View Future Site of Boulevard Woods in a larger map
This web site is part of a neighborhood-based volunteer effort to design and build a park here in Athens, Ga. on vacant land on Barber Street where Boulevard ends.
For the time being at least we're calling the park we want to create Boulevard Woods. (We used to call ourselves the Barber Street Park Project. We're the same people, but we've changed the name of our web site.)
The lot we’ve selected consists of three long vacant parcels owned by Athens-Clarke Co. The largest parcel is 1.8 acres. This land was donated to Athens by W.H. Benson in 1967, and has remained vacant and unused since then. The two other parcels--one .14 acres, the other .39 acres--were acquired by Athens-Clarke Co. in 1993 as part of a tax settlement. Further legal research is needed to establish ACC ownership. All the parcels are heavily wooded.
Note: ACC is now proposing that we scale back the site to just one parcel, the largest one. See ACC's proposal here.
Located at the top of Boulevard, the site is well positioned to serve as a neighborhood focal point and could easily be integrated into a future greenway network and/or a rails-to-trails project.
We want to create a park that is:
- Built by volunteers and funded mainly by private contributions
- Affordable to build and easy to maintain
- Composed mainly of existing natural features
- Built using simple, sustainable materials and technologies
- An expression of neighborhood creativity
An informal survey we conducted in 2009 not only told us that people in the area want a park—which is not surprising—but also gave us some ideas of what people want to use the park for. You can see the survey results for yourself here.
We asked people in the neighborhood to visit the site and fill out a brief questionnaire designed to give our "design team" some site specific ideas and preferences to work with in developing an early park plan. Learn more about the questionnaire here. (The questionnaire deadline has passed.)
On July 26, 2010 we held a neighborhood charrette to gather input on four alternative park concepts. You can view the archived concepts and related materials here.
In October, 2010 our design team collated the alternative concepts and the neighborhood feedback to generate our concept plan. This plan represents the kind of park we want to create. We'll use it to guide our ongoing discussions with Athens-Clarke County about how to develop the potential park.
Our Progress So Far
We've made a lot of progress to date, but there's lots more to do. You can read about what we've accomplished already and what remains to be done here.
Who “We” Are
This project was started by an informally organized group of people interested in creating this park. Boulevard Neighborhood Association, Inc. is now taking the lead role. Many—but not all of us—live in the Boulevard neighborhood. We’re a mixed bunch that includes students, parents, dog-owners, artists, landscape architects, professionals, gardeners, cat-owners, neighborhood do-gooders and other sorts.
The Boulevard Neighborhood Association is actively supporting our efforts. Through a Keep Athens-Clarke Co. Beautiful program, the Boulevard Neighborhood Association in 2009 approved a limited-term, limited-scope “adoption” of the Barber St. lot. This has given us permission to start doing some clearing and surveying work on the site. In 2010, Athens-Clarke Co.'s Planning Department granted an Environmental Areas Permit to allow volunteer work on the site. And in October 2011, Boulevard Neighborhood Association officially created its own committee (with many of the same people who were involved in the more informal park group) to help guide the park effort as it heads toward consideration by the Mayor and Commission.
About this Web Site
We’ll be using this site for a variety of purposes. It will help us organize our on-going work in creating the park. We’ll use it to share our ideas for the park and document our progress. Soon, it will help tell people how to donate money to fund public art, buy benches and other amenities for the park.
Anyone interested in contributing to this Web site should contact Dan Lorentz, who is maintaining and editing these pages. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.