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Conservancy to release draft master plan for Atlanta Memorial Park
by Nicole Dow
January 10, 2014 01:11 PM | 2638 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New and improved outdoor recreational and fitness options are in the works for Buckhead and Atlanta at large.

Representatives from the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy gave members of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods a preview of the draft master plan for the park Thursday at the council’s monthly meeting at Peachtree Presbyterian Church.

The conservancy will present the plan to the general public this Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bobby Jones Golf Course clubhouse at 384 Woodward Way.

Conservancy President Roxanne Giles Smith said proposed changes include moving the park entrance near the tennis center, building an underground parking garage with tennis courts on top, building a new golf clubhouse, improving the connectivity of trails and relocating active greenspace to areas outside of the park’s floodplain. The draft plan was developed with input from the six neighborhoods surrounding the park and other concerned stakeholders, she said.

The conservancy also has two options for renovating the golf course. Vice President Marty Elgison said the course has not been updated in 80 years.

One option is for an improved 18-hole course, and the other option is for a nine-hole reversible course with a driving range. Elgison said neighbors are evenly split on the issue. An informal poll of the attendees at the council’s meeting showed the majority preferred the nine-hole course.

“They’re both a huge improvement over what we have today, which is an asset that is highly underutilized in a spectacular part of our city,” Elgison said.

He said the decision about the golf course does not have to be finalized anytime soon. Smith said the work will be done in phases over several years.

“We can start with the greenspace in phase one, which is going to be the least expensive and the least invasive,” she said.

The conservancy is estimating the overall project will cost between $10 million and $15 million.

“It’s going to be a private-public partnership,” Smith said. “We will go after every federal, state and municipal dollar we can find and then we will go to foundations and fundraisers.”

The conservancy will launch a capital campaign this month, she said.

A separate project in the works focused on outdoor options is Atlanta’s bike share program.

“Thanks to the [city] council and the mayor who gave us $2.36 million, we’re going to construct 26 bike projects,” James Shelby, commissioner of the city’s department of planning and community development, told the Buckhead council Thursday.

With the bike share program, there will be 536 bikes available to rent at 57 stations across the city for residents and visitors to travel short distances, he said. Shelby said the city also has a goal of increasing its bike lanes by 2.2 percent by 2016.

What’s next?
The Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy will present the draft master plan for the park Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bobby Jones Golf Course clubhouse, 384 Woodward Way in Buckhead.

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