Mayor Andre Dickens joined other officials for tree planting at The Hill, which has reopened to the public after 26 years.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens helped plant an oak tree on The Hill on Tuesday, marking the opening of one of the highest points in the city to the public for the first time in 26 years.

Upper Westside Community Improvement District Executive Director Elizabeth Hollister, Commissioner of Atlanta Watershed Mikita Browning and City Council members Dustin Hillis, Byron Amos and Matt Westmoreland joined in ceremonially opening the two-acre greenspace at the Atlanta Hemphill Waterworks on Howell Mill Road at 17th Street.

With views of the Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead skylines, the park had been fenced off from the public due to terrorism concerns since Atlanta hosted the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.

Last year, Park Pride awarded a $100,000 legacy grant to create a water-themed learning landscape and amphitheater on the site.

City plans call for making the site accessible through sidewalk improvements, and the Upper Westside Improvement District is requesting a crosswalk at the traffic light at Howell Mill and 17th.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.