Martin Luther King Park (aka Parc Clichy-Batignolles) is a lovely neighborhood park. It is one of two beautiful neighborhood parks in our arrondissement, the 17th, the other being the Square des Batignolles. Since there is so much of interest about each of these two parks, I am going to have to write about them separately.
These are the features that make the Martin Luther King Park special and worth a visit if you are visiting or living in the 17th arrondisement.
Modern Landscape Architecture: This is a recently built park, which opened in 2007. It was designed to refurbish an area of former warehouses and stockyards. There is a contrast between the modernistic layout of the paths which are primarily in a grid and the plantings which are more naturalistic and free-form. The park is divided into two halves split by a rail track. To get over the rail track are stairs (or an elevator) to a platform where you can look out over the park. Don’t miss going to the far side!
Natural water feature: One of the most unusual elements of the design of the park are the landscaped water features with aquatic plants such as water lilies, iris, reeds, bulrushes and fish swimming throughout. If you look carefully, you might even see the turtle that lives in the water.
Blooming plants and trees: The first to arrive are daffodils on the hills and fields throughout the park. Near the front of the park are rows of fruit trees. The apple and cherry blossoms arrive in early April and this year were spectacular. In May there are lovely yellow irises blooming. Near the back of the park are sections made to look like natural forests. There is something to admire every season.
Play areas: There are some really cool play areas. In the front half of the park is a large but fairly standard playground. Next to it is a skateboard park with multiple different elements. At the back of the park (on the other side of the rail tracks) is a playground made of logs as well as a more standard small kids park. Also in the back area are fields for playing soccer.
Water: Are you thirsty after working out or walking around? On the back half is a water station with both still and sparkling water!
This is a much beloved park in the neighborhood. Come watch the joggers who have a set route through the park, hang out with the toddlers in the back “log” park, or just lie on the grass in this shade or sun. There is lots to do here.