What Would You Like To See In Murphey Candler Park?

A Patch series asking you, what would you like to see in our city's parks.


Brookhaven becomes a city at 12:01 am on Dec. 17, and one of the responsibilities our new municipality will be undertaking is maintenance of local parks.

A couple of weeks ago, a loyal reader suggested this idea to us: Patch could serve as a source of information for our if we asked residents, what would they like to see in our city parks?

So, for the next eight working days (Monday through Friday, Aug. 20-29), Patch will be running a series of articles asking you: what would you to see in a specific park? Maybe slides or play areas, or more picnic tables, perhaps. What about swings, monkey bars, or baseball fields? Or maybe better lighting or safer parking areas.

For Tuesday, Aug. 28, we're asking you about . So share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below, or drop us an e-mail. We'll be happy to publish it.

HamBurger August 28, 2012 at 08:41 PM
SayWhat?, of course the maintenance and repairs of Silver Lake dam are private responsibilities . . . For now . . . How is that water testing working out? Please pass the yellow mustard!
Brookhaven Maven August 28, 2012 at 08:54 PM
To Eric H @ 12:49p and many others posting about dredging - DeKalb County actually plans to redredge the lake during the next couple of months. The previous effort was never completed in a variety of ways, and several residents have been badgering DK ever since. They apparently finally came up with some more money to finish the job. Maybe this would be a good time for some of you who are more familiar with the subject to approach DK about an upstream filtration pond.
HamBurger August 28, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Mr. BM, and unless I have my lakes confused, I believe there is a fair amount of sediment build-up as the creek enters the lake and extends up stream. I am certain Mr. Eric will notify the right folks that can influence this important and necessary work. Please pass the yellow mustard!
Brookhaven Maven August 28, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Things I'd like to see done (or not done) at Murphey Candler Park: 1) No more pavement ANYWHERE! Baseball wants to add more parking throughout the park, and if they have their way, they would pave new parking areas vs gravel. 2) Keep all of the natural area as it is, with the exception of removing all non-native and invasive species (privet, kudzu, etc). Every arborist/naturalist I've talked to says the native understory trees and shrubs are desirable, and should not be cleared for new paths, picnic areas, and so forth. 3) Leave the upper field (County Corners) as an open play field. If the softball and baseball leagues need to use it for occasional practice, fine, but this should be left open for the general public to use. 4) Restore/renovate the caretaker's house and convert it to a community center. The idea posted above about having it house the city parks & rec department is a good one --- if we ever take that function in house instead of outsourcing it. 5) Beef up security patrols. People speed through the park, ignore stop signs and pedestrian crossings, park illegally, let their dogs run off leash, and create a number of other nuisances. The park is SO big, a single patrol officer on a bike could stay busy all day and half the night enforcing the law and park rules. 6) Fix the eastern lake shore. Everything on that side of the lake is in danger of just sliding off into the water.
don Gabacho August 28, 2012 at 09:14 PM
"Mr. don Gabacho, glad to know about that ridge..."---Hamburger P'tree follows a major Indian trail. In the mountains and hills major Indian trails always followed the easiest line to walk which were always on and along the ridges. Ponce de Leon is also another trail though not quite as major.
Brookhaven Maven August 28, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Things to be done at MC Park (continued) 7) Build a bridge over Nancy Creek behind the stadium, so folks who live up in the neighborhoods along Harts Mill can safely WALK to the park. 8) As invasive and non-native plants are removed, replant with native and indigenous species. 9) Limit participation in the baseball and softball programs to Brookhaven footprint kids first --- then kids from outside the city if any spaces are left. Charge more for the outsiders to use our facilities. 10) Upgrade the playground equipment. 11) Upgrade the restrooms and unlock the ones at the ball fields. 12) Support the Murphey Candler Park Conservancy. They are developing a long-term master plan for the entire property. The city should take a back seat for any "improvements" to be sure they don't do anything in conflict with that plan. See http://www.murpheycandlerpark.org/ for more information on how to join and participate in fulfilling their vision through public/private partnerships.
