Organizers with Dunwoody Senior Baseball say they are “warming to the idea” of moving to Brook Run Park in future seasons, if the city is willing to build three baseball diamonds there.
And, if the league leaves Dunwoody Park, its organizers would still like to see youth sports remain there, which runs counter to a plan to expand the Dunwoody Nature Center on the two ball fields currently in use at Dunwoody Park.
There’s not enough space in the city for organized sports, said John Crawford, treasurer of Dunwoody Senior Baseball.
“I think people are in favor of passive park space. Who would be opposed to a park?” he said. “It’s just that when you evaluate the youth sporting opportunities for our children, you’d have to say that [Dunwoody] is falling very short.”
The city recently unveiled a plan to revamp many of the city’s parks, Mayor Ken Wright said city’s leaders will move forward in November with a ballot measure to raise money for parks.
Under the city’s plan to reorganize the parks, Dunwoody Senior Baseball, a long-standing organization for middle- and high school-aged kids, would move to Brook Run Park. The Dunwoody Nature Center would convert the two ball fields now at Dunwoody Park for use by the nature center.
Anne Hicks, president of the center’s board of directors, said that the conversion of the ball fields would cede more parking to the nature area and the center could stretch out into space for meetings and small outdoor concerts at a pavilion planned there. “We really feel like we’re unique in the community. No one else is providing environmental education to 42,000 people, and there’s just so little natural space,” Hicks said. “And Brook Run is a great recreation space with great, great potential.”
Crawford says he doesn’t see it as a win-win situation. He says it would be a better idea to keep a part of Dunwoody Park open to active recreation and purchase additional property for neighborhood parks and features like a “splash pad” for Dunwoody Park.
“I think it’s a mistake to fall in with water fountains when kids need a place to break a sweat,” he said.