Latest Park News: Community fun run/walk/bike/skate
event on Saturday, March 26, 2011
CAN--the Civic Association Network of civic and neighborhood
associations in central DeKalb County--is sponsoring a community fun
run/walk/bike/skate event on Saturday, March 26, 2011. The official
name of this event is ‘Embrace Our Green Space Race’. The events will
start at 10 AM, and we plan to be finished by noon.
Beneficiaries of funds are our local neighborhood parks and green
spaces that are primarily maintained by neighborhood volunteers: Clyde
Shepherd Nature Preserve, Kittredge Park, Carey Hansard Park, and the
new Mary Scott Nature Park.
See the flyer at
merryhills.com/PDF/race_flyer.pdf and registration form at
Register for the event online at
Nearby neighborhood parks
Kittredge Park- 30 acre wildlife preserve and green space
behind Adams Stadium off N. Druid Hills Rd. Future Master Plans for
the area include play areas, crushed stone trails, and improved
access. Master Plan developed for adding improvements and amenities.
here to see photos, event schedules, and more info about
Kittredge Park on the Kittredge Park facebook page.
LaVista Park - 4-acre park on Brookforest Drive near
LaVista Road. Playground and picnic area recently renovated.
Mason Mill Park and Recreation Center - 111-acre park on
McConnell Drive near Clairmont Road. Multi-use field, tennis courts,
recreation center, picnic area, lake and trails. Master Plan
The Kittredge Park Story
DeKalb County now owns all the Atlanta Audubon
Society’s and the former Gatchell Home’s properties running between Holly
Lane, Natahalla Court, and Kittredge Park Road, off North Druid Hills
See the progress of the Master Plan
process for improving and enhancing the park:
Plans shown to the public at the Dec. 3, 2009 meeting:
Master Plan Alternative 1
Plan Alternative 2
The Kittredge Park Story, as told by former MHHA president Linda
Kittredge Park is a
DeKalb County-owned park located off North Druid Hills Road behind the DeKalb
School of the Arts and adjacent to Holly Lane. The park originally
consisted of 2.66 acres and in 2004 was expanded to 32.01 acres.
See a map of the current
Merry Hills Homeowners’ Association is taking a lead
in the Kittredge Park planning, along with the North Druid Hills
Residents Association. We have submitted to the DeKalb County park staff a list of things
that our residents asked for in response to our December 2003 email
solicitation and at our November 2004 meeting.
What can you do, as a nearby resident, to help with
walk the trails and roads to become acquainted with
carry a trash bag to help in cleaning up the park property
keep the police and park staff informed of any strange
spread the word about this wonderful piece of real estate that is our
When we begin to decide what we want here, we will
need everyone’s input so the better you know the park, the more ideas
you will have. As you become acquainted with it, try to picture what
kind of recreational facility could go in which place. Think of this park as a giant sheet on canvas—put in
the knowns—the roads, pool, ball fields, etc.,-- and then try to
imagine what a grand place it could be. There are not too many times
in our lives when we have such an opportunity.
Additional property acquired for Kittredge Park
In 2004, DeKalb County purchased the Atlanta Audubon Society’s and the Gatchell Home’s properties
situated between Holly Lane, Natahalla
Court, and Kittredge Park Road, off North Druid Hills Road. The Gatchell Home has retained 3.44 acres for their buildings at
1458 Holly Lane. The total acreage acquired is 32.01 acres, most of which is heavily
wooded with a tributary of N. Peachtree Creek traversing it. There is
a lot of floodplain and a big hill within the property.
Current status of Kittredge Park
The county has torn down the old daycare center off Kittredge Park
Road and Mrs. Laurie Johns’ old homestead off Holly Lane and up the
dirt road to the top of the hill. The roads to these two sites are for
foot traffic only. There will probably be a gate
installed on the dirt road to prohibit vehicles. The neighborhood will
be asked to keep the police and park staff informed of any strange
activities. Otherwise, the park is open.
There will be some deed restrictions on the former Johns property
which means that no structures can be built on it. There are already
some trails here and a bridge which has been repaired. Access points to the park will be Kittredge Park Road, Holly Lane,
Biltmore Drive, Natahalla Court, and some apartment access on the west
side. Parking should be restricted to Kittredge Park Road.
A tree survey for specimen trees has been finished. No botanical or
historical surveys have been done. Invasive plants, such as kudzu, honeysuckle, English ivy, poison
ivy, privet, etc. will be removed in time under the supervision of
county staff using a contractor.
Cost of the expansion of Kittredge Park
The price paid for the land by the county was $5,500,000 to the
Gatchell Home and $301,000 to the Atlanta Audubon Society with the
total price being $5,860,000, including due diligence.
Ex-DeKalb Commissioner Judy Yates allocated $3,627,000 of
District 6 Park
Bond acquisition funds for the park and $400,000 of District 6 Park Bond
development funds. The Georgia state greenspace program contributed
$983,000 and the Arthur Blank Family Foundation contributed $1,250,000 for
the purchase. $450,000 had been earmarked for renovation of the swimming pool, which was
built in the 1960’s.
The property purchased for the Kittredge Park was
originally owned by A. Ellyn and Laurie Johns, who bought 14 acres with
access to N. Druid Hills Road in 1939. They lived at the Hilltop House
until his death in 1969 and hers in 1984. She was a great
conservationist and wanted her property preserved, hence, included
deed restrictions on its development. That is one reason
it was available for the county to purchase. At one time, the Audubon
property was named the A. Ellwyn Johns Bird Sanctuary. There is
interest by people who knew the Johns family in retaining that name in
some way as a tribute.
Future plans for Kittredge Park
The Parks Department will be discussing with the Board of
Education some kind of joint arrangement whereby the new running track
at the stadium, the old tennis courts, and the big baseball field can
be accessed by park users. There are currently no specific plans on future use of the park.
Adjacent property owners have not been notified of this acquisition. Input from the community will be requested by way of a planning tool
called a charrette, which is a meeting to solicit input on a project
by having people list their ideas, set up priorities, name the problem
areas, and try to come to a consensus conclusion—there will probably
be at least two—one on a Saturday and one on a Sunday. Then a Master
Plan will be drawn up by the park professional staff.
The role of the neighborhood will be to volunteer to
help clean up, to attend the charrette or submit your ideas in writing, to
report security and maintenance problems, and most of all, to enjoy
this new park expansion.