The City of Brookhaven and the Parks and Recreation Dept will be holding two identical B'Park Tree Logoand simultaneous meetings tonight, April 14th at 6:30 PM. One will be held at Briarwood ParkB-Park Spring colour 015 and the other at Oglethorpe Univ. in Lupton Hall. These meetings are for public input and will help shape the future of the Parks Master Plan and development within all of the Parks within the City.

So please come out and attend one of the meetings.


Tonight is  your  chance to help shape the future of our Park system !!

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bpark-tree-logo1.jpgThe Briarwood Park Conservancy will be holding its monthly meeting this coming Tuesday, April 1st at the Forest Patio Pavilion located in the center of the Park. After a brief meeting, updating recent developments and future endeavors, we will be cooking out hamburgers and hotdogs for all in attendance as well as having Ice Cream Sammies for the kids. These are great events and gives ANYONE interested in Briarwood Park Revitalization Project, a chance to meet new friends and neighbors. The Briarwood Park Conservancy has recently adopted a new logo and will be taking orders for Tee-shirts for all those interested as well !

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Little Free Library Unveiled at Briarwood Park

From the Brookhaven Reporter……………..


‘Little library’ offers kids books at the park

Arwen Coy, 9, takes a peek into the “little free library” unveiled at Briarwood Park on Jan. 16. The Cross Keys Foundation, a public charity that supports education in the Brookhaven area, was instrumental in opening the free library, which features a post-mounted, book swap unit.

Arwen Coy, 9, takes a peek into the “little free library” unveiled at Briarwood Park on Jan. 16. The Cross Keys Foundation, a public charity that supports education in the Brookhaven area, was instrumental in opening the free library, which features a post-mounted, book swap unit.

Kids now have more than a new jungle gym to look forward to when they visit Briarwood Park.

On Jan. 16, officials unveiled a “little free library,” which allows kids to take a book or leave behind a book they’ve already read so someone else can read it. The Cross Keys Foundation said the Briarwood Park little library will be the first of 10 installed in parks around the city of Brookhaven.

“Today is a great beginning, not just an event,” Cross Keys Foundation President Kim Gokce said as a group of children prepared to pull a cover from the new little library.

Cross Keys Foundation President Kim Gokce, in red jacket, introduces foundation members, Brookhaven city officials, Atlanta Braves Foundation members and the Briarwood Park Conservancy to the crowd.

Cross Keys Foundation President Kim Gokce, in red jacket, introduces foundation members, Brookhaven city officials, Atlanta Braves Foundation members and the Briarwood Park Conservancy to the crowd.

“What you’re about to reveal is a magic box,” Gokce said. “It’s going to provide you and your friends with an unlimited supply of quality reading material.”

The little library looks like a treasure chest, too. Cross Keys alumna and Agnes Scott College student Yehimi Cambron painted the sides of the little library with a pirate motif, including a treasure map and a dog in a pirate hat.

Gokce said he wanted to combine the idea of the little free library, most often used as a way for people to swap books, with public education. The little libraries in the parks will contain children’s books exclusively in an attempt to reach kids at the parks, where they already gather.

“We have a great deal of English language learners in our community, a lot of poverty in our community, and a lot of households where kids don’t have access to books or adults who are reading to them daily,” Gokce said.

The Cross Keys Foundation is organizing the little library program, which is being funded by a grant from the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Officials from the city of Brookhaven, the Cross Keys Foundation, the Atlanta Braves Foundation and the Briarwood Park Conservancy were on hand for the ceremony, as well as students from Cross Keys High School.

Dalia Alvarez, left, helps Edgar Remerez put up a donation sign.

Dalia Alvarez, left, helps Edgar Remerez put up a donation sign.

Cross Keys student Kedan Endrias said she thinks the little library will be good for the community.

“It’s really good because my little sisters come here all the time,” Endrias said. “My parents always stress how important it is to get an education.”

Vina Vo, a senior at Cross Keys, said she thinks the little library is a good way to get kids excited about books.

Arwen Coy, selects a book to read from the “little library” in Briarwood Park.

Arwen Coy, selects a book to read from the “little library” in Briarwood Park.

