Across the Board: A Neighborhood Asset

Across the Board is a monthly column authored by members of Freedom Park Conservancy’s Board of Directors. This month’s post was written by Philip Covin.

My wife and I bought our little bungalow in Inman Park in 2016. There were a number of factors that led to that decision: a great school district, historic architecture, short walking distance to restaurants, close proximity to a MARTA train station, etc.  On the other hand, one of the negatives was that it did not come with a very big yard in which our five-year old son (nor our soon-to-be-acquired dog) could play. However, only a few steps away was a huge rolling park with wide open spaces, a playground, and walking paths.  

I’m not even sure that I knew Freedom Park’s name at the time, but what did it matter?  Here was this great resource in my backyard, and yet I didn’t even have to maintain it! Even better, right?  The Freedom Park PATH could also connect me to other fun neighborhoods which I could walk or bike to: Candler Park, Druid Hills, Lake Claire, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey-Highland, and Virginia Highland, as well as the Beltline which could eventually link me to even more areas of town.  As both a commercial real estate broker and an actor, I spend a lot of time in the car, driving from appointment to appointment. Yet, as we contemplated the purchase of our home three years ago, I felt enticed by this opportunity to use my car as little as possible on weekends as we could walk to restaurants, neighborhood festivals, or shopping, using the park and its trails.  

All that is to say that Freedom Park helped convince us to buy our home. And when the northeast segment of the Beltline trail is completed hopefully later this year, I will be able to bike from my home to my work, using only the Freedom Park and Beltline trails.  It’s pretty exciting, to say the least. My commute time will become exercise time so that I can start my day with a clear mind, and I’ll also save on gas and car maintenance expenses.

What a wonderful resource we have right around us – the largest park in the City.  Do we take it for granted? Hopefully not. Let’s invest our resources – both time and money – to make sure that it continues to provide these benefits and more.   Please consider giving a couple hours of time on one of our volunteer days and contributing monetarily, as you can. Every dollar counts. Can you help?

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