Eric H August 28, 2012 at 09:18 PM
BM are you sure about that? What was being discussed was a county plan that addressed the erosion on the east side of the lake, but it was lacking in certain areas and upon review with a neighborhood resident with experience in such things the county was going to amend the EPD permit. But I'm not certain if even that will move forward. There has been no talk of more dredging.
don Gabacho August 28, 2012 at 09:19 PM
"Did the CVI have a line item for any dam repairs?"---Hamburger Never looked at it. Didn't need to knowing who it was for.
don Gabacho August 28, 2012 at 09:46 PM
"Don - it is not unique for us regulars at Murphy Candler to independently pick up trash (and stinky POOP) on our daily walks..."---Joni I'm sure its not. BTW, the first time I saw Murphy-Chandler Park was in 1961. It was gorgeous. The last time I was there, about two years ago, it seems to have gotten over-grown. Here's a tip I learned down in the Yucatan among the Maya who were thought not to practice any forestry. I observed them to, Instead of mowing down whole sections of trees to replant anew with trees that were beneficial (pitch, chicle-gum, etc) or ornamental, what they did was simply prune back trees from overcrowding the beneficial and ornamental trees already there. Also, they'd cut the lower branches of trees down to create head-space for paths instead of cutting all the trees down in a path. Also shade. In Ashord Memorial Park there is a cluster of nice, well grown trees already there that would need only, from ground-level up, the cutting of branches to about 7 feet high to have "more shade" without the expense of mowing them down to try and transplant specimens as large.
HamBurger August 28, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Mr. don Gabacho, yeah, I knew Peachtree Road from Buckhead south (with exception of Peachtree Creek) was a sub-continental divide, but I did not realize the old Pitch Tree trail heading north was a continuation of the divide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Continental_Divide Please pass the yellow mustard!
Eric H August 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM
There is a good PATH trail that connects Harts Mill to Murphey Candler and Blackburn. If the pedestrian and bike facilities needs to be improved along Harts Mill I would think that would be a cheaper and perhaps more useful investment, especially since the PATH trail is ultimately supposed to connect to Chamblee's trail at Keswick. Keep in mind the principle of transferring parks from the County to the City at a nominal or free rate is based on all DeKalb residents having equal access to the parks and pool. So differential rates could only be charged for the league if the city started funding the actual league, which I think would be unwise. Though we could raise the rates from the current $20 surcharge for out of county participants - however we would need to work with the leagues on that. As others have pointed out the metro area has there is a lot of cross jurisdictional participation so one wouldn't want to unfairly burden the leagues with excessive surcharges. Here is a map of the footprint for the Murphey Candler Little League http://murpheycandler.org/source/mcll_boundaries.php For the Atlanta Colts Football and Cheerleading program I don't see a map though the registration form has a choice for DeKalb, Fulton or Gwinnett. And for the Girls Softball Program their website is down.
Eric H August 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM
One other item I'd like to see is reduction of overnight lighting, especially around the sea hut house and the crush and run parking lots. I know there is a security element involved but these things are way over lighted and the lighting stays on the entire evening. It seems light a waste of energy and a waste of money. Actually I'd like to see this audit done for all of the parks.
Joni August 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM
The correct name of the park is Murphey Candler - not Murphy Chandler. The Brookhaven Yes crowd also spelled the park's name incorrectly on the handouts provided to residents when they presented their cityhood ideas at Montgomery. The park is overgrown in some places. The county did a horrific job of "trimming" not long ago. They left poision ivy but yanked out several beautiful redbuds a friend had planted and was taking care of because they didn't know the difference between a weed and a tree!! I was saddened to see them drive their huge mower into the weeds on the east side just below the upper field where a mama duck was living and raising her 10 babies (I had recorded them the day before marching to the lake for a swim). They also wiped out the places on the bank leaving the ducks and geese without natural shelter. Just butchered the place. Hopefully we can now have a trained maintenance crew (not a bunch of outsourced contractors) to take care of the park on a regular basis.
