Piedmont may dig deep for water

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There’s hope for Piedmont Park and it goes hundreds of feet underground.

Piedmont, the crown jewel of the city of Atlanta’s park system, has been the center of attention since new drought-related restrictions were put in place earlier this year, severely curtailing the use of its athletic fields and banning large-scale events including the Atlanta Pride Festival. The restrictions, which impact all city parks, meant that the National Flag Football League of Atlanta and the Hotlanta Soccer Association had to find new digs for their seasons and tournaments.

Now, the caretakers of Piedmont, the Piedmont Park Conservancy, are pursuing plans to construct a well system that would pump enough water to nourish the park without using any city water. That’s an interesting workaround to the city’s watering restrictions.

Dianne Harnell Cohen, the city’s parks and recreation director, favors the well but she and Conservancy officials stopped short of telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution it would mean the return of organized athletics and festivals to Piedmont:

As to the matter of bringing the large festivals back to Piedmont if the well system provided enough water, Cohen said that such an idea is hypothetical and that it would be irresponsible to say that organizers of those events should plan a 2009 return. But, if the well system met the park’s water demands, the city would consider it, she said.

In regards to watering, Piedmont’s hundreds of trees are the greater concern to the conservancy and the parks department. The conservancy’s second priority would be the new turf in the athletic fields, and the last priority would be the meadow.

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