In the middle of the manicured lawns and rosebushes of the Historic Brookhaven neighborhood is a wild patch of forest, with thick underbrush and ivy crawling up the trees.
But what many, not even its neighbors, realize is that it’s an official park of the city of Atlanta.
Called Mayson Ravine Park, the natural ravine near the corner of Davidson Avenue and West Club Lane has caught the attention of Historic Brookhaven resident Richard Prilop.
Prilop is interested in working with the non-profit Park Pride to form a “Friends of Mayson Ravine Park” group to look into some improvements for the park.
“We don’t want to build a playground,” Prilop said. “We just need to pay a little attention to these places and clean them up.”
Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook believes the area was designated as a park around 2007. The city does not plan to build anything on the property, he said.
“There are no plans to develop it,” Shook said. “It’s got a lot of very challenging topography. The intention then as now is to leave it in its natural state.”
Prilop said he envisions mulching the border of the park near the street and adding benches for people to sit on. He said he would also like to remove the ivy from the trees and clear the invasive plant species, such as Chinese privet, that grow unchecked.
“There’s huge ivy growing all over the trees. The problem is if nothing’s done it will kill off the trees,” Prilop said. “Ivy is the biggest enemy of trees in Atlanta. Brookhaven is legendary for that.”
But he realizes that not everyone may agree with his vision for the ravine.
Historic Brookhaven resident Linda Dekle said she would prefer that the area be left alone. “I just want it to be natural and I want it to be protected,” she said. “It’s a habitat for all kinds of animals.”
Prilop said on the other hand, there are other neighbors who would like to see it developed. “One of the first guys I talked to said, ‘we need to clear it all out because it’s a cesspool,’” Prilop said.
He said for now, he would just like to find people who are interested in taking care of the green space.
“We recognize there are divergent ideas,” he said.