A community lake house and more walking trails are some of the updates Brookhaven residents can expect to soon see in their parks.

During a June 23 meeting, Brookhaven’s Park Bond Oversight Committee provided an update on the state of improvements to the city’s parks. 

In 2018, Brookhaven voters passed a $40 million park bond, which sketched out multiple improvements and projects for parks throughout the city. The oversight committee is an appointed board that reviews the master plans for each park and the updates as construction moves along. 

During the June 23 meeting, Parks Bond Program Manager Lee Croy gave a presentation with an overview of past projects and what the city can look forward to. 

Ashford Park

Croy discussed the Ashford Park Splash Pad, which opens June 24 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. The pad has spray and water features and is surrounded by a pavilion with picnic tables and terraced seating. 

The Ashford Park Slash Pad will open on June 24.

The total amount set aside for improvements to Ashford Park is about $1.9 million. In the master plan for the park, other proposed improvements include a cookout patio, a multi-use trail, and shade structures. 

Murphey Candler Park 

After multiple delays, the new playground at Murphey Candler Park opened on March 19. 

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and District 1 Councilmember Linley Jones cutting the ribbon at Murphey Candler Park’s new playground.

The Brookhaven City Council approved a concept for a new community “lake house” and adjacent parking lot at an April 27 meeting. Croy said more details about the floor plan and what types of materials that will be used for the lake house can be expected in mid July. 

Committee members Lori Gray and Mickey O’Brien expressed concern over the number of trees that would be removed and added to the lake house parking lot. The council had four parking lot options to choose from. It approved the third, which would remove 42 trees from the lot and add 55. 

Lake House design at Murphey Candler Park
A site plan for the lake house at Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park as seen in a Feb. 22 virtual presentation.

O’Brien suggested noting the diameter of the trees being replaced instead of just the number, to prevent smaller trees from replacing larger ones. 

“We need more clarification on the number of inches being removed versus the number of inches being replaced,” he said. 

In regards to other projects at Murphey Candler Park, Croy said a June 24 pre-bid meeting is scheduled for the community green project, with construction expected to take four months. Construction on Horseshoe Road – a project that has divided Brookhaven residents who do not want to open up the road to traffic – is expected to follow.

Croy said design has started on the park’s North Boardwalk, which went under contract with Excellere Construction LLC last month. Construction on a south trail in the park is also expected to begin soon. The trail project includes bridges, which are expected to be delivered in mid-July. 

Construction on the pool parking lot in Brookhaven Park is expected to begin as soon as this summer’s swim season is over. Croy said the lot is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

Briarwood Park 

The city is in Phase 2 of construction on projects in Briarwood Park. Croy said due to drainage issues from Phase 1 of the project, which included a new pool, the architectural firm Clark Patterson Lee will have to heavily consider stormwater design and survey work in Phase 2.

Croy said this has already set construction back by a couple of months, and he does not know the impact it will have on the budget. The amount set aside for Briarwood Park in the park bond is about $7 million. 

“We’re going to have to see the results of that to take into consideration any stormwater construction that might have to take place for the budget for items in Phase 2,” Croy said. 

Phase 2 projects for Briarwood Park include parking lot improvements, seating at the tennis courts, a pavilion at the community garden, and multi-use trails. 

Blackburn Park

Croy said the city has a remaining budget of approximately $90,000 for Blackburn Park. So far, parking lot improvements, a pond, marquee fencing and landscaping have been completed at the park. 

Croy said part of the remaining budget will go towards repaving some of the parking lot at Donaldson Drive. He said that the park bond would pay for some of that repaving while the  city’s Public Works department would pay for the rest. Croy said the park bond portion of the paving will probably cost around $40,000. 

Croy also said there have been citizen requests for shade around the playground in Blackburn Park, so the remaining budget could go towards that initiative. 

Brookhaven Park 

The city is currently suing DeKalb County in order to gain ownership over the entirety of Brookhaven Park. Along with that lawsuit, the city is attempting to get access and construction easements so improvements can begin on its side of the park – the only way to get into the Brookhaven-owned side of the park is through the DeKalb-owned side. 

Brookhaven Park
A sign showing the address of the county’s portion of Brookhaven Park hangs on a broken fence in late January in a photo taken by resident Carey Brown.

Croy said there has not been much movement with the county in regards to a request for construction and access easements so they can begin work. 

Lynwood Park 

The main project at Lynwood Park is a pool and an open space turf field. Croy said the city is in the process of getting land disturbance permits for the pool project, and that should be done within a week or two. Following that, the city will advertise for a construction contract. 

Croy said the turf field will go under a separate contract from the pool. 

The next meeting of the committee will be held on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. If residents have any questions or concerns, they can email parksfeedback@brookhavenga.gov

Correction: a previous version of this article said a lazy river would be built at Lynwood Park. That project is no longer happening. The article has been updated to reflect that.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.