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Dunwoody residents view park previews at pop-up event

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DUNWOODY, Ga. — Dunwoody residents got a first glimpse of what two new city parks could look like – and the feedback was positive.

On Oct. 2, city officials unveiled story boards that lay out elements of a new 10-acre park on the grounds of the former Austin Elementary School and at a 9-acre park on Vermack Road.

The Parks Pop-Up, which was held at the Austin site at 5435 Roberts Drive, showed two proposed drafts of that property’s uses.

Dunwoody seeks input on future parks

One includes two softball fields at the front of the property, with a nature trail around the perimeter, a community garden, a playground for toddlers and another for older children, basketball courts, public art space, two tennis courts that could be used for pickleball, an open playing field and a splash pad.

The second draft includes multi-use fields near the front of the property, one softball field to the rear, a splash pad, pickleball/tennis courts, basketball courts, trails, the two playgrounds and basketball courts.

Park officials also showcased possible amenities at the Vermack property, located at 4809 and 4819 Vermack Road. The first version includes three pickleball courts, a sand volleyball court, a playground for older children, an open play area, a community garden and a large pavilion. The second concept includes a wildflower meadow, open playing fields, the two types of playgrounds, a gazebo and a pavilion.

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Dunwoody resident Dana Gaines, who lives in the Wynterhall subdivision less than a mile from the new park, said she was impressed by the presentations.

“You could really see the layout of what the park would look like,” Gaines said. “I loved that there were pickleball courts – this is something we need in the area. And the softball field are great as well.”

Gaines said she was also pleased with the representation of the Dunwoody residents who attended.

“There were people in their 50s, younger people with children in strollers, and people who might have grandchildren in the mix,” she said. “It was great to see people excited to see what this park might become.”

City officials said they were pleased with the turnout at the Parks Pop-Up.

“About 75 people turned out for the Parks Pop-up,” Dunwoody Communications Manager Jennifer Boettcher said. “They asked a lot of questions and shared helpful feedback on the concept plans with consultants and Dunwoody Parks Director Brent Walker. We continue to receive comments by email from those who have reviewed the draft concepts on our project page.”

The city published a video of the event that details the various uses that the future Austin park could incorporate.

Cathy covers local government and community news for the Dunwoody area.

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