Planned park will be a winner for city
November 18, 2012 12:00 AM | 2946 views | 5 5 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta is on the verge of having another park, one that’s overdue for residents of the Cherokee Heights area north of Marietta Square.

It’s one of the city’s older neighborhoods, one where most homes date from the 1920s-’40s. But while it boasts great access to downtown and to the interstates, the nearest recreational area, Lewis Park west of Church Street, is a bit of a hike and involves crossing two major thoroughfares (Church and Cherokee streets).

“Some mothers that I know said, ‘we would like you to come over and walk with us from our houses all the way across to Lewis Park, and you have to cross Church and Cherokee to do that,’” said Marietta Councilman Johnny Sinclair, who chairs the city’s Parks Committee. “They said, ‘We want you to see what it’s like to cross Church and Cherokee with a baby stroller.’ So I wasn’t 30 seconds into our visit when I said, ‘I get the message, it’s terrifying.’”

So the city council on Wednesday voted to spend $230,000 to buy two adjoining lots on Chicopee Drive from the estate of Carolyn Carr Riddle totaling 1.9 acres for use as a park.

The two lots are partly wooded with mature trees and also contain an older Cape Cod-style house that likely will be torn down or moved, Sinclair said.

Money for the purchase comes from the city’s $25 million parks bond passed in 2009.

About $11.4 million of that sum has been spent thus far, according to city parks director Rich Buss.

The new park doesn’t yet have a name or a clearly defined use, but won’t be developed into ballparks, Sinclair said.

“When people say, ‘What’s going to be in the park,’ I say, ‘You tell me.’ We need to meet with the neighbors and say we’ve bought this gorgeous piece of property, what do you want to see?” Sinclair said. “I would imagine what we’re going to have is a pretty low-intensity park, a good neighborhood park with some handicap parking, maybe a pavilion, a playground, a walking trail, just a place where kids can play.”

It’s a good use of parks bond money and will go to an area that long has been underserved, parks-wise. There’s little question that it will be embraced by that neighborhood and be frequently used.

As noted above, it won’t have ball fields or courts, but the move is a winner none the less.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Checking the map
November 19, 2012
I'm all for parks too. But I'm just wondering, if Lewis Park is a bit too much of a hike for someone in that neighborhood, wouldn't they probably be pretty close to Birney Park?
Church Streeter
November 19, 2012
I grew up on Church Street. As kids, we really enjoyed Lewis Park. We played tennis on the courts and baseball and football over in the ball field. It really was a luxury living so close to a nice park.

Now I have a home of my own on Freyer Drive. My wife and I are expecting our first child in a few weeks. It is great to know that we'll have a fun destination to visit while we're out on walks around the neighborhood.
November 18, 2012
Great idea! So glad they have the funding for this. (And I don't even live in the area. I just understand the need for young families and people who love to walk in a lovely, safe place.)
E. Marietta Ignored
November 19, 2012
We have been waiting patiently fro Marietta to turn the land it already owns behind Lockheed Elementry School into a park but it seems that Marietta has little interest in establishing a large park or making any improvements East of I-75. We seem to be like the Statin Island of New York, here but totallly ignored.
Dave Z.
November 23, 2012
I agree with E. Marietta's comment. Merritt Road / the western slope of Blackjack Mountain is like Jurassic Park - I expect to see raptors trolling through the wilderness. It's time for the city to invest in this side of town!
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