Brookhaven, GA, July 13, 2016 – Commentary, by Jennifer Owens – Located in the heart of our beautiful little city of Brookhaven is a rare and peaceful urban forest. The Ashford Park Greenspace is one of the largest tracts of undeveloped forest land inside the perimeter. It is a beloved neighborhood oasis, one of vast importance to our community. The preservation of this shared space, or lack of it, will help define us as a city and reveal what we value as a community.
Recent suggestions this greenspace holds potential as a location for a private swim and tennis club as part of a single family house development is simply a distraction. It is an effort to build public support for another development disguised as a community benefit.
The development of the Ashford Park Greenspace is not forgone conclusion. Key city and county leaders supported by a citizen-led group to preserve the neighborhood forest are working in good faith to find a way to preserve this unique asset located in the heart of Ashford Park.
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, City Councilman John Park and DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader are to be commended for their commitment and leadership to consider including the Greenspace as part of the city’s long-term parks plan.
Now’s not the time to get sidetracked with concessions designed to divert attention from what’s at stake. Let’s focus on the real possibility we can preserve the Ashford Park Greenspace. Let’s make sure our local elected leaders see a unified community that values the Ashford Park Greenspace as a place to retreat from the urban bustle not far away.
The Greenspace is at the heart of what we all love about Brookhaven – leafy trees, plenty of room to ramble about with our families a safe distance from construction cranes, encroaching infill and the strains dense development creates.
Brookhaven is at a crossroads. One path is paved. The other isn’t and leads through a canopy of trees teeming with paths to explore. Let’s come together and do what it takes to keep it green, undeveloped and a great place for children to explore.
— Jennifer Owens has been a resident of the Ashford Park community in Brookhaven since 2003.
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