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Show #20/6007. Atlanta Beltline

Old Fourth Ward Park - From Burned Out To An Oasis

Eric would like for Kevin to talk about what is one of Eric’s favorite parks in this whole chain of parks off the Beltline, and that's the Old Fourth Ward Park. As a native Georgian he remembers this part of town fairly well, and it is very, very different today. Talk us through the process of transforming this from kind of a more burned out, industrial part of town into this oasis in the middle of a city.

First and foremost, as viewers travel through the park, what they need to keep in mind is that the pond here, as nice as it looks, is actually serving the function of a storm water detention pond. Behind him you can see up the hill, water flows down past us, there are two streams that come down by Ponce City Market. So this stormwater pond, was functionally designed to alleviate that problem.

All of the plants - the bald cypress, sweet bay magnolias, river birch, everything down there is designed knowing the area will periodically flood. That was all designed on purpose. When we get beyond the pond, we don't have that concern. On the north parcel a number of years ago, they planted tilia americana, basswood. Tilia is one of Kevin's favorite plants. To this day he can remember the first time he saw this plant. He was in northern Utah walking down a street and a mature tilia linden was in full bloom. The fragrance is just phenomenal. And Kevin thinks that's part of what planting does. It's not just visual, but it can be olfactory too.

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