Anybody showing up to an Atlanta park for peewee football or a pickup game in the last few days probably arrived to soft ground and the disappointing news that city athletic fields were closed.
On Sept. 22, the city closed all of them after days of heavy rain. Once a field is wet, a simple game of softball can turn it into a mud pit, and once the ground is damaged, fixing it is a long, difficult process.
Special events like PUMA’s “Can I Kick It?” one-day kickball tournament at Central Park were postponed, along with any regularly scheduled outdoor fun.
But there’s good news: as of yesterday, the citywide ban on using athletic fields was lifted. However, fields in Coan Park in Edgewood, Shady Valley Park in Buckhead and South Bend Park around Lakewood Park and Swallow Circle/Baywood are still unusable.
Sharon Davis, the public information officer for Atlanta’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, asked that visitors stay off fields with standing water, muddy or bare spots or still-saturated grass. Parks officials are checking fields daily, hoping they can reopen them soon without major repairs.
If there’s ever a question about whether a field is safe and open for play, call ahead to the city’s field status hotline at 404-817-7992.
And if you’re still hoping to see some kickball, the “Can I Kick It?” tournament was rescheduled for 2-8 p.m. Oct. 4 at Central Park, 400 Merritts Ave. N.E., Atlanta. It’s an all-ages event with some kids activities, free BBQ and drinks, live music and eight kickball teams to play on a nice, dry field.