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Hannah Jones

Reynoldstown’s Lang-Carson Park celebrates second round of major improvements

The Lang-Carson Park is nestled within a residential block. (Photo by Hannah E. Jones.)

By Hannah E. Jones

Local leaders, park enthusiasts and area residents filled Reynoldstown’s Lang-Carson Park on Saturday, Jan. 28 to celebrate the latest round of major improvements to the park. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was hosted by the Friends of Lang-Carson Park, a group of residents dedicated to improving the local greenspace. 

Lang-Carson is becoming a park that serves all age groups, as represented by the residents in attendance. (Photo by Hannah E. Jones.)

This was truly a community celebration, with families, strollers and dogs filling the four-acre park — a testament to the power of invigorating neighborhood spaces. The new improvements focused on improving accessibility and visibility to the relatively hidden park.

For many years, Lang-Carson — situated next to the recreation center, with basketball and tennis courts, a playground and a community garden — had the potential to serve as a robust community space but needed a little TLC. Now, after four years of intentional effort from residents and partners, that goal has become a reality.

“We really do see [the park] as the center of the Reynoldstown neighborhood,” Friends of the Park (FoP) Group Leader Annie Appleton told SaportaReport in a recent interview. “This is a neighborhood that has gone through major changes over the years, and we want to ensure that the heartbeat of Reynoldstown remains strong and true to the beauty that this neighborhood always has been, while new people can also feel welcome and be part of this community.”

Annie Appleton, a Reynoldstown resident and FoP group leader. (Photo by Hannah E. Jones.)

Park Pride, a nonprofit working with communities to improve parks around the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County, played an important role in making these plans a reality. In 2018, Appleton re-established the FoP group, a Park Pride program that empowers residents to invest in and activate their neighborhood parks. The program gives residents access to resources related to park stewardship, like crafting a master plan, fundraising, volunteer management, capacity-building workshops, free tool rentals and more.

In 2019, neighbors crafted a new master plan for the park with the help of Park Pride. Since then, the neighborhood greenspace has received two matching grants from the nonprofit.

The recent slate of improvements was funded through donations from neighbors and a $117,000 matching grant from Park Pride. 

Lang-Carson’s entrance previously had an unsafe ramp and minimal visibility from the street. Today, the park boasts a new ADA-accessible pathway, a new play structure and increased greenspace by removing about half of the concrete. With the help of Trees Atlanta, the FoP group also planted 36 trees.

Residents give their input for the neighborhood park. (Photo by Hannah E. Jones.)

“This is a great example of the community coming together to get things done,” Parks and Recreation Commissioner Justin Cutler said at the event. “We know that when people are in parks, parks are really positive places.” 

There’s more on the agenda for Lang-Carson. This year, the FoP group is focused on renovations to the playground and underutilized spaces. Empire Communities also recently donated two nearby parcels of land that will become Lang-Carson park space. 

Additionally, a 2022 approved bond measure commits over $1.5 million to renovate the Lang-Carson Recreation Center over the next three years.

If you’d like to stay updated on the efforts at Reynoldstown’s Lang-Carson Park, click here. Residents can also join the monthly Reynoldstown neighborhood meetings at the Lang-Carson Recreation Center on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.

Hannah E. Jones

Hannah Jones is an Atlanta native and Georgia State University graduate, with a major in journalism and minor in public policy. She began studying journalism in high school and has since served as a reporter and editor for two newspapers. Hannah managed the Arts and Living section of The Signal, Georgia State’s independent award-winning newspaper. She has a passion for environmental issues, urban life and telling a good story. Hannah can be reached at hannah@saportareport.com.


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