Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Historic Vine City

Rodney Cook Sr. Park aerial view

Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Historic Vine City

Stormwater Park Serves as Catalyst for Neighborhood Revitalization

Modeled after the recent successes of Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Park, HDR was hired by The Trust for Public Land to lead the design of the Rodney Cook Sr. Park. This pivotal project represents a collaborative design effort between The Trust for Public Land, the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, and most importantly the community.

Vine City has been plagued by a complex set of social and economic challenges, along with outdated infrastructure and severe flooding. The 16-acre park has been designed to alleviate the flooding by capturing and storing up to 10-million gallons of stormwater, while creating a vibrant community destination and ultimately revitalizing the neighborhood.  

Since its heyday, Vine City, an area that served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and once home to Martin Luther King, Jr., has suffered population loss, disinvestment and crime. Throughout the years, the dramatic increases in impervious surfaces has contributed to flooded streets and homes. Residents of Vine City and English Avenue have been engaged from the early planning stages of Cook Park to help resolve these issues and improve their community.

Cook Park is designed to seamlessly integrate functional engineering features within a programmed park space. Park amenities provide visitors of all ages and abilities with ways to gather, connect and enjoy nature including: A playground, splash pad, aeration fountain, and great lawn, along with a market plaza, multi-purpose courts, and an amphitheater stage. 

A watershed achievement in many ways, the community park includes significant, sustainable features:

  • Beautiful and functional rain gardens filter storm flow from incoming pipes
  • Stormwater planters line the streetscape edge (to capture runoff from the
    neighborhood streets)
  • Constructed wetlands and native plantings surround the wet pond to enhance water quality
Rodney Cook Sr. Park aerial view


Honorable Mention (2021)
Cities Category, Innovation by Design Awards
Fast Company
Award of Merit (2021)
Landscape/Urban Development
Engineering News-Record Southeast
Award of Excellence (2019)
Analysis & Planning Category
American Society of Landscape Architects, Georgia Chapter