Parks and Greenspaces

We have classified our parks by how they are most often enjoyed. Recreational parks offer playground equipment or space to play ball; passive parks and nature preserves offer greenspace, shade and the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty around us.

Often neighbors who live near a particular park choose to adopt that park and, with the support of the MLPA, work towards making needed improvements.  If you are interested in adopting a park in the neighborhood or in starting a friends group to support a particular park, please email parks@mlpa.org.  We welcome your involvement.

On-leash dogs are welcome in the parks.   If you would like to run your dog off leash, please take advantage of one of the city’s parks created especially for dogs.

Recreational Parks

Lenox Wildwood Park, 1760/1746 Lenox Road, is connected to Sunken Garden Park by Morningside Nature Trail. This park is set in the natural valley for the stream that meanders through it. It features two tennis courts and a picnic area.

Noble Park, 1710 Noble Drive, features an open play area next to the playground. The large Black Gum tree in the park was given the Park Pride Big Tree Award in 2001. It is over 8 feet in circumference, 73 feet tall and its canopy has an 80-foot spread.

Sunken Garden Park, 1000 East Rock Springs Road. In the 1920’s, Lenox Park developers planted a formal rose garden in this park to promote country living just outside the city. The residents that lived near the park would send their gardeners down to Sunken Garden to tend the rose garden. Over the years, trees have been added to shade the playground so it will be more comfortable during our hot summers. An open play area is available on the southern side of the park.

Sidney Marcus Park, 786 Cumberland Rd, is one of our largest parks.  It features a playground area with equipment, shaded areas for picnicking or play, and a boardwalk that runs the width of the park.  It occupies property that would have been part of the I-485 road project and is named after the state representative (and MLPA Director) who helped fight the freeway and save our neighborhood.

Nature Preserves

Together Herbert Taylor Park, Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve, Morningside Nature Preserve (see below), and the connecting greenspace at Zonolite Park form a natural corridor for wildlife.  Please respect and preserve this unusual amenity.

Herbert Taylor Park and the adjacent Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve are bordered by Beech Valley Road, Pasadena Avenue, and Johnson Rd.  Named for the two men who separately donated the adjacent lots to the city, the two lots are managed as one nature preserve and together provide 40 acres of natural beauty.  The nature preserve is home to a particularly diverse population of native plants and trees as it contains a patchwork of the complicated soil networks characteristic of old growth forests in addition to encompassing several distinct habitats.  Paths wind through the natural woodland floodplain and a beautiful rock formation is located in the streambed. The Rock Creek Watershed Alliance (RCWA) works with the city to maintain this special urban forest.   The RCWA is currently working to restore the forest, removing invasive plants and compiling an inventory of the wildlife, native plants, and trees that inhabit it.   You can help preserve and restore this nature preserve by staying on the path and keeping dogs on a leash at all times.

Morningside Nature Preserve

The dream of a group of dedicated neighbors became a reality on May 25, 2001.  On that date the Wildwood Urban Forest Group (WUFG), the Nature Conservancy, Trees Atlanta, MLPA and Park Pride celebrated the acquisition of the first 31 acres of what would become the 75 acre Morningside Nature Preserve.  The story began in 1998 as plans surfaced to develop two parcels formerly owned by the Marcus and Plaster families along Peachtree Creek and Woodcliff Terrace.  Neighbors concerned that this important watershed with pristine natural forest and a variety of wildlife would be lost, formed the WUFG.

With support from the MLPA, the WUFG’s steering committee – led by Rochelle Routman and Susan Robinson – raised money and awareness to protect this important resource.  They held fundraisers and met with local, state, and federal officials.  The group’s work led to an article in the Atlanta Constitution that caught the attention of the Nature Conservancy, who worked with the City to negotiate a deal to acquire the land.

Today, the Morningside Nature Preserve is a natural oasis in the middle of Midtown.  It features a one mile hiking loop that winds through the woods across the South Fork of the Peachtree Creek.  While runners, pet owners and hikers are welcome, please observe rules and keep pets on leash.  The forest is home to foxes, deer, beavers, turtles, hawks, birds and trees that have been here for hundreds of years.  Respect their home by taking only pictures and leaving only footprints (and light ones, at that!).

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