Thursday, October 14, 2021

Ballantyne's Backyard

You know the best thing about Ballantyne's Backyard Community Park? The preservation of green space. This golf-course-turned-recreation-area is a beautiful swath of nature that could surely have been destined for paved-over, bricked-up growth in this fast-growing, development-happy area of town. But kudos to whatever ordinance, foresight or community goodwill that persevered. 

Ballantyne's Backyard -- 100 acres of rolling green hills, miles of paved walking paths, and a catch-and-release fishing pond -- is an oasis for South Charlotteans who want to escape their corporate park cubicles, sprawling shopping centers and spaghetti junction traffic. 

Parking for this private park (owned and managed by Northwood Office) is abundant and free, as is space to walk, ride, play and picnic. (Not in abundance: Shade. But there is beauty in the open layout and there are pretty stands of trees along the perimeters of the park.) 

Open from dusk 'til dawn daily, this is a great area for a dose of nature. We especially enjoy the room to roam, birdsong, and ponds. Leashed pets are welcome and there are two restrooms, one at either end of the park. Here's a park map

On the second Saturday of every month, Ballantyne's Backyard hosts Markets at 11, featuring activities, local business vendors, music, food trucks and local beer from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

There's no question Ballantyne's Backyard was built to be -- and still largely resembles -- a golf course. From the sand traps (sandboxes!) to water hazards (fishing holes!), and even some leftover fairway signs and markers, you'll feel like you're on the links. But it's really a genius repurposing of land.  

I don't love the amount of manicured grass that's less than eco-friendly to maintain, but maybe planners will transition to a more natural landscape over time. Meanwhile, folks in and around Ballantyne can go ahead and count this "backyard" as a big win and a community asset. 

How to get there: 
Ballantyne's Backyard is located at 11611 North Community House Rd., Charlotte, NC, 28277. 

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