Parks matter. As a Park Pride supporter, you understand that a great park system is a hallmark of a great city. Parks are more than places to play: they are places to explore and interact with nature; they provide nourishment to people through community gardens and food forests; and they impart significant physical and mental health benefits to communities. The power of parks is real, and Park Pride has supported community efforts to activate that power for the past 29 years.
This Impact Report illustrates the unprecedented achievements that we—you and Park Pride—have made toward activating this power. In 2017, for the first time ever, Park Pride awarded over $1 million for park improvements through our foundation funded grantmaking programs. We also engaged more Friends of the Park groups, invested more sweat equity in Atlanta neighborhoods through our Volunteer Program, and advocated more than ever for a deeper understanding of and support for parks among candidates for elected office.
None of this would have been possible without you. Thank you for bringing the successes outlined in this report to fruition. With your continued engagement, Park Pride aims to make 2018 another record-breaking year, activating the power of parks for an increasing number of communities in and around Atlanta. I hope you’ll join me in the pursuit of our ambitious goals for the greener good!
Park Pride’s Executive Director
Park Pride | Activating the Power of Parks
philosophy: Great parks have the power to increase our quality of life and strengthen the fabric of our cities. They are places for members of the community to gather, play, relax, and lose themselves in nature, encouraging mental and physical health. Great parks promote community engagement, safety, and revitalization. They spur economic development and benefit tourism. Great parks make our citizens happy, our communities strong, and our cities sustainable.
mission: To engage communities to activate the power of parks.
vision: We envision a nationally-recognized network of locally-inspired parks, greenspaces, and trails that engages individuals, strengthens communities, and transforms Atlanta.
Park Pride made history in 2017, reaching and mobilizing more community members for the greener good than ever before! Because of you, Park Pride provided support to a record 117 Friends of the Park groups, helping them activate their greenspaces and achieve their goals that address park safety, accessibility, capital improvements, and more.
Members of the parks movement—including Friends of the Park groups, community gardeners, those who give to their local parks, and you—are united by a common belief in the power of parks. Thank you for your commitment to supporting great parks and stronger, healthier communities!
Your support in 2017 allowed Park Pride to increase its capacity to meet the overwhelming desire of local residents to give back. The Volunteer Program brought neighbors, neighborhoods, corporations, churches, and the young and old together to create nature trails, plant pollinator gardens and native habitats, build bridges and benches, revitalize playgrounds, beautify with murals, and so much more.
We invite you to get your hands dirty during several Greener Good Volunteer Days that we are hosting in parks across the city this year. Visit parkpride.org/calendar for dates and locations. See you out there soon!
designing great parks together
In 2017, Park Pride expanded its nationally-recognized Park Visioning Program to include both City of Atlanta and DeKalb County parks. The visioning process is a 6-8 month design program in which Park Pride’s team of landscape architects guides communities through the process of reinventing a neglected park or planning a new park. As they build consensus, the bonds between neighbors, business owners, and community leaders are strengthened.
The park visions created through this process provide the necessary framework for the community to prioritize interests, begin fundraising efforts, and implement park improvements. Since the program’s founding in 2005, 40 park visioning plans have been completed.
making change possible
Park Pride’s grantmaking programs empower Friends of the Park groups to turn their park dreams into reality by matching community investments for capital park projects. Small Change (supported by the Cecil B. Day Foundation), Community Building (funded by The Home Depot Foundation), and Legacy Grants (funded by the Woodruff Foundation) are matched by Friends groups, leveraging greater benefits to the parks for the people who love them!
With over $1 million awarded, 2017 was Park Pride’s largest grant cycle to date! For a list of projects funded, visit bit.ly/2017parkgrants and keep an eye out for new playgrounds, trails, fitness stations, and more coming to parks near you soon.
Positive change for greenspace begins with an understanding of the benefits that parks provide and a wealth of knowledge, skills, and resources that empower the pursuit of lasting improvements. This is why Park Pride emphasizes training for park enthusiasts, including young ones! In 2017, the organization hosted its first STEM events (in partnership with the Atlanta Botanical Garden) to deepen students’ appreciation for the function of our greenspaces as part of the Pollinators in Parks Initiative, funded by The Home Depot Foundation.
Your support allowed Park Pride to reach new audiences in 2017; in 2018, we’ll expand further to develop new curricula to support a growing number of park enthusiasts!
strengthening our voice for parks
Because of your passion for parks, the 2017 election year proved to be a monumental year for greenspace advocacy initiatives and the advancement of parks, trees, trails, and watersheds. Park Pride redoubled efforts to ensure that candidates for Atlanta Mayor and City Council President understood the power of parks, and unified a large and vocal constituency—yourself included—that was eager to see our city connected through greenspace.
New challenges lay ahead for the parks movement in 2018 as we begin our work in the City of Atlanta with a new mayor, a new council president, and seven new council members. We encourage you to stay involved at this pivotal time for parks amidst the growth of our city!
2017 impact overview
park pride in action
Complete audited financial statements can be found here.