Rosa McHugh

Troy Chastain Memorial Park provides 268 acres of open space nestled at the boundaries of the city of Atlanta and the city of Sandy Springs. We know it as Chastain Park and for those who use it every day, it’s a respite in the middle of Buckhead’s urban core.

Chastain welcomes more than 2 million people a year through its variety of destinations, also known as “park partners.” There is something for everyone, including a 6,500-seat outdoor amphitheater, a horse park, a tennis center, an outdoor pool, an 18-hole golf course, an art center, a 3.2-mile PATH, a playground, ball fields and even a white table cloth restaurant.
With the area’s continued growth and increased densities along the business corridor, the park and all of its sites have never been more in demand. However, thanks to concerned neighbors who stepped up to take care of Chastain a decade ago, the Chastain Park Conservancy is helping the park keep pace with its ever-growing popularity today.

Back in 2003, a group of neighbors started “People for Chastain.” The group worked on removing graffiti and increasing available green space by taking out overgrown plants and debris. By 2004, already seeing the value of their work, they decided to formalize and create what is now the Chastain Park Conservancy.

Now 11 years old, the conservancy, in conjunction with the city of Atlanta and other park partners, has worked on several park improvement projects including the Earth Craft-Certified Tennis Center, 3 acres of reclaimed green space known as the Hill Top Fields, the PATH extension to the amphitheatre, and several other safety and beautification projects.

All of these park improvements are part of a greater 2008 Atlanta City Council-approved 20-year master plan for the park. The plan, available for download in its entirety at www.chastainparkconservancy.org, serves as the guiding document for capital improvements in the park.

In 2014, as part of its 10th anniversary, the conservancy launched a major capital campaign to support two of the main master plan project initiatives: the widening of the PATH along Powers Ferry Road, and the replacement and expansion of the playground. These projects are known as “Walk Chastain” and “Play Chastain” respectively.
The conservancy’s 10th anniversary campaign has raised $4.4 million toward its $5.2 goal. Thanks in great part to the support of the conservancy’s board of directors, several Atlanta family foundations, the city of Atlanta, local businesses and neighbors, the conservancy has been able to launch the groundbreaking of the Walk Chastain project and Phase 1 of the Play Chastain project. The remaining funding gap will support the installation of play equipment at the playground as well as a 10-year maintenance fund.
One of the ways the conservancy plans to make up the difference in dollars needed is by launching a crowd-sourcing program for the specific play equipment. Neighbors and friends of the conservancy will soon be invited to invest in the new 40,000-square-foot, world-class playground by supporting an individual piece, such as an oodle swing or zip line.
Other ways to support the CPC and become a part of its 10th anniversary legacy is to make a donation right on the Chastain Park Conservancy website. The conservancy board of directors is dedicated to making Chastain a destination for the health and well-being of all who enjoy it.
Walk Chastain and Play Chastain are two major ways that these engaged leaders look to in making the city of Atlanta an even better place to live. We hope you join us in supporting our campaign and look forward to seeing you at Chastain Park soon.

Rosa McHugh is executive director of the Chastain Park Conservancy.