Eric H August 28, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Has this park been installed? And will it be necessary to get agreements that Brookhaven can enforce to get them to maintain the park as agreed? http://brookleighatlanta.com/ "Central Park Brookleigh is being built around a Central Park to be owned by DeKalb County and maintained by the Brookleigh Master Association. Over 100 new trees, new sod on finished lawns and street lighting will be completed in May, 2012. Interior sidewalks, a Gazebo and hardscapes are scheduled for completion by the end of 2012."
SayWhat? August 29, 2012 at 01:23 AM
HamBurger - Ok, so no problem with the dam. Water quality is tested at least once annually and can be tested more often if there are issues - don't know of any. About the "divide" discussion - DeKalb is served by two watersheds, the Chattahoochee (the nancy creek and peachtree streams) and the Ocmulgee (the South river). The dividing line (divide) for these two systems is a line from just south of Tucker through Decatur to about the intersection of the downtown connector and I-20. Locally, there is a ridge line along Windsor Parkway putting Town Brookhaven in the Peachtree North Fork watershed, and Silver Lake in the Nancy Creek Watershed. The South River flows to the Atlantic. The County issue is that we withdraw water from the Ocmulgee Sourh river system, but return it after processing to the Chattahoochee system. This is an EPA problem for us.
HamBurger August 29, 2012 at 01:53 AM
SayWhat?, I think you may have that reversed. The referenced links do not definitively state where the waste water is released, but based on their location I would say South River. http://dekalbwatershed.com/water.html http://dekalbwatershed.com/sewer.html http://dekalbwatershed.com/snapfinger.html Please pass the yellow mustard!
Brookhaven Maven August 29, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Eric H @ 5:18p - Call Bob Lundsten and confirm, if you'd like, but I am pretty certain that DeKalb has plans to redredge and fix the things the prior contractor neglected to finish --- before the city takes possession.
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 02:40 AM
"They left poision ivy but yanked out several beautiful redbuds..." I've been thinking of "redbuds" for days. A redbud in Ashford Park along Redding appears doomed. I always prefer indigenous plants and trees. "...a friend had planted and was taking care of because they didn't know the difference between a weed and a tree!!..." They do hire grunts, but whenever I spoke to them they were willing to learn. The problem was that they do what their bosses tell them they have to do. "...Hopefully we can now have a trained maintenance crew (not a bunch of outsourced contractors) to take care of the park on a regular basis..." Fat chance. We've have been having a continuing problem at the condos where I live. The place did beautifully since its conception some thirty-five years ago by the people living here enjoying the work of its landscaping (less mowing). We called it (and still do) "grandfather rights." Its been "outsourced" to "installers" though, who, whenever something goes drastically wrong blame, the illegals they hire who only do what they are told to do too. My advice, don't let any agency get in the way of taking over. Just get some neighbors together and form a garden club rightfully claiming "grandfather rights." And to Hell with any government's codified rules. Also, I do hope you understood the Mayan forestry thing. It preserves the canopy as well.
Brookhaven Maven August 29, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Eric H @ 6:20p- Yes, park was installed a couple of years ago right after it was deeded & designed. NorSouth & partners didn't water it, and nearly everything died. Complaints filed with the County, et al by several individuals and groups. Replanting took place a couple of weeks back. Not sure they put in 100 trees, yet, but there are at least 50 new ones out there. Their commitment is for 100. No gazebo, etc. yet. Park will transfer to city. Not sure about management agreement. It should. If not, the city will have to renegotiate or take on maintenance itself. First thing is that the city (and committees and commissions and 4th estate) will have to recognize its existence --- which they apparently have not, yet.
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 03:00 AM
