Ground was officially broken today for what will become the largest greenspace in the city: Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry.
The initial phase of the $26.5 million project located along the Atlanta BeltLine will include a park gateway entrance at the intersection of Johnson Road and Grove Park Place on the north side of the park. The design will provide lighting, signage and promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
The restoration of Grove Park Place will include the removal of invasive species, resurfacing of the roadway, and the rehabilitation of vegetation along the corridor. There will also be the “grand overlook” area with views of the former granite quarry pit – now being transformed into the new city reservoir – and the Atlanta skyline. Visitors will also be able to experience the quarry by ADA accessible trails leading to the grand overlook.
“The Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry will change the surrounding landscape far beyond just being the largest greenspace in the city,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during the ground breaking. “The park will become ground zero for some of the biggest economic investments ever seen on the Westside of Atlanta. It will help neighborhoods here thrive and return to their former glory, as well as be the home of an important back-up water source for the entire city.”
“The Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to break ground today on the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong. “Since being appointed as Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner in 2015, it has been an honor and privilege to help increase access to greenspace and to help grow our programs and facilities in our recreation centers. I am proud to be here today celebrating the beginning of this transformative project and to thank Mayor Bottoms and city leaders for their commitment to this park and our city.”
Since September 2016, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management has been working to transform the Bellwood quarry into a more than two billion gallon emergency drinking water reservoir that will increase the city’s emergency water supply from three to 30 days.