Are athletic fields and an outdoor cafe coming soon to Brook Run Park?
These were a couple ideas suggested as the city began its Parks and Recreation Master Plan by gathering input from residents and city officials about what people would like to see specifically in Brook Run Park.
Representatives with parks consultant jB+A presented a short outline of how the update will work to a small group of residents who gathered Jan. 17 at St. Patrick’s Church, located across the street from Brook Run Park.
“We’re working on an overall comprehensive plan … and are drilling down into more detail for Brook Run Park,” said Steve Provost, of jB+A, which is working with GreenPlay to design a final master plan that could be completed as soon as this spring.
Flat, rectangular athletic fields in the back of the 102-acre park are a popular wish among many residents. Several people also expressed interest in installing an interactive water feature, such as a splash pad, as well as replacing the current pavilion in the central area of the park with a updated pavilion, perhaps a band pavilion.
“The number one thing for me is the flow of traffic and pedestrian flow through the park,” said Rahul Karnani, who regularly visits the park with his two small children.
“I feel like a lot of the attractions are at the front and other end of the park, but there is not much in the middle. There is a pavilion in the middle, but it is not utilized — we need a better pavilion, one that is easier to locate. Maybe something like a traditional bandstand and make it the public square for the park,” Karnani said.
Brook Run Park is a regional park attracting thousands of people from all over metro Atlanta to Dunwoody to enjoy the park’s amenities.
Existing park amenities include a large playground, 11 shelters, a multi-purpose field, a skate park, a community garden and greenhouse, a dog park, a Veterans Memorial and a popular multi-use trail that connects to the new Pernoshal Park.
Dunwoody Homeowners Association President Robert Wittenstein suggested that more parking be installed where the former theater building was located so it could be used for the the park and new baseball fields being built at Peachtree Charter Middle School.
Other suggestion made including putting in a restroom where the dog park exists and even an outdoor cafe where people can get a cup of coffee or sandwich while visiting the park.
But the overarching theme so far appears to be constructing athletic fields in the back of the park in the space now used a great deal by drone hobbyists.
“Flat, rectangular athletic fields is the standard answer I hear,” said Councilmember John Heneghan.
Mayor Denis Shortal and Councilmember Jim Riticher echoed that sentiment, saying that is the one thing they continually hear from people as what should be added to the park.
An enclosed amphitheater is a close second, Shortal said, where entertainers can perform in front of an audience in a tiered seating arrangement so everyone can see and hear music or other performances. Protecting the park’s streams are also important to Shortal and Riticher.
“A lot of people want rectangular fields, a band pavilion and also picnic and event pavilions,” Riticher said.
But with all the improvements, the city has to ensure it can maintain the upkeep of the park, Shortal said.
“We have to stay on top of funding and make sure we are able to maintain the improvements. This maintenance is for the long haul — maintaining whatever we build at a high level is critical,” he said.
Provost said the information gathered from the first public meeting will be put into a rough concept of what to do with Brook Run Park and those rough plans will be reviewed by city staff and the City Council. A preliminary master plan will then be made after more input and then presented to the public for review and further tweaks before a final master plan is created for the city. The entire process will take several months, he said.