Moving Atlanta’s Parks Forward: A discussion with local environmental advocates about our city’s needs

The case for parks is an easy one to make — increased physical activity within the community, lower levels of stress and a healthier urban environment. But in a city with one of the starkest income disparities in the nation, city and nonprofit leaders are working to be intentional about providing quality access to the outdoors for all Atlantans. On June 16, local park leaders gathered for a roundtable discussion hosted by nonprofit Park Pride about the future of parks in Atlanta and how to make them more accessible, equitable and plentiful.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Don’t Tap the Breaks: A Call to Increase the Parks Budget

Parks are good for people and the communities of which they’re a part. They’re foundational for the health of local wildlife and habitats, and function as critical urban infrastructure by absorbing stormwater runoff, cooling ambient temperatures, providing the open space necessary for public health, and so on. Park Pride believes that parks have the potential to make cities great—but only if they receive the investment required to activate their multitude of benefits.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

The Giant Puzzle of Connecting Atlanta to the Chattahoochee

It’s a puzzle that despite overlapping layers of natural, cultural, and historical meaning associated with the Chattahoochee, the City of Atlanta and its residents have always been disconnected from the river. Only now are efforts to change that coming to fruition through a collaboration of community, nonprofits, local government, and neighboring municipalities. In this month’s contribution to the Saporta Report, Park Pride’s Andrew White takes a closer look at these collective efforts to restore the Chattahoochee as an iconic and accessible public corridor—one which offers places of memory, restoration, and recreation—can serve as both a local and national model for advancing projects with lasting positive impacts on local ecology and culture.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Atlanta’s Rise in ParkScore: We’re Not Done Yet

While Atlanta’s movement on the 2022 ParkScore from #49 to #27 is promising, no one has ever been satisfied with coming in 27th place. A lot of challenging work lies ahead to achieve the park system that Atlantans want and deserve.

In this contribution to People, Places, and Parks, Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki, examines the categories upon which the ParkScore is built to better understand the local context of Atlanta‘s standing and identify the opportunities to progress. Then, George Dusenbury (Georgia State Director of The Trust for Public Land) frames Atlanta’s ParkScore ranking within a national context and provides insight into how Atlanta compares to other leading and peer cities.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Thanks to increased park investment and access, Atlanta secures no. 27 spot on latest ParkScore index

The City of Atlanta has secured its spot as number 27 on the 2022 ParkScore Index from The Trust for Public Land (TPL). Atlanta sat at number 49 last year, but thanks to recent improvements in park access and increased investment, the city jumped 22 spots within the past year. Atlanta improved the most in rankings of any city on the list. Local leaders are celebrating this win for parks in Atlanta.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Vote to Improve Parks + Trails on May 24!

At the ballot box Tuesday, May 24, YOU can advance the vision for a greener, safer, more connected City of Atlanta by approving three ballot measures that will provide $750 million for greatly needed improvements to streets, sidewalks, parks, recreation centers, and public safety facilities.

SOURCE: City of Atlanta Mayor's Office

Mayor Andre Dickens’ 2022 State of the City Address as prepared for delivery

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has a powerful vision for our city: “one city with one bright future.” And a bright future includes quality greenspace close to home *for all.* In his State of the City Address last week, the Mayor highlighted Park Pride’s most recent slate of grant awards totaling $2.3M to fund capital improvements in parks across the city (60% of the dollars will benefit parks in low-income neighborhoods). These funds, and Park Pride’s continued partnership with the City of Atlanta, will help make quality parks for all a reality.

SOURCE: City of Atlanta Press Release

The Courage to Change

With how much Atlanta has changed and is changing, does it stand to reason that the “old” way of managing, funding, planning, engaging, and activating parks is still effective? Will “how we’ve always done it” cut it? And do we have the courage to change?

In this month’s contribution to Saporta Report’s “People, Places, and Parks” Park Pride’s Michael Halicki and Rachel Maher reflect on these questions and the lessons learned from the 21st Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference.

SOURCE: Saporta Report