Ace Sand Today
Current Site Conditions
Dredging Operations Site
The City of Roswell purchased the site in 1999 from the Ace Sand Company, who operated a sand dredging and processing operation on the site since the late 1950s. The site also was also the homestead of the Ace Sand operators, with several outbuildings still located on the property. The eastern side of the site, where the home was located, is characterized by large trees and park-like lawns covered in dappled light. The central portion of the site, where the bulk of the dredging operations occurred, is intensely disturbed and heavily compacted and currently acts as an overflow parking lot. The western side of of the site is comprised of a combination of excess dredged spoils associated with the former industrial operations and floodplain woodlands. These areas have been colonized by invasive plants like privet, mimosa, and kudzu.
Roswell's signature Riverwalk runs adjacent to Riverside Drive through the Ace Sand site. One segment of the pathway branches towards the river on the eastern end of the site, adjacent to Don White Memorial Park. A gravel path, which may be the historic bed of a farm road, runs parallel to the river. Though the gravel path is quite close to the Chattahoochee, there are few breaks in the trees along the banks and views to the river are limited.
Conditions vary along the Ace Sand shoreline. Much of the edge is currently stabilized with recycled concrete riprap along with mature trees and shrubs. Where riprap is missing, erosion is often evident. Culverts and small clearings also dot the shoreline. Where industrial operations used to occur, there are large clearings that offer expansive views of the Chattahoochee. However, these areas also have some of the most unstable shoreline conditions.
Four drainage channels originating from culverts along Riverside Road currently drain water from nearby uplands through the site and into the Chattahoochee River. Water volumes vary based on season and rainfall. The largest such channel is an intermittent stream that bisects the site. The historic alignment of the stream was channelized and culverted by the Ace Sand Company and is currently in poor condition. There is an opportunity to improve both hydrologic and ecologic function by restoring this stream to its historic alignment and celebrating it as a key feature of the park. Two of the other three channels are in poor condition and require restoration. The other is functioning well hydrologically, and is one of the more beautiful locations on the site. It will be preserved and enhanced as a park feature.
The Ace Sand site hosts a variety of native and invasive plant species. Observed native species include loblolly pine, red maple, boxelder, green ash, river birch, and sycamore trees, as well as several species of shrubs, ferns, and perennials. Invasive species include but are not limited to paper mulberry, Callery pear, English ivy, Chinese privet, and kudzu. A large kudzu patch dominates the eastern portion of the site, where dredged spoils were previously deposited.