by: Diana Davis Updated:ATLANTA —
City officials are making changes to expand midtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.
Channel 2’s Diana Davis was there when Mayor Kasim Reed presented Piedmont Commons’ newly created Parkland on Thursday.
Instead of a ribbon cutting, Reed threw a ceremonial Frisbee to children playing in a new field. It’s the centerpiece of the new 12 ½ acre section of Piedmont Park. It backs up to the Atlanta Botanical Garden near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive.
Construction started in February to transform what was once a lumber yard and later a green waste dump for the city into the field. It will eventually have playground benches and much more. Piedmont Park now has new paths and trails connecting to what will be the future Beltline trail.
"This is only the beginning. Piedmont Park, it's going to get better and better and better," Reed said.
There are several new pedestrian entrances to the park now, including one on Monroe Drive near the intersection of Piedmont Avenue. That should make it easier for those who live in the neighborhood to use the park.
"You know, I'm a walker, and I love exploring, so it was a great addition to the park," Andrew Pointdujour said.
Decatur bicyclist Laura Bowman found the park by accident. She said she's now able to ride off the street and follow trails almost the entire way from her home near Agnes Scott College. She told Davis that's a big improvement from when she used to load her bike in the gar to reach a trail.
"To be able to ride from the 7 1/2 miles from Agnes Scott to here and be on road with cars only three-quarters of a mile is fabulous, a biker's dream," she said.
The new section of the park marks the end of the first phase of the master plan for Piedmont Park.