4 more schoolyards picked for public use

Four more Atlanta school playgrounds will be redesigned to go from recess to neighborhood recreation. The Atlanta Community Schoolyards project is an effort to transform school playgrounds into public parks that serve students during the school day and are open to residents after the final bell rings and on weekends. Students get to help redesign the spaces, and donations will pay for about $110,000 in construction upgrades at each site. The goal is to create more accessible green space across the city — parks that residents can enjoy within a short walk of their homes.

SOURCE: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Parks: Not Just Fun and Games

“While many of us have perhaps never thought of parks and recreation centers as critical infrastructure, that is, in fact, the exact the purpose for which they were originally created. While the modern idea of parks has become associated with playgrounds, baseball fields, and park benches, parks in America actually began as an initiative to improve public health during past pandemics and increase urban resiliency.” In this month’s contribution to the Saporta Report’s “People, Places, and Parks,” Executive Director, Michael Halicki shares the major lesson from the COVID-19 health crisis and that parks are not all just fun and games.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Atlanta’s 2020 ParkScore climbs two spots – from 42 to 40

Atlanta continues to make steady progress in its “ParkScore,” according to the Trust for Public Land’s annual index among the nation’s top 100 cities. The 2020 ParkScore index showed Atlanta placing 40th nationally – up two spots from last year’s score of 42. Its rank is a marked improvement from 2013, when it placed 65th; or from 2015, when its score was 70th.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Showing Appreciation for All Parks and Recreation Workers

We know parks play a vital role in our wellness as places where we’re able to connect with nature close to home. Those who make it possible to continue to visit our local parks—that is, the staff and essential workers of our local departments of parks and recreation—deserve our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for their service and sacrifices during this difficult time.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Community encouraged to practice safe distancing while enjoying Atlanta parks

“Right now, I think people really need access to nature, and I think nature has a number of different health benefits… provided that we practice social distancing.” Social distancing is *critical* to safely enjoying Atlanta’s parks, trails, and open spaces! Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki, discusses the need for social distancing on WSB-TV’s People 2 People segment.

SOURCE: WSB-TV

More than $1 mil awarded to improve local parks

In its 30th year, Park Pride awarded a record $1,385,000 in capital funding for park improvements to 30 Friends of the Park groups across the City of Atlanta, unincorporated DeKalb County, City of Brookhaven, and City of Tucker. In this WSB-TV segment, Julie Straw with the Friends of Coan Park, shares her experience with Park Pride and the new improvements coming to the park!

SOURCE: WSB-TV

Mattie Freeland Park: Placekeeping in a rapidly changing neighborhood

Much has been written about the differences between placemaking and placekeeping. To the uninitiated, the two can appear very similar. Both use art and cultural activities to make high-quality changes to the physical environment. Both involve a participatory process with community and local organizations, and both are ways in which space is claimed by a community. In this month’s contribution to the Saporta Report, Park Pride’s Director of Park Visioning, Andrew White, explores the trend towards placekeeping and how one neighborhood on Atlanta’s Westside is doing it right!

SOURCE: Saporta Report