On a sunny day near the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, neighbors in northwest Atlanta gathered at the Sara J. González Park to celebrate the installation and opening of a new soccer field for area youth!
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens led a ribbon tying ceremony, a tradition that has taken root in this park as a ritual that elevates the park’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Mayor was joined by Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Atlanta City Council Member Dustin Hillis, Isabel González Whitaker and Sofia Bork of the Friends of Sara J. González Park, the Commissioner of Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Justin Cutler, Director of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Vanessa Ibarra, and Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki.
The new soccer field was funded through a $50,000 grant from Park Pride and represents a culturally affirming recreational feature and heritage touchpoint for Latinos while also providing a play space for community wellbeing. The Sara J. González Park is the first park in Georgia named in honor of a Latino individual. The park is also home to a beautiful memorial garden honoring fallen Latino police officer, Edgar I. Flores.
For over 30 years, Park Pride has engaged communities across the city to activate the power of parks. Parks are where neighbors comes together; they make citizens happy, communities strong, and cities sustainable. Park Pride’s programs, leadership, and funding help communities unlock the benefits of greenspace in neighborhoods across Atlanta. We’re committed to this work because we believe that everyone deserves a quality park within walking distance of their home.
Our 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, with over 50% of awards in the past two years going to parks in low-income areas.
Many thanks and congratulations to Mayor Dickens, Dustin Hillis, Isabel, Sofia, and the members of the Friends of Sara J. González Park, Commissioner Cutler and the Department of Parks and Recreation, and all the neighbors who love this wonderful community greenspace. We look forward to the cheering on all the children enjoying this new soccer field!