Neighborhood Parks to See Over $1.3 Million in Improvements

Nineteen Communities and Park Projects to Benefit from Park Pride Grant Awards

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Atlanta, GA – January 152021  Nineteen communities across the City of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County look forward to $1,370,000 in capital improvements coming to neighborhood parks thanks to Park Pride, the local nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks. To date, the nonprofit has awarded over $10 million to park projects through their Grant Program, helping to fund improvements that include new playgrounds, bridges and piers, ADA-accessibility upgradeskiosks and signage, trails, exercise equipment, community gardens, green infrastructure (rain gardens and bioswales), art installations, and much more. 

Established in 2004, Park Pride’s Grant Program awards funding to community groups seeking to revitalize their neighborhood greenspaces. Three distinct grants provide awards of different sizes, designed to support Friends of the Park groups taking on larger projects as they grow and develop capacity. Small Change Grants (up to $2,500) and Community Building Grants ($2,500-$50,000) are funded by The Home Depot Foundation, and Legacy Grants ($50,000 and up) are funded by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.   

Park Pride recently announced changes to make the Grant Program more accessible and equitable. Most significantly, the organization committed that moving forward a minimum of 1/3 of Legacy Grant funding will be awarded to low-income communities in Atlanta, defined as Community Development Impact Areas, where more than half of the population is at or below 80% of the Atlantaarea median income. Eligible groups will have the standard dollar-for-dollar matching requirement waived. 

Park Pride’s Associate Director, Allison Barnett, expressed appreciation for the Grant Program’s funders and partners. “Our funders have been with us every step of the way in supporting changes that make an impact where it’s needed most. While we committed a minimum of 1/3 of Legacy Grant dollars to parks in Community Development Impact Areas, more than half of total grant dollars this cycle went to projects in those neighborhoods. This was achieved in part due to matching support from the City of AtlantaIt is great to see both public and private support advancing communityled projects.”  

“In response to increased park use in 2020, these Friends of the Park groups stepped up during a challenging time to meet the need for access to quality parks in their communities,” said Kayla Altland, Friends of the Park Program Manager. They adapted to fundraise, developed new collaborative partnerships, and continued to share their passion for parks with their communities. The projects funded by these grants will allow them to further their impact when it is needed most.” 

Regarding the Community Building Grant received by the Friends of Hairston Park to create a new serenity garden, group leader Gwen Stegall stated, “We have worked long and hard to bring some positive changes to Hairston Park, and whenever there is a tangible step forward, it brings me much joy! This would not be possible without the funding and the continued support of Park Pride. 

When asked about the new mural that will be installed at Anderson Park with the support of a Legacy Grant, the Friends of the Park group leader, Keona Jones, shared the excitement of those within the nearby communities of Dixie Hills and Penelope Neighbors. “The mural represents an opportunity to memorialize the rich history of the neighborhoods, historic H.M. Turner High School, and the pioneering African American achievements birthed from the citizens who share a special connection to this area. We are proud to announce renowned Atlanta Artist Derick Jackson as our Muralist. Thank you, Park Pride, for partnering with Friends of Anderson Park and Historic Hills CDC with your continued engagement and resource allocation towards this grand vision.” 

Park Pride engages around 160 Friends of the Park groups across the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, Tucker, and Brookhaven. In addition to its Grant Program, Park Pride provides a suite of resources that empower local groups to create parks tailored to their communities, including park design support, fiscal sponsorship, and educational workshops. 

Keep an eye out for the park improvements below coming to a greenspace near you! 

 

Legacy Grants 

Park Pride Legacy Grants are available only to groups within the City of Atlanta.  

  • The Friends of A.D. Williams Park* will remove old and outdated playground equipment and replace it with a play environment that will truly transform the park. 
  • The Friends of Anderson Park* will beautify the entrance to the swimming pool with a mural by a local artist depicting community heroes.
  • The Friends of Atlanta Waterworks Park will complete the first phase of installation of an innovative playscape representative of the journey of water treatment. 
  • The Friends of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve* will create a more welcoming greenspace with an ADA-accessible pedestrian entrancemore places for people to gather, and increase safety with lighting. 
  • The Friends of Center Hill Park* will install new walking and biking trails, as well as reclaim park land through the removal of invasive plant species. 
  • The Friends of Dean Rusk Park* will undergo a park renovation, with improvements that include a formal overlook highlighting the park’s stormwater retention lake, a gazebo, ADA enhancements, new entrance, trails, benches, and several other new amenities. 
  • The Friends of Freedom Barkway will enhance the enjoyment of people and pups alike through the addition of lighting and other amenities, such as a dog washing stationwater fountains, and shade structures. 
  • The Friends of Little Nancy Creek Park will address flooding issues through a variety of green infrastructure interventions, such as rain gardens, to alleviate the negative impacts of erosion. 
  • The Friends of Mozley Park* will transform an unused acre of space into a vibrant dog park that will invite and welcome new users into the greenspace.   
  • The Friends of Pittman Park* are very excited about the installation of outdoor basketball courts. 
  • The Friends of Sidney Marcus Park will undergo a comprehensive makeover, adding trails, addressing flooding and erosion issues, and more.  
  • The Friends of Underwood Hills Park are excited about the installation of a new playground for neighborhood kids to enjoy. 
  • The Friends of West Manor Park* look forward to strolling and exercising along a new walking trail around the perimeter of the park’s baseball diamond. 
  • The Friends of Woodruff Park will create a more welcoming greenspace in the heart of Downtown by removing barrier walls and enhancing ease of accessibility. A new dog park will also be added to the delight of Downtown residents!  

 

Community Building Grants 

Park Pride Community Building Grantsavailable to groups in the City of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County, were awarded to the following: 

  • The Friends of Briarlake Forest Park (DeKalb County) will convert a historic homestead into a pavilion and nature center where park visitors can gather and connect with each other. 
  • The Friends of Hairston Park (DeKalb Countyare looking forward to the peace and respite found within a new serenity garden, complete with walking paths and bench swings. 
  • The Friends of Melvin Drive Park* (City of Atlanta) will enhance the park’s physical activity offerings by creating walking trails just steps away from the recently installed fitness equipment.  
  • The Friends of Little Creek Horse Farm (DeKalb County) will enhance the park with an ADA-accessible overlook, visitor’s center, and signage. 
  • The Friends of South Atlanta Park* (City of Atlanta) will benefit from new entrances and trail connections at Bisbee and Martin Streets. 

 

To learn more about Park Pride grants, visit https://parkpride.org/we-can-help/grant-programs/. 

 

*Denotes neighborhood parks within Community Development Impact Area, defined as having at least 51% of the population at or below 80% of the Atlanta-area median income.  

 


 

About Park Pride:  

A trusted Atlanta-based nonprofit for over 30 years, Park Pride engages communities to activate the power of parks! Working with around 160 local Friends of the Park groups, Park Pride provides leadership, services, and funding to help communities realize their dreams for neighborhood parks that support healthy people, strong neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, a robust economy and a healthy environment. Park Pride is active in greenspace advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the public about the benefits of parks, and annually hosts the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Learn more about Park Pride at parkpride.org. 

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