Decatur park space lags behind Atlanta, nation

The year-old collective Downtown Decatur Neighbors is urging the city to create more park space, particularly around the square, before the land gets scooped up by developers.

The group’s president, George Dusenbury, who was city of Atlanta commissioner for Parks and Recreation from 2010-14, hopes to organize a parks task force. He spoke before Decatur’s commission in May, and plans to meet with City Manager Peggy Merriss early in July.

Dusenbury said studies show that by the end of 2015, 25 percent of all Decatur residents will live downtown, primarily in condos and apartments. The DDN would like to see some of downtown’s parking lots turned into roughly one-acre parks with trees and possibly a combination splash pad/stage.

Only 2.1 percent of Decatur’s land is currently used for parks (or 4.12 percent counting the city cemetery), according to DDN research, compared to 5.2 percent for Atlanta and 8.4 percent nationwide in both medium-high and medium-low density areas.

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