25 Reasons to Donate to Park Pride

It’s the season when you’re looking at who’s been naughty and nice, and figuring out what gifts you’ll be giving during the holidays this year. We’ve compiled 25 reasons why Park Pride should be on your “nice” list during our 25th Anniversary. We hope you’ll consider them and give a gift to our mission to improve parks and greenspace across Atlanta and DeKalb County!

PP25_F generalOnly you can help us continue do to the work we do to improve parks and strengthen communities. DONATE NOW. No gift is too small to make a difference in parks. Thank you!

25 reasons to donate to Park Pride

In no particular order and with varying degrees of legitimacy (!):

25. Because of the power of parks! It’s been proven that parks increase happiness and decrease stress in the individuals that have access to them. Parks are places where we can relax with family and friends, enjoy a walk, run or team activity, connect with nature, and the list goes on. The health of our city depends on the health of our parks, and all of Park Pride’s programs have the end goal of making each park a better place to be.

Parks are restorative!
Parks are restorative!

24. Park Pride believes in partnerships. No one is able to accomplish as much alone as we’re able to accomplish together, and Park Pride is proud to work along side like-minded organizations to bring about changes in Atlanta in DeKalb and make  needed improvements in our park systems!

23. Park Pride has helped to coordinate over 500,000 volunteer service hours in parks since 1989! That is a huge effort, and not a single one of those hours would have been possible without dedicated communities, community members, and corporate volunteers giving of their time and energy to help improve and maintain our park land. It also wouldn’t be possible without…

22. THIS GUY! John Ahern, Volunteer Manager, has been with Park Pride since June 2010! In his own words, John “… has probably the best job in the world! Working with large groups of volunteers out in our beautiful parks, to make them even more beautiful!” Hard work has never been so fun (clearly!). Donate to Park Pride in honor of John!

john and revonda
John Ahern, Volunteer Manager

21. Park Pride believes that knowledge is power, and that participating in the global conversations surrounding parks and greenspace is important and benefits all those who partake! Each year, we invite you to the Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference to bring your park stories and lessons learned to the table, as well as to engage with greenspace leaders from across the globe!

2013 Parks and Greenspace Conference

20. While many of the larger parks have their own dedicated conservancies, Park Pride is informally known as the park conservancy for the little guys!

19. Park Pride makes parks safer. Park sight lines are vastly improved following volunteer work days where invasive plant removal is a focus. More visibility and eyes on the park leads to fewer crimes committed in the park. Additionally, new amenities in parks funded by Park Pride grants (playgrounds, walking trails, exercise equipment, better lighting, etc.), increase positive activity in the parks, also resulting in a decrease in crime.

Volunteers from Bennett Thrasher remove invasive plants from Atlanta Memorial Park along Howell Mill Road, increasing visibility into the park.
Volunteers from Bennett Thrasher remove invasive plants from Atlanta Memorial Park along Howell Mill Road, increasing visibility into the park.

18. Our Executive Director, Michael Halicki, looks like Ed Helms. A legitimate reason to donate? Eh – questionable. But we won’t tell!  Donate to Michael’s fundraiser….

From Left: Ed Helms, Michael Halicki. Or is it the other way around…

17. We’re dedicated to parks. DEDICATED. Allison Barnett has been with Park Pride since the beginning: as an employee, as Executive Director, and now as Associate Director. Allison’s longevity at Park Pride illustrates that our people don’t just like parks. We love them. We’re committed. Donate to Park Pride in honor of Allison Barnett!

Allison Barnett, Associate Director of Park Pride, circa 1993!

16. Park Pride has help over 100 Friends of the Park groups organize since the program’s inception in 2007. Those groups took it upon themselves to make a difference in their parks and in their neighborhoods – and they have! From organizing community events in their parks, to community based plantings and volunteer days, the Friends of the Park groups have given their all to parks, and we are both grateful and proud to be their partner! Additionally, much of the success of the Friends of the Park Program can be attributed to

15. THIS LADY! Ayanna Williams has been with Park Pride since October 2007 as the Director of Community Building. Ayanna works with the Friends of the Parks groups in all capacities: from organizing groups, to coordinating workshops, to acting as a group’s liaison with the city or county, and heading the Community Garden Program, this woman does it all! Donate for Ayanna!

