By Jonathan Flack, Candler Park Conservancy Board Member and CPNO Liaison
Have you noticed the changes to Candler Park lately? The 55-acre greenspace and recreation hub at the center of our neighborhood is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Several upgrades across the park were completed in the last few months, and more improvements are on the way—most notably a renovation to the playground!
Recent Changes to Candler Park, and the Planned Playground Renovation
The bathrooms at the pool house have been renovated, cleaned, and are now open to the public! Long closed, the bathrooms now have new sinks, automatic hand-dryers, new lights, new mirrors, and new countertops; the partitions have been cleaned and painted; security lighting on the outside has been installed; and the doors automatically lock at night. In addition, Candler Park Conservancy has partnered with the City of Atlanta and hired a cleaning company to regularly maintain and clean the bathrooms.
The bathroom renovation was jumpstarted with a portion of the $45,000 provided by City Councilmember Amir Farokhi’s participatory budgeting project Candler Park Decides. That money, plus matching donations from CPC and Trees Atlanta, also paid for the following additional improvements to our beloved park:
- Benches have been installed next to the active lawn;
- Bike racks were installed near the active lawn and the playground;
- Fruit trees have been planted near the walkway behind the pool; and
- Kudzu removal is taking place on the westernmost hillside next to the active lawn
And more improvements are coming, including new pool furniture and public art!
The Planned Playground Renovation and Hillside Reconstruction
You may have noticed that the current playground structures are showing their age; or maybe you’ve noticed the severe drainage issues near the picnic table next to the playground. What you probably haven’t noticed is the severe soil erosion at the top of the hill behind the playground, leading up to the tennis courts. This un-landscaped hillside, which is currently unused space, is largely to blame for these drainage issues and soil erosion problems.
Candler Park Conservancy has hired landscape architects at Perkins & Will to design a new playground and hillside that will fix these environmental issues and create a modern playscape with fun and unique play structures for our kids!
The new playground renovation will address these problems by (1) installing boulders on the hillside to buttress the tennis court retaining wall, mitigate soil erosion, and promote better stormwater management; and (2) installing three slides on the hillside for kids to play.
In addition, the playground renovation will include several new play structures including an iconic primary play structure, along with other potential additions such as a sand pit, an artificial turf rope climb on the hillside, and other new play structures for kids to enjoy. The details will be finalized after community input sessions, which are in the process of being scheduled. A diagram of one potential new playground design is below.
Donate to the Project!
To date, Candler Park Conservancy (“CPC”) has raised $328,000 for this project. CPC has requested $100,000 in total from the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization, $50,000 of which has already been accounted for in the 2022 CPNO Budget (a vote to allocate this money specifically for the playground renovation is scheduled to occur at the April 2022 CPNO monthly Zoom meeting). CPC is hopeful that CPNO will contribute an additional $50,000, which would mean we need to raise an additional $225,000 to fully fund this playground renovation.
Under the current timeline, construction will begin in late-2022 and there will be opportunities for community input before the plans are finalized. Please consider making a donation to help bring this vision into reality! Encourage your friends to donate as well. All donations are fully tax-deductible.
If you haven’t visited Candler Park in a while—get out there, enjoy the new amenities, take a look at the playground hillside, and envision these new improvements.