The Rebirth of D.H. Stanton Park
Green space in Peoplestown neighborhood undergoes a $4.5 million metamorphosis
A little more than a year ago, all there was to D.H. Stanton Park, was a 50-foot area that served as the play area for the neighborhood children.
One year and $4.5 million later, D.H. Stanton Park, which is south of Turner Field in the Peoplestown neighborhood, has been transformed into a showpiece of Atlanta's park system.
A former landfill, the park, which will be rededicated Saturday morning, was expanded, and new amenities added to make full use of its entire 7 1/2 acres.
Long-term the park will become part of the Atlanta BeltLine, the planned 22-mile necklace of parks, trails and transit around the city.
One key addition is a canopy of solar panels or photovoltaic array, which is designed to make the park cost-neutral.
Electricity and other related items form the biggest single expense for Atlanta's parks, said Kevin Burke, Atlanta BeltLine's senior landscape architect.
The solar array, will generate enough electricity to power 10 homes, said Burke, who was a landscape architect in Boston's $14.6 billion Big Dig project.
The electricity generated will be sold to Georgia Power at about 18 cents per kilowatt, he said. When electricity is needed, the park can purchase energy off Georgia Power's grid for about 8.5 cents per kilowatt.
Following a two-phase remediation of the soil, the old playground has been replaced, a splashpad installed and a pavilion constructed, thanks to a grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
The foundation's grant also funded the construction of a Little League baseball and multipurpose fields.
It's quite the turnaround story for D.H. Stanton Park, which sits off Martin Street.
In 1999, officials learned the site had been used as a landfill following a then-little girl's injury.
"She was going down the slide and all of the sudden, she felt the slide kind of warp a little bit," said Ethan Davidson, a BeltLine spokesman. "She heard a hiss and a pop and she felt a lot of pain all of the sudden. It turned out that the park had been built on an old landfill which was not known at the time."
The girl's injuries stemmed from burns caused by methane gas seeping up from the ground.
Now a college student, that young lady, Dolores Norman, is slated to be among the participants in the park's rededication festivities, Davidson said.
She will officially open the splashpad.