By Valerie Rose Sellers

More than 50 people came out to St James United Methodist Church on May 31 to view the long-awaited “master vision” for Atlanta’s new Little Nancy Creek Park.

Neighbors from both North Buckhead and Historic Brookhaven, along with Atlanta officials studied, an oversized color rendition of the park’s future, as portrayed by Park Pride. The park is in North Buckhead just west of Brookhaven and just south of Sandy Springs.

Those attending the conceptual vision’s unveiling included many people who played roles making the park reality, including Dist. 7 City Councilman Howard Shook; Walt Ray, the director of Park Pride; Gordon Certain, the president of the North Buckhead Civic Association; and Little Nancy Creek Park steering committee members Lisa Dickerson, Mandy LeCompte, Joseph Cronk, Mark Stovin and Jim Braun.

The final draft disclosed the potential acquisition of an adjacent property; future enhancements for existing features, such as a bridge over Nancy Creek; and additions that will include a playground, a pavilion and soft surface paths.

To encourage community involvement, Park Pride staff gave people markers to place on the map display, denoting which upcoming projects they would like to volunteer to improve.

After the presentation, guests were taken by bus to the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road location for a tour of the 5-acre park site.

During the tour, steering committee member Cronk presented neighbors with facts about the landscape, wildlife and topography of the property and fielded questions about future projects. As a resident of North Buckhead, Cronk shared some of his background growing up and playing with friends along the banks of Nancy Creek and his desire to provide similar experiences for future generations.

Cronk’s passion and admiration for Little Nancy Creek Park are deep. He called the property “unique because the creek runs right through it.”

He worked with the committee on demolition and architectural design for the park, and now that the vision is complete, he vows to change hats and focus on marketing, fundraising and the continuing efforts of Friends of Little Nancy Creek.

Though planning for the park has gone on for two years, Ray said the support from Park Pride will continue until completion and beyond. He said the next big steps are prioritizing projects and fundraising, which includes pitching projects to foundations and individuals who could provide grants and donations.

Ray said 15 other communities Park Pride has supported have used their visioning plans to raise nearly $9 million, and he is confident that Friends of Little Nancy Creek Park, the organization that has the responsibility of bringing Little Nancy Creek Park to life, will be successful in rallying community support, raising money and organizing volunteer efforts.

For more information on the park, visit www.littlenancycreekpark.org/portal.