Gene Jordan, left (pink shirt), Christopher Kingsbury of Moreland Altobelli Associates Inc., center (blue jacket), and John Stewart, right (white shirt), discuss plans for the proposed trail and stream improvements planned as part of the passive park planned on the south side of Abnernathy Road. They met durng a public presentation of the plans on June 30 at Sandy Springs City Hall. Photo by Joe Earle.
Christopher Kingsbury of Moreland Altobelli Associates Inc., center, points out features of the design for the portion of Abernathy Greenway Park proposed along the south side of Abernathy Road.  Gene Jordan, left, and John Stewart, right, inspect the plans for the proposed trail and stream improvements presented June 30 at Sandy Springs City Hall.

A new 12-acre city park proposed along the south side of Abernathy Road will include a mile-long trail and low walls offering places to sit in the shade, according to a design presented this week.

Abernathy Greenway South is intended to differ from the part of the park already developed on the north side of Abernathy, designer Christopher S. Kingsbury of Moreland Altobelli Associates Inc. told about 30 people gathered at Sandy Springs City Hall on June 30.

“The north side is active. There’s always something going on,” he said. “The south side is ‘passive,’ a place to be in nature.”

The new park is expected to cost $1 million to $1.5 million, he said, and will include restoration work for a stream through the property and installation of plants such as gardenia, butterfly bush or Rose of Sharon. About 957 trees were counted on the site and about 36 will be removed during construction, he said. “The goal is to take out as few trees as possible … [and] to make the safest environment possible.”

Greg and Jessica Hurme, who live near the proposed park, welcomed the plans for a trail, rather than the play areas installed on the north side of the road.

“We’re into fitness and biking and running,” Greg Hurme said. “We don’t get a lot of use out of the kids’ swings. The north park doesn’t do much for us. I’m glad they put the passive part on our side.”

Besides, his wife added, “it looks pretty…. I’m excited about it.”

Some who attended the meeting questioned plans to reduce the slope of the stream bank in several places and to allow park-goers access to the creek. Others asked why the designers had not proposed building a boardwalk through the area.

“Keep people away from the [stream] banks,” said Patti Berkovitz of the Sandy Springs Watershed Alliance.