“I think it’s such a good idea,” Vo said. “Our generation is so technology- oriented, and I think this is a great way to expose the younger generation to fun with books.”

The Cross Keys Foundation is collecting donations of cash and books to help keep the little libraries stocked. To contribute, email

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“Little Free Library” to be unveiled @ Briarwood Park

Thursday, January 16th the first of many “Little Free Libraries” to be installed throughout the City of Brookhaven will  be unveiled at a ceremony 3:30 pm at Briarwood Park.  The Libraries were envisioned by Kim Gokce President of the Cross Keys Foundation, and sponsored by a generous grant from the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Members from the art Department at Cross Keys High School decorated the Libraries.  You can learn more about the program at .

The Briarwood Park Conservancy and Cross Keys Foundation look forward to seeing all of you at the kick off ceremony for what is sure to be a great program for the Brookhaven Community.


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Side Walk installation at Briarwood Park

Today, December 17th 2013 is the one year birthday for the City of Brookhaven. A lot has been accomplished during this start-up year for the City from electing a Mayor and City Council  and establishing City Government to forming a Police Dept. from the ground up.  On the exact one year anniversary of the City, Brookhaven is giving back to residents surrounding Briarwood Park and especially the Drew Valley neighborhood, as a long awaited 1100 foot sidewalk is being installed along Briarwood Way from Drew Valley Rd.  to the Park entrance. The project is part of end of year spending from the first year budget of the City. Each Commissioner was tasked  to find small sidewalk projects that would provide connectivity for neighborhoods. District 2 Councilman Jim Eyre selected the Briarwood Way project for his district. A huge THANK YOU goes out to Jim for making this happen for our area.  If the weather holds, I am told that the sidewalk should be completed by Thursday.

                                  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CITY OF BROOKHAVEN

B'Park sidewalk 005 B'Park sidewalk 007 B'Park sidewalk 001 B'Park sidewalk 004 B'Park sidewalk 003

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Brookhaven Announces New Parks Director

Ray Holloway B'haven Parks Dir,From the Brookhaven Post :

Brookhaven, GA – According to the city, Brookhaven’s new Director of Parks and Recreation will begin work in January. His name is Ray Holloway, from Clinton, Mississippi.

According to Holloway’s LinkedIn profile, he has been the Director of the City of Clinton Parks and Recreation Department since 2002.

Holloway, a native of Booneville, MS began his work with the Clinton Parks and Recreation Department in November of 2002 after several years of working with Tupelo Department of Parks and Recreation.

He is a graduate of Mississippi State University in Physical Education and Abnormal Psychology. He is also a graduate from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Directors School and the Executive Development Program at Clemson, University.

He is currently the President of Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) and the Interim Executive Director for the Mississippi Senior Olympics (MSO).

Holloway and his wife, Rochelle, have four children; Meagan, Trey, Austin and Ryvers.

Brookhaven’s City Manager, Marie Garrett, says that Holloway will “play a vital role in overseeing the Parks Master Plan as well as developing the policies that will guide the future development of our parks and recreation programs.”

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Briarwood Park Side-Walk and Entrance Rendering

Here is an architectural rendering of what the Briarwood Park Conservancy  envisions the soon to be new side-walk from Drew Valley  all along Briarwood Way leading up to the entrance to Briarwood Park to someday look like. The sidewalk is coming but we will need donations to make any plantings in the “beauty strip” between the sidewalk and curbing a reality. Click this link to view the conceptual design:        BriarwoodParkSidewalk

Visit our  DONATIONS PAGE to make an end of year TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION       (drill down and select Friends of Briarwood Park to send your donations our way)

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Friends of Briarwood Park becoming Briarwood Park Conservancy

The Friends of Briarwood Park voted unanimously at our November meeting to change the name of our organization to the Briarwood Park Conservancy in a first step towards tax exempt status. We have submitted our charter/by-laws to and have been recognized by the state of Georgia. We are now waiting for approval from the IRS to receive 501(c)3 status going forward.

Park Pride is and will remain a valuable partner as Briarwood Park remains a park within the boundaries of DeKalb County. Their unique platform allowed our group to advocate and fundraise for Briarwood Park. Briarwood Park remains a work in progress with many future accomplishments to come.

