Park Entrances and Gateways – Design Consultation & Workshop

“[Boundaries] mark the end of one kind of activity, one kind of place, and the beginning of another. In many cases, the activities themselves are made more sharp, more vivid, more alive, if the boundary that exists in people’s minds is also present physically in the world…If the point where the path crosses the boundary is invisible, then to all intents and purposes the boundary is not there. It will be there, it will be felt, only if the crossing is marked by a gateway. That is why all forms of gateway play such an important role in the environment.”  
– Christoper Alexander, A Pattern Language 

Park entrances and gateways are more than just safe and accessible pathways into parks. When well-designed, they signal a passage from one state of mind to another, they serve as distinctive landmarks that represent neighborhood identity, and they can provide useful information, wayfinding, and a moment of welcome. Our perception and use of parks is greatly affected by how we arrive and move into them.  

There is not just one kind of park entrance or gateway. They can be small plazas, avenues of trees, a pair of columns, a sculptural element, or any other physical feature that defines a transition from one place into another. Gateways can also exist within parks, signaling a transition between types of activities—the start of a nature trail, for example.  

Park Pride’s 2024 park design consultation & workshop will bring needed attention to our park entrances and gateways to create memorable, safe, accessible, and welcoming thresholds in our neighborhood parks.  

If your park entrance could use some focused attention and design advice, please read on and consider applying for this opportunity. 

How it works:  

Park Pride is seeking applications from registered Friends of Park groups in City of Atlanta, unincorporated DeKalb County, and City of Brookhaven who would like professional guidance on a new park entrance or gateway feature. A select number of groups will be paired with a local volunteer landscape architect to create a conceptual plan for the project. The number of groups selected will be determined by how many volunteer landscape architects sign up. 

Selected groups will have six weeks with your volunteer landscape architect to: 

  • Meet onsite at your park 
  • Develop conceptual graphics, recommendations, and strategies to improve your park entrance 
  • Build a presentation and share your ideas at the Park Design Workshop the evening of August 28 

If you’re not sure whether your park is a good fit for this opportunity or want more information, register for the virtual Park Design Workshop information session, scheduled for Wednesday, June 5 at 4PM. Click here to register.

Step One: Identify a project

Think about the entrance into your neighborhood park. Does it provide a welcoming and universally accessible way into the park? Could it better reflect the identity of the community? How do you feel as you approach your park and pass through the entry? Is this a place you would feel comfortable waiting for a friend?

Step Two: Fill out the application by Sunday, June 23 at 11:59PM to be considered

Step Three: Meet with your volunteer designer

Once projects have been selected, all applicants will be notified. Successful applicants should plan to meet your volunteer designer in the park to discuss your ideas.

Step Four: Develop recommendations

Communicate with your volunteer designer to share information and ideas to develop recommendations for a project. Develop a presentation board to print and share at the Park Design Workshop.

Step Five: Present your ideas IN PERSON at the Park Design Workshop

Successful applicants must attend the in-person Park Design Workshop on Wednesday, August 28, 6-7:30pm. The workshop is free and open to all Friends groups to attend. Even if you’re not selected for a professional consultation, you may wish to put this on your calendar to learn more about park entrances and gateways.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Andrew White at andrew@parkpride.org or 678-551-9122. 

IMPORTANT! Projects may be eligible for Park Pride grant funding. However, attendance at a separate Grant Information Session is mandatory to be eligible. Grant info sessions will be held in late May and early June, before this application deadline. Click here to learn more.