Atlanta, GA, February 7, 2017 – Park Pride, the only Atlanta-based nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks, in partnership with the Atlanta Botanical Garden, received a $60,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation for the “Pollinators in Parks” pilot initiative to increase the presence and impact of pollinator gardens in five Atlanta Parks.
Through this grant, Park Pride and the Atlanta Botanical Garden hope to improve Atlanta’s long-term biodiversity, ecological health and sustainability. Currently, Park Pride manages 22 community gardens in City of Atlanta parks, working closely with the Department of Parks & Recreation. The Atlanta Botanical Garden, widely known for its botanical expertise, also brings a long history of experience with pollinator garden projects to the partnership. Together, their goal is for pollinator gardens in city parks to thrive.
“In urban environments, community gardens represent little green islands for insect pollinators, like bees and butterflies, which are keystone species in food webs,” explained Melina Lozano Durán, Pollinator Garden Coordinator with the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “Pollinator gardens are not only necessary to help natural ecosystems and their plant and animal communities to thrive within cities, but they also nurture our connection to nature.”
The five parks selected to be part of the “Pollinators in Parks” pilot project include: Blue Heron Nature Preserve (Buckhead), Four Corners Park (South Atlanta), Gilliam Park (East Atlanta), Grove Park (West Atlanta) and Welch Street Park (Southwest Atlanta).
“The parks selected to be a part of ‘Pollinators in Parks’ have well-established community gardens with strong networks of dedicated gardeners,” said Betty Hanacek, Park Pride’s Director of Capacity Building and manager of the Community Garden Program. “They’re passionate individuals, eager to do their part to improve the ecological health of Atlanta and benefit from the guidance of the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Park Pride.”
Park Pride and the Atlanta Botanical Garden will engage community volunteers at the selected sites through two pollinator plant installations (which also consists of a workforce development component for local residents), a landscape design workshop, and trainings focused on pollinator education and maintenance planning to ensure the success and growth of each of the pollinator gardens.
“We’re proud to bring these two groups together for this project,” said Catherine Stodola, who oversees Atlanta giving for The Home Depot Foundation. “We believe strongly in the collaborative atmosphere of Atlanta’s nonprofit community and The Home Depot Foundation is committed to investing in outdoor spaces in our hometown.”
“We’re thrilled with the support we’ve received from The Home Depot Foundation,” stated Michael Halicki, Park Pride’s executive director. “This grant contributes meaningfully to our mission by bringing communities together through positive park activation, while at the same time benefiting the pollinators on which we depend. It’s a win-win collaboration for the greener good.”