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Riverdale park the life of the city

RIVERDALE — Riverdale Regional Park has become the epicenter of the community. Since its official grand opening in September, it has been the meeting grounds for little league football games, football and cheerleading practices, and several leisure activities.

“It’s really a beautiful park,” Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon said. “The response from the community has been excellent.”

According to City Manager Iris Jessie, the construction of the new park cost the city about $3 million and was completed in August. It includes a new baseball field, concession space and restrooms, a football/multipurpose field, pavilions, and picnic areas.

Many Riverdale city council members have boasted about the new addition to the city. During a city council meeting, Council Member An’Cel Davis gushed about how much he enjoyed walking on the bike/walk trail.

Wynn-Dixon said the purpose for constructing a new park was to give Riverdale residents something to be proud of. However, she added the park is not just about giving the city bragging rights, but bringing families back together again.

“This will allow for the foundation of family to be rekindled in the community — like it should be,” Wynn-Dixon said.

Another community benefit: All Clayton County School athletic departments can use the fields for practices and games for free. In turn, Wynn-Dixon, who is buoyant toward youngsters, said it will help bridge the gap between the city and the school system. She said, “It’s our duty as a city to make sure our children have the best and we are putting them first.”

Jessie said plans for the second phase will include a “sports complex,” consisting of a baseball field with removable sports fencing, walking trails, a concession building with restrooms, a community building and more parking. It will include a football/multipurpose field, pavilions, a children's playground and picnic areas. When the construction of the second phase will begin has not been determined.

The City of Riverdale was awarded a $20,000 construction grant from a national non-profit KaBOOM! The grant will allow the city to purchase playground equipment for the city’s park. “This is a great honor,” Wynn-Dixon said in a previous statement. “It shows that we are improving as a city and we have good track record with working well with youth.”