Atlanta – January 24, 2017– Park Pride has announced that $820,000 has been granted to 17 community groups in Atlanta and DeKalb to fund capital park improvements. To date, Park Pride has awarded over $4.8 million to projects that include new playgrounds, boardwalks and bridges, improved signage, new trails and exercise equipment, and more.
Park Pride introduced its matching grant programs in 2004, offering awards of varying amounts to groups seeking to revitalize their community greenspaces. Award recipients receive matching funds through three distinct grants: Legacy Grants (large grants of $50,000 and up), funded by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation; Community Building Grants ($2,500-$50,000), funded by The Home Depot Foundation; and Small Change Grants (up to $2,500), funded by the Cecil B. Day Foundation.
Park Pride’s Associate Director, Allison Barnett, expressed appreciation for the program’s funders, stating, “Due to the support of our funders, Park Pride and the Friends of the Park groups we serve are able to complete valuable and much needed park improvements for the greener good of our city. They truly make a positive difference for the families and communities that enjoy greenspaces.”
“Friends of the Park groups recognize that great parks increase the quality of life in their neighborhoods,” explained Ayanna Williams, Park Pride’s Director of Community Building and responsible for the Friends of the Park Program. “I’m proud of the amazing park improvements the Friends groups have accomplished with the support of Park Pride’s grants, improvements that may not have been possible otherwise.”
Park Pride awarded Legacy Grants to six community groups. These grants are only available to groups within the City of Atlanta. Legacy Grants have been awarded to:
- Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy to replace the playground which has been plagued by flooding and sewage spills with a new, community designed playground located in a more accessible location on higher ground.
- Blue Heron Nature Preserve for the expansion of its permeable trail system, the “Blueway,” that will highlight the rich habitats along Mill and Nancy Creeks and eventually connect with planned multi-use trails to Chastain Park and PATH400.
- The Friends of Lake Claire Park will oversee a playground renovation (to the joy of neighborhood children!) and build an ADA accessible overlook with shade structures to enjoy the view of the park.
- The Friends of Little Nancy Creek Park will move forward with the implementation of phase IV of their master plan, which includes a pavilion and seating for family and community gatherings, trash/recycling receptacles, beautification plantings and signage.
- South Fork Conservancy will construct a pedestrian bridge across the North Fork of Peachtree Creek, providing access to the South Fork Trail from PATH400, the Atlanta BeltLine as well as the sidewalks of Buckhead.
- The Friends of Southside Park will expand their natural surface multi-use trails including a bridge and boardwalk spanning an environmentally sensitive creek and floodplain– enhancing visitor access to the forested areas of the park and encouraging healthy recreation in the form of bicycling, walking or running- something for every park visitor!
Community Building Grants
The Home Depot Foundation provides $200,000 in support to Park Pride’s Community Building Grants, which are available to community groups located in both the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. Six grants were awarded to:
- The Friends of Bitsy Grant Tennis (COA) will construct a court-side deck at the tennis center for viewers to comfortably enjoy watching matches.
- The Friends of Briarlake Forest Park (COA) will add amenities including picnic tables, benches, and trail signs, and will plant more native species throughout the greenspace.
- The Friends of Henderson Park (DC) is excited to re-design the park’s trail system, implement erosion control measures, and add new signage and provide stepping stones at creek crossings.
- Historic 4th Ward Park (COA) Conservancy will conduct a comprehensive planting and rejuvenation of several landscape beds in alignment with the park’s original master plan.
- The Friends of Jennie Drake Park (COA) will continue to work towards the fulfillment of their master plan, installing a soft-surface path, distance markers, and dog-waste stations, and creating designated bird-watching areas.
- The Friends of Johns Homestead (DC) will construct a boardwalk over a creek that had previously rendered a large portion of the park inaccessible. This connection will almost double the number of usable trails!
- The Friends of Peachtree Park (COA) will benefit from a new access point to the nature trail, addition of benches and exercise stations encouraging greater use from the surrounding communities.
Small Change Grants
With the support of the Cecil B. Day Foundation, Park Pride’s Small Change Grants fund small improvements that have big impacts on park beautification. Awarded quarterly, the following community groups received Small Change Grants in the final quarter of 2016:
- The Friends of Mattie Freeland Park (COA) will replace existing wooden park benches with new tables for neighbors to enjoy at cookouts and community events.
- Chattahoochee Now will install two benches at Standing Peachtree Park (COA) so that visitors can sit and enjoy the view of the Chattahoochee River. A new interpretive sign honoring the historic significance of the site and importance of the river will also be installed.
- Underwood Hills Park (COA) Teen Committee will install exercise equipment to attract adults and teens into the park as an additional health-focused amenity.
- The Friends of DeKalb-Memorial Park (DC) will purchase fruit trees to be planted and maintained by community volunteers in an effort to expand the existing fruit orchard in the park.
To learn more about Park Pride grants, visit http://parkpride.org/we-can-help/grant-programs/.
About Park Pride:
Founded in 1989, Park Pride is the Atlanta-based nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks. Working with over 100 local Friends of the Park groups, Park Pride provides leadership and services to help communities realize their dreams for neighborhood parks that support healthy people, strong neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, a robust economy and a healthy environment. Park Pride is active in greenspace advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the general public about the benefits of parks, and annually hosts the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Learn more about Park Pride at parkpride.org.