The Castleberry Hill Athletic Club started in 2014 as a group of community residents cheering on the U.S. National Team at the World Cup. Their numbers have grown dramatically and they are now taking on their most ambitious project yet, transforming a vacant lot into a soccer field.
Club president Wynn Pennington told Dirty South Soccer:
We don't have a usable greenspace or park in our downtown neighborhood, Castleberry Hill. We are converting a vacant lot in our neighborhood into a multi-use community pop-up space and a soccer (youth-sized) stadium to use for community events like our weekly community soccer matches, after school youth soccer programs, league soccer, art shows, outdoor movies, chili cook-offs, and more.
One of our neighbors, H.J. Russell Inc., the owners of the lot, have graciously donated the use of the property. We have been working our way through the re-zoning and permitting process to break ground for over 20 months, and have finally secured our LDP (Land Disturbance Permit). We have named it “Old Trenholm”.
Pennington said that the group started playing community pick-up games on a “nearby vacant lot we named ‘Groinpull Field’ because of the many dips, holes, exposed pipes, and concrete foundations that were injuring us.” They formed a team that plays in the Sons of Pitches Over-30 league while keeping their community play going multiple times during the week.
The CHAC has been very active in their local community. They work with Soccer in the Streets and the John Hope Community Center on a regular basis. “Old Trenholm” will be available for youth in the neighborhood to use, as well as for adult play.
They organize youth tournaments for the kids and sponsor the John Hope Community Center’s STEM Robotics Team. The members of the club volunteer their time with these projects, and others in their neighborhood like this weekend’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour, neighborhood clean-up efforts, and graffiti removal projects.
Castleberry Hill is in the shadow of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the CHAC will be out in full force supporting Atlanta United.
Oh yes, we are an Atlanta United supporters group! The CHAC secured a block of 50 seats next to the supporters section. That number continues to grow. Join us in section 104!
For all home games at the new stadium, which is in our neighborhood, we have plans to have a CHAC march, pub crawling the 8 blocks from "Old Trenholm" to the new stadium. Join us!
There is also talk that this will be a CHAC "Helmet and Codpiece Drumming Corps", but this is still in the planning phase. Stay tuned and listen up!
The CHAC has started a fundraising effort to start the build-out for the facility. They are also hosting volunteer days on November 19-20. Pennington said:
We need 100+ people for 2 days to build fencing, retaining walls, a fire-pit, install our water reclamation system, and plant seed or sod. Everyone will be fed and quenched by our neighborhood restaurants! It will be a fun 2 days!
This will be an ideal opportunity to meet the group and help them get this project off the ground. For more information, check out the organization’s website.