The Brookhaven portion of the proposed North Fork linear park is moving from concept to plan.
The city, along with the nonprofit North Fork Connectors, is in the process of hiring a planner to design the 2.7-mile portion of a path along the north fork of Peachtree Creek.
Betsy Eggers, board chair of the Connectors, envisions the park including a paved path for biking and walking.
“This will be a huge asset and wonderful for the whole area, both in terms of transportation and health, and as a destination park,” she said. “If it happens it will be as cool as the BeltLine, and more beautiful as it provides a direct connection to nature.”
That 2.7 miles is just the Brookhaven portion; the entire fork – and area the group is advocating for – runs for 12 miles, extending from Mercer University in DeKalb County to the Lindbergh area of Atlanta. Eventually, it will give path users a connection to the Atlanta BeltLine.
“We hope to partner with lots of different government entities and other nonprofits,” Eggers said of efforts outside the Brookhaven city limits.
Eggers says the city of Brookhaven has been supportive of the park, including it in all four of its planning initiatives adopted last year – the Comprehensive Plan, the Buford Highway Plan, the Transportation Plan, and the Parks and Recreation Plan.
For the park to happen, land along the water needs to be turned over to the city. Eggers said there are various ways that can happen, including land donations and the granting of permanent easements.
The group is embarking on what she calls a “friend-raising” campaign to educate residents and business owners on why a walking and biking trail would be beneficial to adjacent businesses.
“It becomes a destination – you can ride your bike to coffee shops or meet ups,” she said. “What’s great about this park is it’s primarily on unbuildable land. You can build a bike path and walking trail in a flood plain. It can be flooded and that doesn’t destroy it. It’s a total asset to any business that is alongside it. It’s not just a creek in their backyard, now it’s an asset.”
Eggers said as a nonprofit the group does accept donations, and that it’s prepared to give presentations to community groups and businesses.
She said that the plans should be completed by the end of the year, and the next eight months will be “an intense time of community involvement to hear what people near the park want to have in it.”
For more about the group and the park, visit www.northforkconnectors.org.