In Which We Embark on Remarks about Parks

Community planner and parks guru Dee Merriam, late of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, was in the ‘hood on September 14 to give a presentation for us at the Trolley Barn.  “Making People Places” was her title.

Knowledge was had by all.

And now we gotta think about stuff like this, which Dee pointed out on her tour of Inman Park: (1) visibility issues, (2) problems with access points, and (3) too few reasons to go to our parks.

So, would it be nice eventually to have a path with seating areas along the western edges of Springvale Park? With proper clearance of understory plants and some limbing up of trees, think how pleasant it could be to sit with a friend and look down into our little gem of a park.

We have so much maintenance to do! Who would know that behind this dense wall of green is a beautiful and historic park?

What safety-conscious person would venture into this overgrown entrance to the park, if he or she were unfamiliar with our neighborhood? And would new signage and a new, much larger set of steps, with a vista from those steps deep into the park, attract people to play on those steps (young folk), to sit on those steps (older folks), and even to explore the paths within (active folk)?

What if we limbed up these trees at  Triangle Park to 12-15′ from the ground to create a natural “room” and to let more sunlight filter in, then added a seating area with something nearby for tots to play on or with? Would a dad or mom from a nearby home grab a glass of wine and take the kids across the street for a while, while his or her partner finished cooking dinner? Maybe …

Seating! Here are 8 or 10 people clustered and perched on some 80 year old steps at Poplar Circle.

As for the seating we do have, as here in Freedom Park, for an obvious reason we may not be getting the best use of it. Views!

Overgrown shrubs and other understory plants are desperately in need of proper maintenance. This is not the most inviting of entrances, off Austin Avenue, to Freedom Park. Merriam is saying, “Look at all this from this perspective: what might be discouraging people from using this terrific green space?”

Why go to this park, is the question we can ask.

Maybe to slide?

Or to sunbathe on some wide steps worked into the hillside?

So, what does Inman Park need to do to get to the next level with our amazing parks?

  1. Strongly support IPNA’s Springvale Park Committee and everyone else who is working to improve our green spaces.
  2. Participate actively in the planning processes that will be starting soon (City of Atlanta Urban Ecology Framework, Freedom Park Conservancy Master Planning).
  3. Get to work on some of the maintenance projects (tree pruning, invasive removal, etc.) with vigorous volunteer effort and maybe some professional help, too.

2 thoughts on “In Which We Embark on Remarks about Parks”

  1. The hillside formed by the Euclid Avenue intrusion into Springvale Park used to be an ad hoc slide for the neighborhood kids (all six or eight of them) in the 1970s during neighborhood picnics in the park. The installation of the wrought iron fencing — necessary for safety reasons —
    along Euclid put an end to that. The Freedom Park hillside would make a nice substitute, and might encourage neighbors to picnic there.

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