Burbanck Park is an outstanding example of a successful university-community partnership. Located at the corner of Clifton and Oxford Roads, just a block from the campus, the site was previously the home of Madeline and William Burbanck. Madeline Burbanck was a research associate at Emory who worked to clean the once highly polluted Peavine Creek that ran adjacent to their home, and William Burbanck served as chair and professor emeritus of Emory's Department of Biology.
Following the death of both Burbancks, Emory purchased the 1.2-acre property for a park. To determine the type of park, Emory representatives and Druid Hills residents participated in several visioning workshops conducted by Park Pride that resulted in the "green buffer" that exists today between the residences of Druid Hills and the commercial district of Emory Village. The plan for this “passive” park included removing the house, restoring the land, and creating trails with places to sit in the shade, observe Peavine Creek and the natural habitat, and decompress.
To pay for the improvements, the neighborhood led a fundraising campaign and more than 170 donors contributed a total of more than $50,000. Besides individuals and families, donors included the Druid Hills Civic Association, the Emory Village Alliance, and Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives.
Burbanck Park was dedicated on April 22, 2007—Earth Day. Emory continues to do routine and major maintenance to the park, supplemented and enhanced by neighbors, students, faculty, and staff participating in volunteer workdays sponsored twice a year in the spring and fall by Friends of Burbanck Park. Activities include planting and pruning. To find out about the next workday, contact Friends co-chairs Mark Goldman or Perry Mitchell.