Berkeley Park is about to get the specialized playground and communal gathering spot that neighborhoods collectively known as Atlanta’s “Upper Westside” have long pined for.
A $100,000 legacy grant from nonprofit Park Pride will fund the installation of a water-themed playscape and amphitheater at the Atlanta Waterworks Greenspace, which opened three years ago as passive park land at the northwest corner of Northside Drive and 17th Street.
Construction at the 4 and ½-acre park is expected to begin next month.
Additions will include “interactive components inspired by the natural landscape and watershed equipment” next door, plus the amphitheater for live music, outdoor movies, or classroom-style instruction, project officials announced today.
With its sweeping city views, the greenspace was a decade in the making—a team effort by Upper Westside Improvement District, Friends of Waterworks Greenspace, and the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management—and now abuts Atlanta Waterworks’ eastern reservoir.
The greenspace itself opened in late 2018, providing seating, hammock stands, and space to gather in the shade of old-growth trees in the rapidly developing district that lacks outdoor recreation options and playgrounds.
It's predominately used by apartment dwellers, families and workers in the area, and Georgia Tech students, per Friends of Waterworks Greenspace.
Project leaders have described the S&ME-designed upgrades as “no ordinary play space” but rather “an educational landscape that teaches adults and children alike about the water treatment process that happens at the Hemphill treatment facility all around the greenspace.”
More phases of park enhancements are planned for the future, pending funding.
Park Pride has awarded more than $10 million in grants that have built playgrounds, bridges, greenspaces, piers, and other projects throughout the city since 2004.
“Working with the surrounding neighborhood associations, the Friends of Waterworks Greenspace, and the city, we identified this corner with its dramatic views of Atlanta and proximity to everything as the perfect spot,” Elizabeth Hollister, executive director of the Upper Westside CID, a special government entity formed in 2016, said in a prepared statement.
“This project will further activate the greenspace," Hollister continued, "making it welcoming to children and adults alike.”
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