In an area of Atlanta plagued by chronic flooding that’s wiped out scores of houses over the years, another multi-purpose park is expected to break ground this week, offering what officials say is an innovative, community-boosting solution.
Called Boone Park West, the English Avenue green space will take shape off Joseph E. Boone Boulevard on Proctor Street.
[UPDATE: City officials sent this news late Wednesday: “The Atlanta City Council [has] voted to rename the planned Boone West Park to Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park. The planned park is close to the home where Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old, was shot and killed by undercover police in a botched drug raid.”]
Green infrastructure that’s central to the park’s design, officials say, will be able to manage 3.5 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually.
Falling within the Proctor Creek Watershed, English Avenue “has long suffered from damaging combined sewer overflows related to stormwater runoff, economic disinvestment, social and educational challenges, and lack of greenspace,” officials with The Conservation Fund noted in a press release today.
Next door, in Historic Vine City, antiquated sewers couldn’t handle an “unprecedented downpour” in 2002, resulting in sewage-filled floodwaters up to six feet deep, as Creative Loafing once relayed.
Long in the works, the English Avenue park was designed through nonprofit Park Pride’s community-driven process of park visioning, officials said. Also leading its implementation are The Conservation Fund and the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Office of Sustainability.
Beyond the stormwater-swallowing features, amenities will include a playground, fitness stations, and seating terrace.
A Boone Park West groundbreaking is scheduled Thursday morning, with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Park and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong, and other dignitaries expected to attend.
The site isn’t far from spruced-up Vine City Park, which replaced abandoned and blighted apartments in 2016, and it’s about six blocks west of the forthcoming Rodney Cook Sr. Park—Vine City’s answer to Historic Fourth Ward Park.
Trust for Public Land officials recently told Curbed Atlanta the latter green space should be finished by late spring 2019, complete with a splash pad, fitness zone, plazas, children’s performance area, architectural bridges, and another stormwater-capturing pond.