In a “forgotten” vacant lot, neighbors dream of a new park

By Trust for Public Land
Published June 13, 2019

In a “forgotten” vacant lot, neighbors dream of a new park

For decades, residents of Chattanooga’s Oak Grove neighborhood have made the most of the forgotten space on Lynnbrook Avenue. It’s not much to look at—a vacant asphalt lot and an empty field, cut by a concrete ditch, shaded by a few big old broadleaf trees. But for the families who live close by, it’s always been the closest thing they’ve had to a park. Neighbors recall cookouts, ball games, and long afternoons spent hanging out with friends and family on the big green lawn.

Now, with help from The Trust for Public Land, Oak Grove residents are coming together to build the park they deserve. Check out this short film about the future of Lynnbrook Park:

Through our cutting edge data analysis and GIS-powered mapping tools, we’re helping park planners and elected leaders in Chattanooga pinpoint the places parks are needed most. Our data reflects what many Oak Grove residents already know: kids growing up in the neighborhood today are less likely to have access to a park than almost anywhere else in Chattanooga. Residents here face high rates of diabetes and obesity, and their homes and streets are prone to flooding during rainstorms.

When we analyzed the entire city for new park locations that would help Chattanoogans stay healthy, active, and protected from climate change, our GIS models pointed right to the vacant lot on Lynnbrook Avenue. The City of Chattanooga, receptive to the voices of Oak Grove residents who’ve lobbied for more parks in their neighborhood, quickly agreed that it would be the perfect location for a new park. 

So we’ve worked closely with local artists to help neighbors envision and design a park for everyone to enjoy. Over months of community events, lots of songs performed by a neighborhood Norteña band, cookouts, and design meetings, residents put together a plan for their future park that calls for community garden beds, a pavilion, a picnic area, sports fields, and a healthy, restored wetland to replace the concrete ditch. When the park is rebuilt, it will be a new community hub for almost 3,000 people within a 10-minute walk.

We’re excited for the future of Lynnbrook Park! Learn more about our work to create more parks and playgrounds across the country.

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