Parks/Trails/Greenspaces

Published on January 29th, 2017 |

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Higher, drier $400,000-plus Memorial Park playground dedicated

On Thursday morning (Jan. 26), the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy and more than 100 guests turned out for the official ribbon cutting for the new higher and drier $400,000-plus playground at Memorial Park in south Buckhead.

Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean addresses the crowd at the park opening. Pictured, left to right, are Park Pride Executive Director Richard Halicki, Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy Executve Director Catherine Spillman, Adrean, Mayor Kasim Reed, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong and Watershed Management Commissioner Kishia Powell.

The City of Atlanta committed $200,000 towards the project with an additional $200,000 raised by the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy through a combination of private donations including an anonymous donation of $100,000. Park Pride also contributed $87,500 for benches, bicycle racks, picnic tables and other amenities.

Attendees heard remarks from Mayor Kasim Reed, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong, Department of Watershed Management Commissioner Kishia Powell, Atlanta City Councilmember Yolanda Adrean, Park Pride Executive Director Michael Hal

icki and Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy Executive Director Catherine Spillman.

The Department of Parks and Recreation incorporated the community’s input in its planning and design for the playground and installed a newly-designed playscape playground offering a wide range of open-ended play options.

The playground design also takes into consideration the park’s flooding issues and was built on higher ground on Wesley Drive. Memorial Park has long been plagued by flooding during heavy rains.

Mayor Kasim Reed spoke of fulfilling his promise.

“This playground, which replaces one that was about 12 years old, was moved about 100 yards to higher ground and closer to Wesley Drive,” said City Councilmember Adrean, who represents the community.

“I would like to thank Mayor Kasim Reed, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong, Watershed Commissioner Kishia Powell, representatives of the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy, Park Pride and community donors for your vision, generous contributions and hard work in bringing this great day to fruition,” Adrean said.

“A playground is more than a place for children of all ages to play, it is a place to gather and build relationships and connections to the community and its neighbor,” added Adrean, who fought hard to get the park improvements.

“From the visioning process that began in May of 2016 to the ribbon cutting, the support, enthusiasm and hard work from all

Memorial Park Conservancy Executive Director Catherine Spillman addresses the crowd during the ceremony.

involved demonstrates what is possible by working together collaboratively to ensure that Atlanta’s parks thrive,” said Catherine Spillman, executive director of the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy.

“The Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy is thankful to the Mayor, his staff, and the Departments of Parks and Recreation and Watershed Management for listening to concerned citizens when the park experienced repeated sewer related issues in Atlanta Memorial Park, and answering by continuing to partner with us on solutions to those issues, one of which being the creation of this new playground,” Spillman added.

“Last year, I made a promise to this community that we would work to deliver a new playground in Memorial Park, and I am proud to say that the City of Atlanta fulfilled its commitment,” said Mayor Reed.

Part of the crowd that attended the chilly Thursday morning ceremony on Jan. 26.

“This playground will provide a safe and healthy place for our children to have fun, while furthering our goal to ensure that all residents in the city of Atlanta are within a half-mile walk of a quality park or green space,” Reed explained.

“I want to start by thanking a woman without whose leadership we would absolutely not be here today,” said Mayor Reed. “Councilmember Adrean has been an amazing advocate for this neighborhood and for this district.”

“This special place will enhance the quality of life of our children,” Reed stated.

In October, Councilmember Adrean announced $5 million in funding for connectivity improvements in Atlanta Memorial Park. Funding will bring new 5-foot wide sidewalks and stormwater drainage improvements to the west side of Northside Drive and will complete the PATH loop around the Bobby Jones Golf Course connecting pedestrians and cyclists to the Atlanta BeltLine.

For more information about the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy, visit http://www.atlmemorialpark.org.

–John Schaffner

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