Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and community partners, announced the opening of the first three miles—spanning from the Bankhead MARTA Station at Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway toward Boyd Elementary School on Johnson Road—of the Proctor Creek Greenway. A May 7 celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted at Proctor Park near the start of the greenway.
Construction began on Phase I of the Proctor Creek Greenway between the Bankhead MARTA station and the Grove Park neighborhood in west Atlanta last August under the Kasim Reed administration.
Through a $3.6 million investment from TSPLOST funds earmarked by Reed and a $160,000 investment from the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, the complete seven-mile stretch will feature 400 acres of green space and 50 acres of linear park.
“Completion of the Proctor Creek Greenway is a priority of my Administration. This innovative project will serve as a catalyst for new development, healthier residents, and a more connected community,” Bottoms said. “A once overwhelmingly polluted waterway has been revitalized to provide historically isolated neighborhoods greater access to nearby parks, schools, and restaurants.”
Once complete, the bike and pedestrian trail will span from Maddox Park and the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail to the Chattahoochee River. The trail follows the creek along the west side of Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, which is slated to become the largest City of Atlanta park. The initial phase of the 280-acre park should be open in 2019.
“The future Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry will transform a historic property on the Westside and bring something incredible to the community and to all of Atlanta,” Reed said last August when construction started. “We are connecting more residents than ever to parks and greenspace. We are creating a healthy and sustainable city where everyone can bring and build their dreams.”
The project not only features the trail but also boasts green infrastructure to help improve water quality and the overall health of the Proctor Creek corridor. The greenway is a part of a larger project initiated by the Emerald Corridor Foundation when it formed in 2014 to sustainably and, with community input, revitalize Proctor Creek and its surrounding neighborhoods in northwest Atlanta.
Earlier revitalization projects include the construction of Proctor Park across from the Bankhead MARTA station, utilizing funding from the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, which provided $160,000 for the PATH Foundation to design and engineer the park in 2016. According to a master plan finished in April 2017, plans call for work on the entire Proctor Creek Greenway trail to be completed in six segments.
“I am proud to see this project come to fruition and connect an underserved part of Atlanta to areas seeing progressive growth and development,” said Stephanie Stuckey, the City of Atlanta’s chief resilience officer. “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony highlights the power of public-private partnerships when advancing the City’s sustainability commitments.”
The Proctor Creek Greenway is the first project funded by TSPLOST funds, bringing together a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, Department of Watershed Management, Department of Parks and Recreation, PATH Foundation, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, Chick-fil-A, Westside Future Fund, Blank Foundation, Grove Park Neighborhood Association, and the Emerald Corridor Foundation.
Federal partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
During the ceremony, Bottoms was joined by District 9 Councilmember, Dustin Hillis; Chief Resilience Officer Stephanie Stuckey; Kwanza Hall, Invest Atlanta; Joel Bowman, Emerald Corridor Foundation; Mark Teixeira, Emerald Corridor Foundation; Faye DiMassimo, General Manager of Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST; the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, along with other Atlanta City Council and community members.
“Collaborative support from city, state and federal partners, have helped us achieve this significant milestone,” said Hall, former District 2 councilman and now an executive with Invest Atlanta. “I accept the charge from Mayor Bottoms to continue this great work to build out the greenway and also expand the scope so that we can deliver on the broader promise of the proctor creek watershed. The next chapter will involve an intentional focus on creating a framework for equitable and inclusive affordable housing.”