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

In Case You Missed It: The Healing Power of Parks

Two weeks ago, Park Pride hosted our 22nd Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Together with over 400 park people from around Atlanta, Georgia, and the nation, we dug into the conference theme, The Healing Power of Parks. We concluded the day inspired and energized to engage in our parks to heal ourselves, our communities, and our city. In addition to three keynote speakers, 14 breakout sessions led by nearly 50 industry and community leaders covered topics ranging from proper methods of invasive plant species management, to mindfulness in nature, policies that advance equitable access to parks, case studies of transformative park projects, and more. Below, Park Pride staff provide highlights and brief recaps of some sessions they attended.

SOURCE: Saporta Report

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

Leaders and experts discuss the healing power of parks at Park Pride’s 22nd annual conference

Park Pride hosted its 22nd annual Parks and Greenspace Conference this week, with about 450 government officials, local leaders and park enthusiasts filling the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The theme was “The Healing Power of Parks,” with speakers exploring the importance of park access and use from the perspective of health, community, policy and more.

SOURCE: Saporta Report