A new park is now open in the city and another one is getting an upgrade with the help of Intown elementary school students.

Boulevard Crossing Park

Phase one of Boulevard Crossing Park, the newest park along the Atlanta BeltLine, is now open to the public. Five acres of former industrial land were transformed into two large multi-use fields for outdoor sports, including a regulation-size soccer field.

This is just the beginning of the transformation of Boulevard Crossing,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. President and CEO Brian Leary. “This new greenspace provides a significant opportunity to create a major new park on the south side of Atlanta. We are extremely grateful to the community and our partners for their early leadership and continuing commitment to the Atlanta BeltLine.”

“This is an exciting moment for the Chosewood Park neighborhood and the City of Atlanta,” said City Councilmember Carla Smith. “Boulevard Crossing Park is a great outdoor resource for the community, and it is only the first step toward evolving into the 22-acre park on the Atlanta BeltLine.”

While phase of the park is five acres, the entire park will eventually occupy 22 acres of land, all of which is currently under the city’s control.

“This year, thanks in large part to the BeltLine, our city no longer has the least amount of park space out of the 25 largest cities in the country,” said George Dusenbury, City of Atlanta Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “But the BeltLine is about more than just adding new parks, it is also setting a new standard of quality for our park system.”

Boulevard Crossing Park was built with funding from City of Atlanta Park Improvement Bonds. The land was initially secured by The Trust for Public Land. Like other BeltLine parks, it was built as sustainably as possible.

Some of the green aspects of the park include lamps wrapped in solar film, organic landscaping techniques and native/naturalized plants to reduce maintenance costs, and kudzu-eating goats, provided by a partnership with Trees Atlanta, to help manage the invasive plant growth surrounding the park.

Selena Butler Park

Hope-Hill and Cook Elementary Schools is helping with the revitalization of Atlanta’s historic Selena Butler Park. More than 30 classes at the two schools have been selected to create a unique tile mosaic to add the finishing touch to the $1.6 million rebuild.

Each class will design and glaze its own individual, ceramic tile. The tiles – donated by the Dal-Tile Corporation – will express the way the students feel about one of the following themes: parks and recreation; Selena Butler; education; or the City of Atlanta.

Once the young artists complete their visions, the tiles will be professionally fired and installed in the park. The finished tiles will be unveiled at the Nov. 2 dedication ceremony hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association.

Butler Park is named in honor of Selena Sloan Butler, who was a key figure in the struggle for racial equality in American education. Perhaps the most groundbreaking of her many accomplishments was founding the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers in 1911.

The park restoration, principally funded by the Atlanta Housing Authority, will provide an active use plaza, playground equipment, a picnic/grill area, basketball and tennis courts, a multi-purpose field, a walking path and a community garden to a park once left tattered by Atlanta’s infamous 2008 tornadoes.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.