'Stunning' Mabry Park Master Plan Unveiled

Cobb commissioners are expected to approve the project design tonight, though no funding exists.

Rolling meadows, walking trails, picnic areas, a community garden and a woodland/treehouse-themed spot.

Cobb County commissioners got a look Tuesday afternoon at the master plan for the development of Mabry Park in northeast Cobb. The theme: Reconnecting to the Land.

“This is a stunning piece of property,” said Mickey O’Brien, a landscape architect with URS Corp., which designed the master plan.

“It has everything a park designer would want.”

The county used $4.3 million from its 2006 park bond to buy the 26.5 acres at Sandy Plains and Wesley Chapel roads in Northeast Cobb. 

The farm, purchased from Ed and Sue Mabry Harris in May 2008, had been in the family for more than 100 years. 

But the county does not have the money to develop the park or even build a road to access the property.

Money for the park’s development was removed from the 2011 county SPLOST when commissioners narrowed the project list.

A nonprofit group of private residents, Friends of Mabry Park, raised $7,500 to pay for the master plan and will raise money to develop the land. 

There is no estimate yet as to how much that will cost, said Mark Jernigan, the president of Friends of Mabry Park.

The access road alone, Jernigan said, could cost $400,000. His group plans to seek funds from the private sector, grants and “anywhere else we can find funding.”

The park design, presented at an afternoon work session, has a northern and southern meadow, gardens, and four-plus miles of walking trails.

It also includes a bridge over the pond, walkways through a retention pond area, community gardens and a playground.

A centralized area will house 150 parking spots, restrooms and picnic areas.

Commissioner JoAnn Birrell, who represents the area, praised everyone involved. Several public meetings have been held with residents to determine their wants in the passive park. 

“I don’t think anyone thought it would be this beautiful,” Birrell said.

The commissioners are expected to approve the master plan at the regular commission meeting tonight at 7.

Mike Holzknecht May 25, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Governor Joe Frank Harris, along with the support of many others, purchased the CSX Silver Comet right of way from Smyrna to Alabama. Like Mabry Park, it was an attractive piece of land that needed to be in public hands for recreational uses to be determined at a later date. The trail sat dormant for a while till the financing and planning could come together. Now, the Silver Comet Trail is the most used public recreational destination in Cobb County. We should thank our public officials who have the vision and patience to save Mabry Park as an investment in Cobb’s future.


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