PS: While I'm at it, the illegals really get a bad rap. "THEY CUT MY AZALEAS!" kind of thing. Only because the landscape company's owners told them to "cut the plants." Half of them were farmers and gardeners back home. You should see what they do with nothing but machetes. Cut and side-trim whole lawns. They do everything right and are glad to listen to instructions as long as you address (no matter how informal) their on-the-job, hands-on foreman. The only thing I don't like is a marked tendency to prune shrubs and hedges to look like elephants, giraffes and snakes. But that's not a stateside problem. If they didn't have their landscape owners or a government agency telling them what they have to do, they'd do what a polite, even wilderness gardener like yourself, would tell them. Also, they, like anyone else, like praise for a job well-done. The greatest praise being "muy artistico." You do that, and you'll have them eating out of your hand. Same with barbers and hair-dressers.
Eddie E. August 29, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Bob would know. Someday, he might tell Elaine.
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Come to think of it, those trails interconnecting parks from across P'tree west to P'tree east---piercing that ridge---can certainly change matters when it comes to flooding or redirecting runoff from especially west to east. As Mayor, I'd bring that to a stop immediately and plug whatever breeches they've made so far. It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature.
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 03:53 AM
"...we do have to keep on removing privet."---Eric Just sub-contract some illegals directly. No intervening landscape company or quasi-government agency posing as goody-two-shoes. Hand them some machetes, a pail-full tacos and plenty of horchata (rice water with real vanilla flavoring).
Eddie E. August 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Say What, While it may be an EPA problem, it points to the immediate need for strong legislation regarding inter-basin transfers. It would be nice to see our state come into the 20th Century on water resources management.
Eric H August 29, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I remember Liane Levetan talking about DeKalb's exemption allowing the transfer from the Chattahoochee to South River. I believe all of DeKalb's drinking water comes from the Chatt. http://dekalbwatershed.com/water.html "The Chattahoochee River is the drinking water for DeKalb County. The water is treated at the Scott Candler Water Filter Plant and then distributed to DeKalb County customers. Click here for more information."
Eric H August 29, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I've had slight involvement with the conversations with Dekalb to "fix the things the prior contractor neglected to finish" which is the erosion stuff. So would be pleasantly shocked if they had also applied for an EPD permit to redredge. If I ever see Bob I'll ask. But probably won't use up my self allocated amount of emails or phone calls to ask.
Eric H August 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Good points on getting recognition. I go by there all the time but haven't been inside lately, I need to do that. I'm interested to see the PATH trail
Steve Walker August 29, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Remember the emails uncovered by the Open Records request done by B'haven Yes where Dekalb County and No City were in cahoots ? "Murphey Candler shoreline erosion is horrible. We’re in violation of State regs. Problem has existed for years. Engineering has requested a permit form DNR. Start the work now. The CEO would get major points if he toured the shoreline and park with the neighborhood"
Joni August 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
It would be great if the county did go ahead and fix the erosion problem - would save the City of Brookhaven money in the long run. I was hoping the "uncovered" communication would encourage the county to actually finish what they started at the lake. Hey - a girl can dream.
Eric H August 29, 2012 at 06:54 PM
@Steve, yes the Murphey Candler shoreline erosion project mentioned in the email list had been underway. Some people from DeKalb came to our HOA meeting to present the plan. Unfortunately the person who wrote the plan had left employment with the county, and much of it was just handwritten sketches so the staff was not fully able to give an explanation on some issues. The neighborhood has some people with experience and they discussed some of the design shortcomings. While folks recognized at that point that a delay would risk the project with the Brookhaven City vote already passed by the legislators. But the feeling was that it wasn't right to spend money on a plan that might not work or be as effective. The county people after meeting with these people agreed that they should revise the plans even though it meant supplementing the EPD application. It was felt this would not delay things. Unfortunately it might have. Though none of this involved dredging the lake.


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