There is a broader land use vision for SE metro Atlanta that includes equitable, long-term environmental and economic sustainability. The proposed land swap of Intrenchment Creek Park puts that opportunity in peril and threatens public park land in DeKalb and across the metro Atlanta area.
The South River Forest Coalition
Established in 2018, the South River Forest Coalition supports the South River Forest regional park vision and community collaboration for sustainable, equitable growth in SE metro Atlanta.
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A Regional Park Vision:
THE SOUTH RIVER FOREST
Regional parks are established in DeKalb County at Stone Mountain, Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain. The opportunity for another regional park, and much-needed protected greenspace, exists inside I-285 in southwest DeKalb and southeast Atlanta. The combined acreage of existing Intrenchment Creek Park (136 acres) and Constitution Lakes Park (200 acres), a total of 336 acres, lies at the heart of the South River Forest regional park concept. Rather than one large contiguous park, the South River Forest is a proposed “emerald necklace” of connected public greenspaces on and around the historically-compromised and continually threatened South River and its largest urban tributary, Entrenchment Creek. When complete, the necklace of connected park land will create the largest protected public greenspace inside I-285 and become a metro area and regional destination for outdoor recreation.
Increased investment in environmental protection and public greenspace will serve as the engine for much needed low impact sustainable economic development and an effective tool for DeKalb County’s leaders to recruit desired business and industry to the area. Paired with thoughtful commercial growth, public parks and greenspaces provide more sought-after amenities for residents than either can achieve independently – including irreplaceable public health benefits, more diversified and equitable opportunities, environmental protection and sustainability.
The South River Forest strategic action plan, which embraces community collaboration for equitable and sustainable outcomes, is being actively pursued and supported by The Nature Conservancy and the South River Watershed Alliance. Stop the Swap (Save Intrenchment Creek Park) is an important effort in this broader land use planning initiative for SW DeKalb.