The new Wise Avenue Park replaces street of blighted structures

Macon-Bibb County leaders celebrated the opening of the new Wise Avenue Park ( off of Riverside Drive between Betty Tolbert Way and Hudson Street ) in the Historic Pleasant Hill neighborhood with a ribbon-cutting event on Wednesday, September 18You can watch that event here at MaconBibb.TV.

Wise Avenue was an abandoned street with only fallen and rundown houses on it, so the County bought the properties, demolished all of the buildings, and created the multipurpose field and pavilion for the neighborhood to enjoy. The new park was built as part of Macon-Bibb’s Blight Remediation Program using $2 million in bond funds. Click here for a video from when the demolitions began and to see what the street looked like before the park was created.

The Blight Remediation Program is a focused attack on neighborhood blight by demolishing structures, creating better places for people, and bolstering existing projects. In previous years, Macon-Bibb tore down single houses across the county, but after visiting cities successfully attacking blight and spurring revitalization, they learned a better effort was to tear down groups of blighted homes in the same neighborhood. That effort would also be much more sustainable if it were tied in with another project that would put something in the neighborhood where the houses once stood.

Other projects include expanding the property around the Bert Bivins Fire Station & Sheriff’s Office Precinct on Napier Avenue, expansion of Filmore Thomas Park and Henry Burns Park, a pedestrian bridge along Log Cabin Drive, infrastructure improvements in the Beall’s Hill Neighborhood, construction of the Kings Park Community Center, house demolition to make room for the Lynmore Avenue SMART Park, and more.