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Leisure Services News

Posted on: December 20, 2021

East Athens Community Center Renamed Aaron Heard Park and Community Center

Heard Park (2)

The Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department hosted a renaming ceremony at East Athens Community Center on Sunday, December 19. This park and community center were renamed in honor of longtime Recreation professional and Athens native Aaron Heard.

Heard grew up in the Athens public housing community and graduated from Burney-Harris High School in 1965. He was awarded a football scholarship and enrolled at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he earned a degree in Business Management. 

From 1975-1990, Heard was the director of the East Athens Community Center.  His philosophy was “in order to recreate, there must be opportunities to educate.” He and his staff understood that program implementation in a low-income, underserved area would be a key component for successfully providing services to the community. 

Earlier this year, the park name change was approved by the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission. 

The facility is located at 400 McKinley Drive.  The park features athletic fields, community center with a gym, library resource room, a teen tech lab.  Additionally the complex includes a playground, pool, covered pavilions, and tennis courts.  

For more information, visit or call 706-613-3593.

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