Monday, November 7, 2011

Seven Mile Creek, Wentworth Caldwell, and Willliam Whitfield Parks: A Review

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Wentworth Caldwell Park
  • Wentworth Caldwell Park
Location: Along Edmondson Pike
Size of Park: All small, but together huge
Crowds: Medium
Approximate Age of Patrons: Adult
Topics of Conversation: "Is that flood damage, or were the tennis courts hit by a meteor?"
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: Cars and trucks
Perceived Safety: High
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: Great
Number of pitbulls sighted: Just mine
Accessibility: Good
Incorporation of Local History: Sadly lacking
Recommended Patrons: Everyone

A bat house at Seven Mile Creek.
  • A bat house at Seven Mile Creek.
I reviewed all three of these parks together because they seem to be a set. At Wentworth Caldwell you have soccer fields and a lovely little traffic circle. Down at William Whitfield, you have great ballfields, some of the best playground equipment I've seen, a tennis court that looks like maybe a tyrannosaurus nests there, and a hub to the Seven Mile Creek Greenway. The dog and I walked down to what Metro's website says is Seven Mile Creek Park, but it seems to just be the greenway plus some big open fields on either side of the entrance to the Ellington Agricultural Center.

Well, I shouldn't say "just," because the greenway is very lovely. I mean, I couldn't tell if it was an actual third park or if the website just isn't clear about it only being a greenway.

Here's the thing, though. Standing in William Whitfield, staring at the greenway map, I felt like I had an inkling of what the Parks Department is aiming for — a series of small parks connected by the greenway, which runs along Seven Mile Creek. Maybe the greenway could even stretch down to the library at some point and up to Wentworth Caldwell. I felt the vision and, I have to tell you, I bought into it.

William Whitfield Park
  • William Whitfield Park
Edmondson Pike is very busy. The greenway runs parallel to it and it's down in the creek's flood plain, so while you're always quite aware that you're in the city, you're also removed from the traffic and sheltered from the noise. The idea that walkers and joggers and bikers could be down away from traffic, surrounded by beautiful scenery, winding their way through the neighborhood they live in? Oh, it's so nice.

And our creeks flood. Why not turn them into ribbons of greenways knotted with the occasional park?

I mean, really, these parks are beautiful. The only odd thing was the weirdness of the tennis courts, which were surrounded by a fence that had to be 12 feet high, but the back corner, by the creek, was pushed into the tennis courts. The courts themselves are cracked and filled with weeds. So I didn't know if this might just be residual flood damage, but everything else about these parks was amazingly beautiful.

I admit, the whole time I was out there, I was thinking, "Man, I wish they'd do something like this all along White's Creek." It's really nice.

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