Ayanna Williams, Director of Community Building
Ayanna Williams, Director of Community Building

14. Donate to Park Pride because we loves dogs! The end of 2013 brought with it the ribbon cutting and official opening of the Renaissance Park Dog Park! Park Pride is proud to have been able to be a part of the larger team that made this doggie dreamland a reality, contributing a matching Community Building Grant for the park’s construction. A great amenity for Downtown!

Dog enjoying Renaissance Park Dog Park – we love dogs!

13. Over the years, we’ve supported over 250 parks in Atlanta and DeKalb: enough said. 🙂


12. November 13th, Georgia Gives Day, was also THE EXACT DATE of Park Pride’s 25th birthday! See? “Park Pride Atlanta, Inc.” was incorporated on November 13, 1989! Happy birthday to us!incorporated2

11. Park Pride takes a grassroots approach to park improvements, focusing on the communities wants and needs first and working up from there. We literally couldn’t do what we do without community support!

10. Park Pride helps communities define their park dreams! The Park Visioning process and resulting conceptual master plans not only energize the communities to improve their quality of life, but become powerful tools to solicit private funding and lobby for public funding for communities to help reach their goals.

Park Visioning Team
Park Pride’s Visioning team, Director of Visioning Walt Ray, and Visioning Coordinator, Becky Katz, look over a park master plan developed by the community.

9. Park Pride has worked with 30 communities to produce Park Visioning plans. The program’s success is driven by the Director of Park Visioning, Walt Ray, who spearheaded the program in 2005 and has worked with dozens of community groups to help them work together to identify needs and prioritize wants, resulting in park plans that excite and unite neighborhoods. Walt Ray and Visioning Coordinator, Becky Katz, are an amazing duo and we are so lucky to have them as part of the Park Pride family. Donate in honor of Walt and Becky!

8. Those 30 visioning plans have in turn resulted in $12 million invested in parks!

7. Y’all look good in green 🙂 Park Pride is helping park enthusiasts stay ahead of trending fashions with our “I <3 Parks” t-shirts. You’re welcome! (If you’d like, you can purchase a shirt here.)

Models wearing "I <3 Parks" t-shirts
Everyone looks great in our green t-shirts!

6. Park Pride advocates for more park land; our goal is to make a park accessible to ALL Atlantans within a 10 minute walk from their homes. See? It says it here on the PARC (Parks Atlanta Rescue Coalition) Pledge!

Parc pledge complete_Page_15. Park Pride was successful in getting ALL members of Atlanta City Council to sign the four-point PARC Pledge! We were determined that parks and greenspace were considered in their agendas and knocked on doors until all had signed. Not only that, but Mayor Kasim Reed also issued a statement of support!

4. Park Pride strengthens communities through building community consensus. As Friends of the Park and community groups move through the Park Visioning program to re-imagine their park, they’re forced to take a good look at  all aspects of their needs and talk in-depth about their wants for their greenspace. The Park Vision, produced by Park Pride, is a final plan arrived at together with the community.

Community members of Collier Heights participate in Park Pride’s Visioning workshop.

 3. Park Pride helped to pass the legislation that made community gardens allowable in parks! There are now 20 community gardens in public parks across the city and county, enjoyed and loved by Friends of the Park groups!

Selena Butler Park community garden
Community garden installation at Selena Butler Park.

2. WE love parks. And,

1. YOU love parks. It’s a perfect match!

Friends of Lang-Carson Park
Friends of Lang-Carson Park loving their park and King of Pops popsicles!

We hope you’ll consider us for a donation! Gifts of any size can help make BIG differences! THANK YOU for believing in us and in our mission to create more and better parks!