Cook Park Wins Grand Prize, People’s Choice Award from ACEC Georgia

Atlanta’s Rodney Cook Sr. Park scored a statewide hat trick at the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia Engineering Excellence Awards gala March 19: The project topped the Water Resource category, received the Grand Prize and was voted the People’s Choice through online balloting.

Located in the Vine City neighborhood, Cook Park — a collaboration of the City of Atlanta, The Trust for Public Land, community residents and other partners — combines innovative engineering features with acres of recreational amenities. Centered on multiple green infrastructure elements, the park provides a vibrant green space and doubles as a watershed management tool. It alleviates persistent flooding in the neighborhood by capturing and storing up to 10 million gallons of stormwater and improving water quality downstream.

Freese and Nichols, hired by Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management, led design of the stormwater features. Before designing the central 1-acre detention pond and surrounding features, the team developed a stormwater master plan for the 150-acre watershed, including a phased approach for implementation.

HDR, hired by The Trust for Public Land, led design of the park and recreational elements, which include a playground, splashpad, basketball court and expansive lawn space.

In addition to the state awards, Cook Park has been recognized nationally: In May, it will receive a 2022 ACEC National Engineering Excellence Grand Award as one of the top 16 projects in the United States. The park also has received an ENR Southeast Best Projects of 2021 Award of Merit and an American Society of Civil Engineers 2022 Innovation in Sustainable Engineering Award.

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