The Upper Westside Improvement District has hired Russell Landscaping to begin work on the corner of Northside Drive and 17th Street, which will be transformed into a 4.5-acre community greenspace called The Waterworks in honor of its location next door to the city reservoir.
Beginning this month, Russell Landscaping will be removing more than 63,000 square feet of brush and privet along with several dead trees while pruning the branches of several others. Crews will also reclaim a 12,000 square foot gravel parking pad along Hoke Street. The hilltop space will eventually have benches, mulch trails and signage and offer dramatic views of the city skyline.
The park is on the eastern edge of the Atlanta City Water Works Hemphill Reservoir, and Friends of Atlanta Waterworks Park has long championed the corner as public greenspace. The Upper Westside Improvement District worked with the city and former Atlanta City Council Member Yolanda Adrean and the Department of Watershed Management to clean up and reclaim the area, with support from Park Pride and neighborhood leaders.
“We are thrilled to be underway creating a safe and beautiful space along one of the highest profile corridors on the Westside,” said Elizabeth Hollister, Executive Director, UWID. “We have been compiling community input for what people would like to see there, and this is the first step towards realizing their vision.”
For 100 years, the land around the Atlanta Waterworks Reservoirs served as a public greenspace. In 1996, the city built a chain-link fences around the reservoir as a security measure ahead of the Summer Olympics. Over the last decade, the surrounding area has become a hotspot for restaurants, shopping, office space and apartment homes, without the benefit of any public parks.
UWID hopes to have the greenspace clean up phase completed and open to the public by the end of the month. For updates, visit waterworksatlanta.com.