I received this press release about Cleopas R. Johnson Park and am pleased to let everyone know about this amazing playground that opened in April 2011. It is now August 2011, and I have not been to it yet, but it is on the top of my to-do list. However, it has a spot in my heart already knowing that the park is in honor of Morris College’s band director, Cleopas R. Johnson. Being a band nerd myself (I played flute and piccolo from 4th grade through college, and was even in a community band in Augusta and Atlanta for some time), it just warms my heart.
I will let you know when I get to this park…I can’t wait!
In April, City of Atlanta officials participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Cleopas R. Johnson Park for the installation of the city’s first NEO 360 Play System and a Hexagonal Cable Climber. The renovations also include a public art tile mosaic as the base for the community plaza.
Commissioner George Dusenbury was joined by Cleta Winslow, Atlanta District 4 City Councilmember, representatives from the Trust for Public Land and Metlife, and pre-school children from the Central United Methodist Church. In addition, the Clark Atlanta University band performed.
“The children in the community will enjoy these contemporary play systems that make outdoor activity fun and challenging,” said Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Commissioner George Dusenbury. “We are committed to fighting childhood obesity, and the new innovative equipment will encourage children to exercise in a clean and safe environment.”
The NEO 360 Play System builds peripheral vision, auditory and spatial awareness skills through electronic games while delivering an awesome workout. The playground also has a 17-foot tall Hexagonal Cable Climber, the tallest climber in any Atlanta park.
Cleopas R. Johnson Park is named in memory of Morris College’s band director Cleopas R. Johnson, a renowned trumpet player. The history of Johnson is an inspiration to the theme of the new playground plaza, a collaborative effort with the Office of Park Design and The Office of Cultural Affairs. The image of two horns in brick pavement responds to the public art installed in 2009. The artist is Gregor Turk a local artist who has completed artwork throughout the city.
“The detail of the trumpets outline in the plaza’s mosaic design provides the perfect ambience for community events while celebrating the memory of Cleopas R. Johnson,” says Dusenbury.”
Financial support for this installation came from Metlife, with additional funding from the City’s Opportunity bonds. The total renovation cost of the project is approximately $172,000.