Atlanta, GA – February 16, 2022 – Twenty-three communities across the City of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County look forward to $2.3 million in capital improvements to neighborhood parks thanks to grant awards from Park Pride, the local nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks. This is Park Pride’s largest grant cycle in history, exceeding the prior year’s awards by nearly $1 million. Additionally, 60% of the allocated 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 from $250 to $100,000 or more. The Grantmaking Program is generously supported by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, the City of Atlanta, and others. To date, Park Pride has awarded over $12.7 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, community gardens, green infrastructure (rain gardens and bioswales), art installations, and much more.
The City of Atlanta is the program’s most recent funder. 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, $700,000 dollars from the City will match equal investment from the philanthropic sector in low-income communities.
“Every neighborhood in our city deserves access to quality greenspace, regardless of income or zip code. With this historic slate of grant awards from Park Pride, we will make progress on that goal,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “I believe our parks have the ability to establish community connection and the power to shape and define the character of our neighborhoods. I am honored to continue building our strong partnership with Park Pride.”
“Due to increased support from our philanthropic and public partners, Park Pride’s city-wide impact is larger than what’s ever been possible,” stated Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki. “With 60% of our total grant awards directed to low-income community parks, we’re reaching those who have the greatest need for the benefits that parks provide: safe places to play, improved mental and physical health, cleaner air and water. I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’re doing together.”
“The work that Park Pride does is so vital to our community,” stated Melanie Wofford, leader of the Friends of Cleopas Johnson Park. “Their stellar track record and support of grassroots organizations builds community leaders by supporting capacity building and community development in an outstanding way. Park Pride is the champion that allows our city to celebrate how much greenspace matters.” The Friends of Cleopas Johnson Park received a Park Pride grant to upgrade park amenities, improving access and safety.
Park Pride engages more than 100 Friends of the Park groups across the City of Atlanta, unincorporated DeKalb County, Tucker, 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 support, fiscal sponsorship, and educational and capacity building workshops.
Keep an eye out for the park improvements below coming to a greenspace near you!
2022 Grant Awards
- The Friends of Adair Park will replace aging and broken playground equipment with new central play structure chosen by the community.
- The Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy will create a series of nature-based education sites along the park’s streambank.
- The Friends of Beaverbrook Park are looking forward to new signage and various trail improvements, including a bridge that will provide an important connection through the park.
- The Candler Park Conservancy will install an expansive new playground that will become the centerpiece of the neighborhood.
- The Friends of Center Hill Park look forward to new walking trails and a pedestrian bridge over a creek that will provide connection throughout the park.
- The Friends of Central Park hope to prevent unsightly and damaging erosion at the well-used fitness area by adding a rubberized surface.
- The Chastain Memorial Park Conservancy and all park visitors will benefit from trail improvements in the North Woods section of the park that will enhance passive recreation opportunities, including interpretive signs, native plantings, and a new pavilion.
- The Friends of Cleopas Johnson Park will upgrade park amenities, improving park access and safety.
- The Friends of DeKalb Memorial Park will replace their playground with new equipment for multiple age groups and create a safer experience including rubber surfacing.
- Grant Park Conservancy will beautify the area around the Erskine Fountain with a cobblestone plaza and native plantings (include daffodils to honor children lost in the Holocaust).
- The Friends of Herbert Taylor and Daniel Johnson Parks will create better access to the trails off Beech Valley Road by stabilizing the stream crossing using boulders
- The Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy will install more sustainable landscaping in the open lawn area near North Avenue by removing invasive plants and adding native species.
- The Historic Oakland Foundation will add benches, bike racks, and directional signage to Oakland Cemetery to help visitors navigate through the park and enhance the visitor experience.
- The Friends of Lang-Carson Park will create a more intentional flow through the park with accessible pathways and improvements to the park entrance.
- The Friends of Lenox-Wildwood Park look forward to enjoying a more accessible greenspace, connected via a new natural pathway and bridge that crosses a creek.
- The Friends of Lindsay Street Park will gain access to passive recreation space with the addition of a new bridge that connects the two sections of the park.
- The Friends of Lilian Cooper Shepherd Park look forward to enjoying the shade provided by a new cover over the basketball court, which will create a great space just not for games, but for community gatherings as well.
- The Friends of Melvin Drive Park will enjoy a new playground with play structures for both toddlers and older children to enjoy.
- The Friends of Peace Park will revitalize the playground with a climbing structure and new swings to benefit children in after school programs near the park.
- The Friends of Sara J. Gonzalez Park will increase the usability of their soccer pitch with the installation of an AstroTurf field.
- The Friends of South Atlanta Parks will continue to improve the walking paths through Lucius D. Simon Memorial Park to create safe routes for school children and add a more welcoming entrance at Bisbee Street with seating and pathways.
- Olmsted Linear Park Alliance will replace playground equipment at Springdale Park with those designed for kids of all abilities and improve drainage around playground area.
- The Friends of Zonolite Park will upgrade the trail through the wooded area of the park to a raised slate chip path that is more accessible for people of all ages and mobilities. They are also installing native trees and shrubs to replace the privet and other invasives removed in the understory.
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 250 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.