Ground was officially broken last Friday, May 19 on the much-anticipated Rodney Cook, Sr. Park in Historic Vine City.
According to the City of Atlanta, the $45 million, 16-acre park represents the largest investment in a public park in the Westside neighborhoods in more than fifty years, and serves as a “grand and appropriate symbol of the neighborhood’s tremendous historical legacy.”
The groundbreaking ceremony included remarks from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Ambassador Andrew Young, Arthur Blank, Department of Watershed Management Commissioner Kishia L. Powell, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Amy Phuong, Atlanta City Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr., National Monuments Foundation President Rodney Cook, Jr., The Trust for Public Land Georgia State Director George Dusenbury and Higher Ground Empowerment Center Rev. Dexter Johnson.
“The Trust for Public Land recognizes that urban greenspaces have the greatest potential to impact the largest number of individuals and families on a daily basis, contributing immeasurably to the livability of a city and truly transforming a community – and there are no neighborhoods in Atlanta more deserving of a high-quality park than Vine City and English Avenue”, said George Dusenbury, Georgia State Director of The Trust for Public Land.
The park is named in honor of Rodney, Cook Sr., a former state representative from Atlanta who helped bridge racial divides. To pay tribute to the City of Atlanta being the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, the park will include 18 statues of Georgia civil rights leaders and peacemakers, as well as a 110-foot peace column dedicated to civil and human rights and the Dr. C.T. Vivian Library of African American Literature.
“The State of Georgia over its history arguably possesses more advocates of peace and civil and human rights than any other land on Earth. This is truly our brand,” said Rodney Cook, Jr., President of the National Monuments Foundation. “This great nation of ours was dramatically changed for the better by the people who lived in the Vine City neighborhood. Thanks to the support of visionaries like Mayor Reed, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Dan Cathy, we are seeing this world-class peace park honor our peacemakers and enlighten the world.”
To view the full press release from the event, click here.
Additional News Coverage:
Westside park could have potential of Historic Fourth Ward Park– Atlanta Journal Constitution
Atlanta Takes Next Step On Cook Park ‘Journey’ – WABE
Groundbreaking held for 16-acre park in Vine City – Atlanta Intown
Groundbreaking held for new park that promises to be crown jewel of Vine City – CBS46
For more information on Rodney Cook, Sr. Park, visit www.cookparkdesign.org.