Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst cut the ribbon May 3 to signify the completion of Phase I improvements to Georgian Hills Park.
Aside from his professional pride as the city’s mayor, Ernst said he took personal pride in cutting the ribbon on the park’s new improvements.
“I lived around here for six years,” Ernst told The Champion. “My kids’ first park was this park and it was a dusty old field.”
Ernst said the park was previously dirt with a baseball backstop, and now it’s green with new turf and a new playing mound.
“The kids can rock climb, they can slide down an artificial turf [slide] that has been extremely popular,” Ernst said. “Everyone’s been talking about that on Facebook and Nextdoor.”
Construction for the 3.6-acre park began in September. It now includes an open of Bermuda turf that Ernst said can be used for sports and other activities, an irrigation system and a walking trail that extends around the open space field. A playground, picnic shelter and an outdoor basketball half-court have also been completed.
According to Brookhaven City Communications Director Burke Brennan, infrastructure enhancements also include a redesigned parking lot and improvements to the sidewalk that runs along Clairmont Road. A stone staircase at the end of the turf field leads to the Clairmont Road sidewalk. The total cost of these improvements is $1.2 million, according to Brennan.
Ernst said the project is part of park improvements including soon-to-be completed projects at Murphy Candler Park and Skyland Park that are all part of the city’s comprehensive parks and recreation master plan.
The city has engaged in many park improvement projects since its incorporation in 2012, according to city officials. Brookhaven established its Parks and Recreation Coalition to coordinate between its many Friends of Park groups and on April 24, the city approved an ordinance to purchase the services of Park Pride Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to engage communities in their neighborhood parks.
Though Park Pride didn’t play a role in the Georgian Hills improvements, city officials said they hope the tools and fiscal services Park Pride provides will help with funding and facilitation of future projects.
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