$2.5M of Capital Park Improvements Headed for Local Communities

Park Pride Kicks Off Its 2023 Grantmaking Cycle with the Largest Slate of Awards in History

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Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Pittman Park in 2022 celebrated refurbished amenities which were funded through Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program.


Atlanta, GA – January 5, 2023 – Park Pride is kicking off 2023 by announcing its largest slate of awards in the organization’s 34-year history, with $2.5 million heading for 25 communities across the City of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County for capital park improvements. Advancing green equity is a strong focus for the organization, whose mission is to engage communities to activate the power of parks; 67% of the allocated grant funds will benefit parks in low-income neighborhoods, building upon Park Pride’s efforts to make great parks a reality in every neighborhood in Atlanta.  

Established in 2004, Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program awards funding to community groups seeking to revitalize their neighborhood greenspaces. It is designed to support Friends of the Park groups taking on larger projects as they grow and develop capacity, offering awards up to $100,000 or more. The Grantmaking Program was established with support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation, with additional funders including Georgia Power, the City of Atlanta, and others joining more recently. To date, Park Pride has awarded over $14.9 million to park projects through this program, funding improvements that include new playgrounds, bridges and piers, ADA-accessibility upgrades, kiosks and signage, trails, exercise equipment and multipurpose courts, green infrastructure (rain gardens and bioswales), art installations, and much more. 

The Confluence Bridge crossing Peachtree Creek was installed in 2021 with funding through Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program.


The City of Atlanta is an important funder of Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program. In 2021, public funding was allocated to Park Pride through legislation from Atlanta City Council, designated for park improvement projects in low-income communities. This cycle, $884,000 dollars from the City will match equal investment from the philanthropic sector in low-income communities.  

“As we strive toward increasing equitable access to City of Atlanta parks in the coming months, the tangible impact that this funding will have on underserved communities will be tremendous!” stated Justin Cutler, Commissioner of Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “We value Park Pride’s partnership and its commitment toward helping Atlantans realize the community parks they envision.”    

“The awards made through Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program have a positive impact on Atlantans’ quality of life,” said Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki. “Everyone deserves to live within walking distance of a great greenspace where they can benefit from the healing qualities parks have on our mental and physical wellbeing. Nothing gives me greater pride than knowing that as we improve local parks, we’re also improving people’s lives.” 

Mattie Freeland Park, a brand new park in the English Avenue community, was developed with funding through Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program.


“The Alliance for the Activation of Rodney Cook Sr. Park is excited about our grant from Park Pride,” shared Carrie Salvary, Chair of the Alliance. “The shade structures and other amenities funded by this grant will have a great impact on the health, safety, and enjoyment of the park by visitors. Park Pride has been in support of the Alliance since the beginning, and we look forward to continuing to grow and develop our relationship going forward.” 

This slate of grant awards marks the beginning of Park Pride’s 2023 grant cycle. Friends of the Park groups can apply throughout the year for awards up to $5,000 for smaller park projects, such as beautification plantings, wayfinding signage, murals, park benches, and more. 

Park Pride engages more than 100 Friends of the Park groups across the City of Atlanta, unincorporated DeKalb County, and Brookhaven. In addition to its Grantmaking Program, Park Pride provides a suite of resources that empower local groups to create parks tailored to their communities, including park design assistance, volunteer support, fiscal sponsorship, and educational and capacity building workshops.  

Keep an eye out for the park improvements below coming to a greenspace near you! 


January 2023 Grant Awards  

  • A plaza and tiered seating area will be added to 54 Columns Art & Sculpture Park, creating space for the community to gather and view live performances.   
  • New playground equipment, a multipurpose court, and a shade structure over the basketball court will increase the recreational offerings at A.D. Williams Park. 
  • Benches and picnic tables will enhance the playground area at Ardmore Park. 
  • Bessie Branham Park will benefit from improvements to the entrance at Kirkwood Rd with new pathways and landscaping; the playground will also be resurfaced.  
  • Native plants and soil health improvements will restore habitat near the Confluence Trail Bridge.  
  • Dean Rusk Park will benefit from a variety of park amenities, including benches, trash cans, picnic tables, fitness equipment, and a grill.  
  • A new entrance will be created at English Park, in addition to a walking trail around the existing multipurpose field. 
  • Several new amenities will enhance visitors’ enjoyment of Flat Shoals Park, including a shade structure over the picnic tables near the playground and over the bleachers at the tennis court. 
  • The Loomis Street entrance at Grant Park will be refreshed with a plaza and seating for picnics, gatherings, and parties. 
  • A multi-user “friendship swing” will be installed at Iverson Park, and erosion will be addressed by extending an existing retention wall to help keep soil in place.  
  • Knight Park will increase its offerings with a reading nook.  
  • A “History Trail” will be created at Maddox Park, with fitness equipment lining a path and signage that highlights local leaders. 
  • Mozley Park will benefit from additional seating throughout the park, including bleachers at the open field and benches near playground and dog park. 
  • Park visitors will soon be able to enjoy fitness equipment at N.H. Scott Park 
  • Oakland Cemetery’s new visitor center will receive fresh landscaping.  
  • Pickleball courts, a volleyball court, and improvements to an Olympic monument are headed toward Phoenix Park II. 
  • A new mural on the exterior of the Pittman Park recreation center will highlight local leaders.  
  • Pathways and a pavilion will be installed at Riverwalk Park, one of the City of Atlanta’s newest parks and the first to connect residents to the Chattahoochee River.   
  • Shade structures will be installed at Rodney Cook Sr. Park over the fitness equipment and at the playground. 
  • A gazebo at Shoal Creek I will offer protection and shade to the park’s portable restroom.  
  • Tanyard Creek Park will benefit from a new playground, benches, and picnic tables. 
  • A “kid zone” with nature play elements, signage for learning about the environment and nature, and garden with fruit trees are all in store for the Atlanta Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill Park. 
  • A pavilion, pathways, educational signage, and seating are in the works for The Hill at Waterworks Park. 
  • A beautiful mural will be painted on the surface of the basketball court at West End Park. 
  • Visitors to Whetstone Greenspace will enjoy beautiful views of the wetlands from a new trail.  

To learn more about Park Pride grants, visit https://parkpride.org/we-can-help/grant-programs/. 



About Park Pride:  

A trusted Atlanta-based nonprofit for over 30 years, Park Pride engages communities to activate the power of parks! Working with over 100 local Friends of the Park groups across more than 200 greenspaces, Park Pride provides leadership, services, and funding to help communities realize their dreams for parks that support healthy people, united neighborhoods, a resilient city, and a healthy environment. Park Pride is active in greenspace advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the public about the benefits of parks, and annually hosts the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Learn more about Park Pride at parkpride.org. 


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