Until our complete tax exempt status is approved, please continue to send your donations for Briarwood Park to Park Pride through this hyperlink

Donations via the Park Pride link are Tax Deductible. Park Pride will provide necessary documents for tax purposes.

Simply enter Friends of Briarwood Park in the drop down menu. We need approximately $3,000 to finish the gate arbors at the community garden and the IRS application fee for Briarwood Park Conservancy.

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Brookhaven Parks get a splash of winter color !!

Recently, a lot has been happening not only at Briarwood Park but all of the Parks within Brookhaven in general. This past weekend District one Council Woman Rebecca Chase- Williams, championed an event at all of the Parks to do a Park entrance spruce up and add some winter and spring color. The City of Brookhaven provided over 3000 Tulip bulbs and 1800 pansies for the event. Friends of Briarwood Park volunteers Steve Walker and Greg Trinkle along with interim Parks Director Eric Stipes and his wife Mary did the planting at the Briarwood Park entrance.Blub planting @ Park 003 Blub planting @ Park 001 Blub planting @ Park 005 Blub planting @ Park 004  Later on in the afternoon Steve and Greg joined in with Jim Eyre and Rebecca Chase-Williams to do the planting at Ashford Park as well. The Pansies will provide winter color while the Tulips will bloom in the early Spring. Thanks to Rebecca for the flowers.

Most all of the Parks now have formed “Friends of” groups and have “liked” each others facebook pages to keep happenings and events at the Parks linked together.

Recently,  Steve Walker and  Friends of Briarwood Park volunteers,  joined in with the President of the newly formed Friends of Georgian Hills Park, Kathie Coy and volunteers for there  for their  inaugural work day. We got down right mid-evil on some long neglected areas of the Park clearing out invasive weeds, privet, and ivy. Blackburn Park has also formed a group and recently held their inaugural work day as well.

The City of Brookhaven had some funds left in the first year budget designated for sidewalks. Each Council member was asked to recommend an area to have connecting sidewalks installed.  Councilman Jim Eyre recommended for his District 2 area installation of a sidewalk from the entrance of Briarwood Park along Briarwood Way connecting to the Drew Valley neighborhood. This is really great news for the residents of Drew Valley and we all thank Jim for making this happen. Construction is slated to begin before the end of the year.

The City has been working on its draft budget for 2014 and has currently recommended nearly $3 million for Parks funding. We all look forward to that kicking in and getting the revitalization of all our Parks in high gear.

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Brookhaven Sidewalk and Parks Improvements to begin before year’s end

By Brookhaven Reporter

Brookhaven has set aside funds to begin improvements to the city’s parks and sidewalks before the end of the year.

City Manager Marie Garrett told City Council Oct. 22 that there is $400,000 to be split among sidewalk projects in the city’s four council districts and $200,000 for use in the parks.

“It’s to allow you to have some visual impact this year,” Garrett said. “That includes enough funding to provide 1,000 feet of sidewalk improvements in each of your districts.”

The 2013 fiscal year ends Dec. 31. Garrett asked council members to suggest sidewalk improvements or construction that could be completed quickly and cheaply.

Councilman Jim Eyre said one such project is extending a sidewalk in his district. He encouraged other council members to meet with public works staff as soon as possible to ensure that their sidewalk projects can be handled.

“It’s a relatively easy project but it’s not going to happen overnight,” Eyre said.

As with sidewalks, Garrett encouraged City Council to think of small improvements that could be made in Brookhaven parks by the end of the year.

“The criteria should be what is quickest and most visible impact?” Garrett said.

The city is preparing to begin a parks and recreation master plan. Council members discussed waiting to begin any big projects in the parks until after that planning process is complete.

There are no parks in District 4, the southern portion of the city represented by Councilman Joe Gebbia.

But Gebbia said he would like to work out a land sharing agreement with the DeKalb County School system that would allow the city of Brookhaven to use the athletic fields at Cross Keys High School on the weekends.

Gebbia said an arrangement would provide green space for residents in District 4 and help the school.

“We’re in a dire situation with no funding at all being put into that school,” Gebbia said. “At the same time, we could be making some very valuable improvements that would not only benefit residents from a parks standpoint but also benefit students.”

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