked to them about using their land for a park and/or trail, Certain explained, but added that efforts at that time were relatively ineffective.
Certain complimented Dist. 7 Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook for his work in getting more park spaces for Buckhead and Livable Buckhead
Executive Director Denise Starling for being able to bring together a coalition of city departments, GDOT, Park Pride and other organizations to create the opportunity for the PATH400 multi-use trail that will tie into Mountain Way Common park.
Livable Buckhead, Inc. and the Georgia Department of Transportation reached agreements allowing the site, almost entirely on GA400 right-of-way, to become a neighborhood park and eventual trailhead for the PATH400 trail.
With the acquisition of a key one-acre privately held parcel, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department along with Councilman Shook extended Mountain Way Common on both sides of Little Nancy Creek to North Ivy Road, resulting in a nine plus acre green space.
Shook stated that green space in his district had doubled in the past few years, and “we need to do it again.” And, he spoke of the “unlikely coalition” that made Mountain Way Common park and PATH400 come about.
“How good it is that we’re building a park here that people from Portland will come here to study,” Shook told the small but committed gathering of the park’s supporters with an obvious reference to people constantly telling Atlanta officials to go study how things are done in Portland, OR, Chicago, etc.
And those who have brought this park this far are hoping it won’t stop here. Certain talked about the fact the park might expand along PATH400, since it will become part of that trail’s experience. And, then there is a prime corner lot across the street at North Ivy Road and Mountain Way that would make a great playground.
Certain said the city would never issue a building permit for the lot because it is unbuildable and most of it is in the 100-year flood plain of the creek. He said there have been some negotiations regarding the lot.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony was an intimate but important event. Because of recent rains and muddy ground in the park area, the ceremony was held at the east end of the park near the intersection of North Ivy Road and Mountain Drive.
Because of significant erosion in the area where the ceremony was held, Certain purchased a bag of soil to use, rather than disturb the terrain. He pointed out that the tributary of Nancy Creek that runs through that area of the park could be 1,000 years old—older than the hills around it.
Certain recognized the efforts of the Friends of Mountain Way Common board by saying, “Today marks a very significant day – not only for our planet but for our neighborhood. Earth Day will forever be MWC Groundbreaking Day to many of us who have worked tirelessly to see it to this milestone.”
With the GA400 expressway and MARTA lines soaring high overhead, with the future connection to PATH400, and with the rustic creek flowing quietly below, the resulting park is certain to be one of the city’s most unusual.
Over the last six years fundraising efforts to transform the overgrown space have ranged from soirees with auctioned items to the annual
Get-Your-Goat park clean up.
Over $200,000 has been raised for turning Mountain Way Common into a real and usable park, with $100,000 being in the form of a matching grant from Park Pride. Park Pride’s Associate Director Allison Barnett was at the ceremony and thanked the community for being committed to parks.
On June 6, the Friends of Mountain Way Common will host the second annual Midnight Pajama Jog, a 5K that begins and finishes in Chastain Square.
For more information on the park, check it out on Twitter @MountainWayComm, on Facebook at Mountain Way Common, or go to the website www.MountainWayCommon.com for details about future events throughout the summer.