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LaVista Park Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Learn more about your park

Posted: April 14th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

LaVista Park. It’s who we are, or at least where we live and how we identify our neighborhood. But did you know we actually have our own park—LaVista Park?

The four-acre park is bounded by Wild Creek Trail, Brookforest Lane and Beech Haven Drive. In the 1950s, when the neighborhood was developed, the land was left untouched by the developers, probably because of the challenging terrain. The lower portion of the park acts as a catch basin during heavy rains, reducing the flow of potential floodwaters past our homes. 

For many years, the park has been a center of community life. In the 1970s and 80s, the neighborhood marked the end of summer with a cookout hosted at the old pavilion by the Citadel Garden Club. Most afternoons now, children and their mothers can be seen gathered around the playground equipment in the newly-developed upper park area, along the trail that runs from Brookforest to Beech Haven.

If you haven’t visited the park in a number of years, you ought to stop by, especially during our lovely Atlanta spring weather. You’ll be surprised by the improvements that have been made, thanks to the combined efforts of dedicated and persistent volunteers from our neighborhood and the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department. Take a ten-minute walk along the new, rubberized pathway from one end to another, stopping along the way to admire the many native species of plants.

LaVista Park will be the topic of discussion at the next quarterly meeting of the LVPCA on April 21. Ken Duke, president of the Citadel Garden Club, will talk about the park’s history as well as current and long-term plans for park improvements. This year the Garden Club is developing a plan for color beds (annuals and perennials) at the two park entrances and next to the overlook platform on Wild Creek. These flowerbeds should increase the park’s “curb appeal” for both drivers and pedestrians and hopefully, encourage them to visit the park.

Ken will also talk about the need for us as a community to help with park maintenance; cutting back English Ivy, pulling up invasive, non-native species, clearing away deadfall and so on. With the county budget being drastically cut back in all areas, if we want to keep our neighborhood park attractive, we’ll have to pitch in and do more ourselves. The next opportunity to enjoy fresh air and friendship while improving nature will be Saturday morning, May 7, from 8 to 12. 

Over the long term (the next 10 years), having the park as a great natural resource, we may be able to plan, fund and build enhancements such as a waterfall and pond at the upper end and a bridge over the stream that runs through the center of the lower park. We could have a neighborhood center that can compete in beauty and enjoyment with Ansley Park and John Howell Park in Virginia Highlands.

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