Atlanta – February 24, 2020 – In its 30th year, Park Pride awarded a record $1,385,000 in capital funding for park improvements to 30 Friends of the Park groups across the City of Atlanta, unincorporated DeKalb County, City of Brookhaven, and City of Tucker. To date, Park Pride has awarded over $7 million to projects that include new playgrounds, bridges and piers, ADA-accessibility improvements, informational kiosks and signage, trails, exercise equipment, community gardens, green infrastructure (rain gardens and bioswales) to address rainwater challenges, and more.
Established in 2004, Park Pride’s matching grant programs award varying amounts of 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’s Associate Director, Allison Barnett, expressed appreciation for the grant programs’ funders, stating, “We’re so thankful for the ongoing support of our funders who enable Park Pride to help local communities bring their park visions to life. These gifts have leveraged over $30 million in public and private investment in local parks since the program began. We are so appreciative of their partnership for the greener good!”
Julie Straw, a resident of the Kirkwood neighborhood and leader of the Friends of Coan Park, was thrilled to hear the news that the Friends group had received a Community Building Grant to help fund a “Musical Forest” and an ADA-accessible train playscape, which will activate an unused area of the park. “We wanted to create a space that more neighbors could use and be excited about, so we decided to engage local artists to create an innovative play space for neighbors of any ability. We’re excited that the ADA-accessible train play structure, original musical instruments, and paintings will help expand access to outdoor play!”
“The park improvements funded by our grants are about much more than the physical amenities,” said Kayla Altland, Friends of the Park Program Manager. “These projects help catalyze cooperation among neighbors, build awareness of opportunities for citizen engagement in local parks, and create long–term benefits for health and wellness in communities.” In addition to its grant programs, 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.
Park Pride engages nearly 150 Friends of the Park groups across the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, Tucker, and Brookhaven to steward and advocate on behalf of their local parks, help cultivate a sense of community, and work on park improvement projects.
Keep an eye out for the park improvements below coming to a greenspace near you!
Park Pride Legacy Grants (available only to groups within The City of Atlanta) have been awarded to the following:
- The Friends of Anderson Park will install a new playground, fitness equipment, and park amenities like grills and benches to make a more welcoming space for diverse park users.
- The Candler Park Conservancy received a challenge grant to renovate its recreation field with drainage improvements and erosion control surrounded by a track for fitness and use by vehicles during events.
- The Friends of Lang-Carson Park will renovate the Manigault Playlot to more fully integrate it into the park with a new ADA-accessible path, embankment slide, and sensory garden.
- The Friends of Lillian Cooper Shepherd Park will install lighting and a shade structure over the basketball court to facilitate increased use for play and community gatherings.
- The Friends of Mattie Freeland Park will partner with Park Pride and The Conservation Fund to build a new park in the English Avenue neighborhood.
- The Friends of Pittman Park will install new swing sets, play equipment, and park amenities to serve the recreation center’s after school programming and those who attend sporting events at the park.
- The Friends of South Atlanta Park will install new playground equipment and transform a tennis court into an active lawn that can be used for soccer, picnics, and play by people of all ages.
- The South Fork Conservancy will construct a bridge providing pedestrian access across the north fork of Peachtree Creek, connecting over 25 acres of greenspace and PATH400, The Atlanta BeltLine, and the Peachtree Creek Greenway.
Community Building Grants
Park Pride Community Building Grants (available to groups in the City of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County) were awarded to the following:
- The Friends of Coan Park (City of Atlanta) will install an ADA-accessible “Musical Forest” with interactive instruments built by a local artist and a train playscape to activate an unused area of the park.
- The Friends of DeKalb Memorial Park (DeKalb County) will install a new deck around the Parkview Community Center, the first step in implementing their Vision Plan that was completed with Park Pride in 2019.
- Historic Oakland Cemetery (City of Atlanta) will install a new entrance on the east side of the park to open access to the Cabbagetown neighborhood and to the Eastside Trail Extension of the Atlanta BeltLine.
- The Friends of Pendergrast Park (DeKalb County) will renovate the park, including new infrastructure, additional trails, and a new playground.
- The Friends of South Bend Park (City of Atlanta) will install a new gate, new fencing, and enhance the dog park, which is heavily used by residents of the Lakewood area.
- The Friends of Sunken Garden Park (City of Atlanta) will install drainage improvements and a retaining seat wall to remediate standing water and allow for increased usage by the neighborhood.
Small Change Grants
Park Pride Small Change Grants (available to groups in the City of Atlanta, unincorporated DeKalb County, City of Brookhaven, and City of Tucker) were awarded to:
- Atlanta Waterworks Greenspace (City of Atlanta),
- Chosewood Park (City of Atlanta)
- Grove Park (City of Atlanta)
- Henderson Park (City of Tucker)
- Kelley Cofer Park (City of Tucker)
- LaVista Park (City of Brookhaven)
- Little Nancy Creek Park (City of Atlanta)
- Lindsay Street Park (City of Atlanta)
- Loridans Park (City of Atlanta)
- McKinley Peters Park (City of Tucker)
- Murphey Candler Park (City of Brookhaven)
- Pittman Park (City of Atlanta)
- Rehoboth Park (DeKalb County)
- Spink Collins Park (City of Atlanta)
- Sugar Creek Golf & Tennis Center (DeKalb County)
- Vermont Park (City of Atlanta)
About Park Pride:
A trusted Atlanta-based nonprofit for over 30 years, Park Pride engages communities to activate the power of parks! Working with over 150 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.