Children riding decorated bicycles and escorted by their parents and Dunwoody city officials paraded up and down the multi-use trail through Brook Run Park on Aug. 3 to officially open the first phase of the concrete path for public use.
“The trail is fantastic,” said Kelly Grant, who walked the concrete path with her husband, Gordon, and two sons, bike-riding Max, 4, and 14-month-old Joe, who was asleep in a decorated wagon. “It really is beautiful. I’m kind of shocked at how nice it is. I think it will be great for the community.”
Grant said she came to Brook Run often to walk Max in a stroller when he was younger, and she thought the new trail would be a great improvement over the older sidewalks in the park. She said she was eager to show the trail to her neighbors.
Work on the second phase of the trail is expected to begin this fall. The completed trail is scheduled to open next spring. Once done, it will create a nearly 2-mile-long loop through the park, city officials have said.
Construction of the trail has been controversial. Some residents have complained about the number of trees being removed for the multi-use concrete path. Others worry that construction of trail may cause flooding in nearby neighborhoods. City officials say the project will not cause flooding and that the trees removed for the project are being replaced with new trees elsewhere in city parks.
Families in the opening parade seemed impressed by the pathway.
“It’s a nice trail. A lot hillier than I was expecting,” said Lea Trujillo, who said she walked with, and occasionally pushed, her two bike-riding children, Aniyah and Bo during the parade.
“What did you like?” she asked Bo.
“Going down the hill,” he said.
“Did you go fast down the hill?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said, “like Turbo!”
Three judges – Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, former DeKalb County school board member Nancy Jester and Dunwoody Nature Center executive director Alan Mothner – chose prize winners from among 43 entrants who registered to take compete in the parade.
Will Starling, son of Dunwoody’s economic development director, Michael Starling, won the most creative award for his bicycle, which he decorated with cutout ears and plastic tubing to turn into an elephant.
Lauren Fitzgerald won the “best theme” award for her “back to school” bike, complete with basket filled with school supplies.
And the Grant family took the prize for most colorful entry.
Joe Grant slept through the awards ceremony.