One of the largest drivers of Woodstock’s success, in an economic sense — and in creating a higher quality of life — has been our city’s focus on parks and recreation. This year, my three main goals for the city revolve around making home ownership more widely available to our residents, attracting more high-paying jobs and employers to our city, and expanding the generational assets that are our parks and trails. These investments are gifts to ourselves, to our children and to their children. They will stand the test of time as assets for our community for years to come.
At the start of the year, we were proud to welcome our new Woodstock Parks and Recreation director, Brian Borden, who comes with a wealth of experience from across the southeastern United States. Most recently, he served as the parks and recreation director for the city of Brookhaven, where he oversaw 19 parks and more than 300 acres of green spaces and trails. He shares our vision and passion for the impact that parks and recreation can have in building a more vibrant, active city, and he is an outstanding addition to the team.
We are so fortunate to be known for our world-class parks and trails, and that focus on balance between a vibrant, walkable downtown and the outdoor, recreational opportunities in our city has made us one of the most desirable places to live in the nation.
Current offerings range from the 50-plus acre Dupree Park, just a short distance from the center of town, offering playgrounds, walking trails and sports fields, to Woofstock Dog Park, along our amazing trail system. The mountain biking trails within our city at Olde Rope Mill Park, and just outside the city at Blankets Creek, rank among the most utilized in the nation.
Our multiuse trail system is expanding throughout the city, with the most frequented portion being the Noonday Creek Trail, starting next to Reformation Brewery and winding down to Highway 92, then west into Towne Lake. We already have acquired the right of way and funding to extend the southern portion of this segment into Cobb County, to connect with its extensive trail system, which will tie Woodstock’s trails all the way to the Silver Comet Trail, into Atlanta and beyond.
Among the most exciting opportunities ahead of us is Little River Park. The City Council has designated three tracts of land along Little River to comprise a 106-acre park site. This will be our largest park, comprising nearly half of the city-owned green space in our 13-square-mile city. Extending from Trickum Road down to the Woodlands, the park is proposed to offer paddle launches, boardwalks, treehouses and viewing platforms, disc golf, dog park space, picnic areas and an incredible nature experience. Of course, the trail system will extend the length of the park, creating significant east-west connectivity for this important recreational asset, and alternative transportation option.
City Council has tasked staff with making real progress on Little River Park this year. In the coming few years, we expect to deliver this new investment in our city and continue to expand the recreational opportunities that are at the core of what makes our city so great. I can’t overstate the importance that these public assets play in maintaining the incredible quality of life, attractiveness and economic competitiveness our community has come to expect.
I am proud of our City Council and staff for seeing the value in these investments, and I am so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our parks and recreation staff. We will continue to focus on expanding these offerings and establishing Woodstock as a regional trail hub. The new green space, and the connection of our trail system to the communities around us, will create a better, higher quality of life for our residents and visitors.
— Mayor Michael Caldwell
– Michael Caldwell is the 31st mayor of Woodstock, a retired state legislator, member of the Georgia Technology Authority, partner at Black Airplane, husband to Katie, and father to Oliver, Elizabeth and Charlotte.