Home Community Prospector’s Park Due for an Upgrade in Villa Rica

Prospector’s Park Due for an Upgrade in Villa Rica

Current Photo of Prospector Park
Potential Future of Prospector Park

Prospector’s Park, an underused green space in downtown Villa Rica, could become the focus of a major renovation this summer, the first in the kinds of projects envisioned by the city’s Renaissance Strategic plan.

The Park was one of five locations studied by the Georgia Conservancy, which presented a placemaking plan to City Council on March 14. Located at the southeast corner of North Avenue and Main Street, the park could undergo an enhancement that would update its landscape and amenities – or it might undergo a complete redesign, depending on the options the Main Street Design Committee decides is most practical.

The Conservancy presented similar plans for South Candler Street and South Candler Alley, West Temple Street, East Church Street and Temple/Main streets.

In 2016, the city undertook a major project in which citizens were asked what kinds of amenities and programs would make Villa Rica their ideal community. That Renaissance Strategic Visioning Plan settled on an aspirational view of the city with a greener, more walkable downtown — but created no funding to make those projects possible.

But since that time, the city has been seeking grants and other funding sources that would make the Renaissance dreams a reality. In May 2020, a key part of that plan fell into place when the city received a grant of federal money administered through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Cities Initiative (LCI). Projects funded through the LCI program will incrementally bring the city’s downtown closer to what the Renaissance plan called for.

The Villa Rica Placemaking and Alleyway Activation program is one of those projects, for which the city partnered with the Conservancy. The $75,000 project will identify opportunities to use public art, public spaces, and private alleys to define the downtown area and make them more accessible and more attractive to those who want to come downtown for shopping and entertainment.

The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and the Georgia Cities Foundation (GCF) recently named Villa Rica as one of the freshman communities in the Georgia Placemaking Collaborative’s 2023 program.

The Georgia Economic Placemaking Collaborative is a two-year place-based economic development program that provides participating communities with education, facilitation, technical assistance, networking, peer learning, and incentives to help identify their community assets and develop a locally based placemaking strategy. The Collaborative assists communities in identifying projects that reflect the unique cultural and historic character of the community.

Entry into the program will help the selected cities develop durable, local partnerships to address their most important economic and quality of life issues.

There is no timetable for implementing the plan for Prospector’s Park or the other items in the Placemaking plan.