Sandy Springs residents got a look Tuesday night at the latest proposal for Old Riverside Park, which has been adjusted based on surveys of the community earlier this year.
Community members can take an online survey that uses a map with a drag-and-drop feature so that they can show what features they want in the proposed park. Visit http://spr.gs/oldriverside to view the survey. Comments can also be mailed to Steve Ciaccio, City of Sandy Springs, Recreation and Parks Department, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Comments will be accepted until Oct. 11.
At the park meeting in June and in another online survey, residents rated 16 options for the park, which were ranked based on that interest.
Aaron St. Pierre, vice president of the city’s consulting group Lose Design, said improved trails were at the top of the list for residents. Also ranking high were restroom buildings, preserving the natural habitat, gaining access to the river through overlooks, and also having some native plantings, he said.
Steep topography dominates most of the park property off Old Riverside Road. Several acres of meadow offers the only significant relatively flat space. An existing parking area will be developed with pervious surfaces for 15 spaces, including handicap-accessible parking. Native vegetation will be planted along walkways to and in the open area, which would feature a small playground area with natural-style equipment that would double as a play area for kids and exercise space for adults.
This park would not be available for rentals, so only three small picnic tables are envisioned for use by visitors to the park. A looping trail would surround an open lawn area and also a naturalized meadow area that St. Pierre called the big driver for the park design.
While the park is along the Chattahoochee River, the bank is too steep and prone to erosion for visitor access. Instead, two overlooks would be installed to offer clear views of the waterway and shores. Some type of access control would be created with fencing to keep people from going down the embankments to the river.
That sensitive area and the technical challenge of protecting the shoreline embankment and bridging over a 48-inch sewer line along the shoreline eliminated the feasibility of a kayak or canoe put-in space, St. Pierre said.
The entire park will be fenced for security purposes for the park and its neighbors. The park would be open from dawn to dusk, and a gate would be closed and locked at dusk.