Meet Me at The Park: Reflecting on 10 Years at Park Pride

This month marks Michael Halicki’s 10-year anniversary as Park Pride’s executive director. In this Saporta Report article, he reflects on his passion for parks, what he’s learned over the years, and why he is so invested in the world of Atlanta’s local parks.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

A Turning Point: New Beginnings, Inspiration, and Hope

Eli Dickerson, Park Pride’s new Director of Education, has been at the organization for six months. In this contribution to People, Places, and Parks, he reflects on why he’s excited to have joined this team that has been low-key making a huge impact in Atlanta for decades.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Park Pride launches new program to help residents activate their neighborhood parks

This fall, 12 residents are going to hone their leadership skills through Park Pride’s new Park Stewardship Academy (PSA). The nonprofit just selected the inaugural cohort that will undergo a three-month educational and skill-building program to learn how to better activate their respective parks through community events, programs and volunteer opportunities.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Doing Things Differently for Parks

The need for greater funding in our city’s park system–especially for park maintenance– is not a new problem, nor is it solely an Atlanta problem. Cities across the country struggle to meet acceptable standards of care for our parks while balancing competing demands for resources. But now, leaders at all levels in Atlanta have displayed the courage to do things differently, to challenge the status quo, and implement changes that will lead us toward a greener, more equitable, and better maintained park system. In this month’s contribution to the Saporta Report’s “People, Places, and Parks,” Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki, and Director of Communications & Policy, Rachel Maher, say “thank you” to these leaders.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Atlanta ranks No. 28 on annual ParkScore index

It’s that time of year again — the ParkScore index has been released, bringing the opportunity to reflect on Atlanta’s park system. Created by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), the annual ParkScore ranks the 100 most populous cities based on five categories — access, investment, equity, amenities and acreage. This year, the City of Atlanta was placed at No. 28. This is one spot lower than last year, but TPL noted that the city’s new ranking was based on changes within other park systems, not missteps in Atlanta.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Atlanta City Council Member Dustin Hillis Introduces Legislation To Strengthen City’s Yearly Commitment to Parks, Recreation Centers, and Trails

District 9 Council member Dustin Hillis introduced legislation to make the largest new, yearly commitment to parks in Atlanta in half a century. The legislation will bolster the City’s dedicated Parks Improvement Fund by approximately $16 million annually, ensuring the City has the funds to properly maintain new and existing parks, recreation centers, and trails. “I appreciate the support of my City Council colleagues, our parks advocacy organizations like Park Pride, and the continued support from the philanthropic community,” Hillis stated. “Once passed, I truly believe this will unlock a true ‘golden age’ of parks here in our great city.”

SOURCE: Atlanta City Council

A Golden Age of Parks in Atlanta? Maybe.

There is a lot of momentum within the parks movement in Atlanta right now, so much so that it’s had Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki, wondering whether we’re on the brink of a “golden age of parks.” Read his thoughts on its feasibility and what it would take to get there in this month’s contribution to Saporta Report’s “People, Places, and Parks.”

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Advancing environmental justice, one community at a time

As Clorox continues to celebrate Earth Month and a $100,000 grant to Park Pride through their Healthy Parks Project, more than 40 volunteers from Clorox, Friends of Reverend James Orange Park, Georgia STAND-Up, and others spent the day cleaning up trash, planting flowers and painting benches to keep the park ready for play.

SOURCE: The Clorox Company

Regional leaders discuss the power, challenges of city-wide park nonprofits

The City of Atlanta is home to 447 parks and, as a result, 77% of residents can walk to a local greenspace within 10 minutes. That number is significantly higher than the national average of 55 percent. While this is a great feat, local leaders must still work to ensure that these spaces are activated and well maintained — a major topic of discussion at Park Pride’s recent 22nd annual Parks and Greenspace Conference.

SOURCE: Saporta Report