By Mary Margaret Stewart, contributor
Mined for a century and a mile from Midtown, Westside Park is the up and coming Atlanta greenspace.
Bigger than Piedmont Park, Bellwood Quarry will be transformed into a 351-acre park near Hollowell Parkway, which includes a 45-acre lake that will serve as a drinking water reservoir for the city.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Westside Park is a $280 million project, “increasing Atlanta’s water supply reserves from 3 days to more than 30 days.” Atlanta is anticipating a complete reservoir, holding upwards of one billion gallons of water, in 2018.
As for the 300 acres of land surrounding the lake, most will be connected with the Beltline, with hiking, biking, baseball fields, open grass and an amphitheater.
Although the city is planning for renovations, Bellwood Quarry wasn’t useless before. According to Georgia Film & Music, the quarry’s featured in scenes from “The Walking Dead,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” and “Vacation.”
The park’s construction will be broken up into phases over the next 15 years. Currently, closed businesses and abandoned homes neighbor the Quarry, but City Councilwoman Felicia Moore told WABE 90.1 FM that she’s excited about the project’s potential.
Moore sees the new park, especially with its connection to the BeltLine, acting as a catalyst for development around the area. Still, as a community leader, she is striving to counteract effects of gentrification while the park is still in the planning process.