Park Pride encourages residents to get involved with neighborhood greenspaces through Friends of the Park program

With the start of the new year, Park Pride — a nonprofit working with communities to improve parks around the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County — opened registration for its Friends of the Park (FoP) program. Through this initiative, Park Pride empowers residents to invest in and activate their neighborhood parks, using an inclusive, collaborative and personalized approach.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

The Healing Power of Parks

The past few years have affirmed the importance of parks for our physical and mental well-being. The healing power of parks, however, goes beyond personal health. Public greenspaces are also where community bonds are formed, diverse ideas are experienced, and where cultural enrichment flourishes. We also look to parks to heal and strengthen the urban environment—to manage stormwater, reduce flooding, cool and filter the air, and provide natural habitat. At Park Pride’s 2023 Parks & Greenspace Conference (taking place on Monday, March 27 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden), we’ll discuss all this and more while exploring “The Healing Power of Parks.”

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Laying the Foundation for the Work Ahead

In Park Pride’s final contribution to Saporta Report’s “People, Places, and Parks” for the year, Park Pride’s Michael Halicki reflects on why 2022 is the most memorable during his tenure as Executive Director. Through all the accomplishments of the past year, Park Pride laid a solid foundation upon which we’ll continue to build into 2023 and beyond, advancing our mission to engage communities to activate the power of parks.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Mattie Freeland Park: Envisioned, Championed, and Built by Community

“This is a community space: envisioned by community, championed by community, and then built by the community.” Dr. Mironda Williams, granddaughter of Ms. Mattie Freeland. This simple yet powerful statement cuts to the heart of what makes Mattie Freeland Park so special and why Park Pride is committed to making great parks accessible to all. Read more in this month’s contribution to Saporta Report by Park Pride’s Director of Communications & Policy, Rachel Maher.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Enhancing the Resilience of Our Region

At Park Pride, we are motivated by the philosophy of the power of parks. That is “When parks meet the needs and reflect the unique character of the communities they serve, they are welcoming places for all members of the community to gather, play, relax, and connect with nature, encouraging mental and physical health and enhancing the resilience of our neighborhoods.” What is meant by parks have the power to enhance the resilience of our neighborhoods? In this month’s contribution to the Saporta Report, Park Pride’s Director of Communications and Policy, Rachel Maher, reflects on this question through the lessons learned at the Regional Leadership Institute.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

Sara González Park: Of the community, for the community

The Sara J. González Memorial Park is a small, triangular greenspace nestled in Atlanta’s Westside that’s become a center for community and inclusivity. Unveiled in 2018, the park was named in memory of González, a changemaker in the local Hispanic community.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

A Vision for Stronger, Greener Communities 

If you’ve ever watched a bunch of ants working out how to reach the sugar water dripping from a hummingbird feeder suspended high above their heads, you were probably amazed by their ingenuity and tireless pursuit of their goal. How will they ever attain something so far out of their individual reach? They do it (faster than you’d imagine) with a network of fellow ants—with their community.  In this Saporta Report article, Park Pride’s Teri Nye discusses how communities are coming together to demand multifunctional parks, and why two parks in particular were selected to receive park design assistance through the Park Visioning Program.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

A New Opportunity to Move Atlanta’s Parks Forward

Park Pride’s vision is an Atlanta where every neighborhood has access to a great park. However, through the public engagement process that informed Activate ATL, we learned that some Atlantans feel discouraged from visiting parks due to maintenance issues and past-due upgrades. To address this challenge, Park Pride is exploring opportunities to pair public and private dollars and approach park improvements comprehensively–following through on both large and small upgrades concurrently–to transform underutilized parks into welcoming and activated community greenspaces.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

A Democratic Approach to Park Planning

As public spaces, parks are inherently political, each with its own hidden minefield of competing interests that come to light when working with communities to build consensus around a shared vision for their neighborhood park. However, this park planning process doesn’t have to be divisive, as much of politics are. On the contrary, when park planning fully engages the community (as we have experienced through Park Pride’s longstanding Park Visioning Program), it is not only democratic and fair, but it can actually strengthen communities. Read more in this month’s contribution to Saporta Report.

SOURCE: Saporta Report