Park Pride’s Annual Inspiration Awards honor leaders who demonstrate a profound commitment to strengthening the connection between parks and their surrounding community. At this year’s Parks & Greenspace Conference, we recognized and celebrated six individuals who nurture the bond between their community and local park:
Steve serves as the President of Parks and Recreation Coalition of Brookhaven, the umbrella organization that keeps all Brookhaven parks working together efficiently. Steve has been described as a natural ‘bridge builder’ with a relentless drive to make our parks better. He is the glue that brings all the efforts concerning parks in Brookhaven together. Thank you, Steve, and congratulations on your well-deserved recognition. We know you’ll get to be a park ranger someday!
Margo is the chair of maintenance with the Friends of Briarlake Forest Park (DeKalb County). She is methodical and persistent in her approach to park maintenance, but her impact goes way beyond that. Margo was one of the original neighbors who advocated to save the land that later became Briarlake Forest Park from development, and she was instrumental in drafting the park’s Master Plan that was ultimately approved by DeKalb County. She cares for the park as if it were her own and she motivates others to do the same. Thank you, Margo, for your attention to this beautiful piece of land. Congratulations on your Inspiration Award.
Ms. Salvary served as the Chair of the Cook Park Oversight Committee, a legislated committee established by Atlanta City Council and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She now chairs the Alliance for the Activation of Cook Park, a newly formed 501c3 that was borne out of the efforts of the Oversight Committee. She is fiercely committed to her community, to addressing past injustices, and to empowering those who historically have not had a seat at the table. She not only has bold ideas, but she has the commitment to move the ideas forward. Congratulations, Ms. Salvary. Your story is so powerful, and you really are an inspiration to us all.
Known as The Indomitable Camilla Warren, Camilla knew at 16 years old that her life’s calling was to protect and restore our environment, and this year she will celebrate her retirement from 36 years at the US Environmental Protection Agency. EPA’s Brownfields Program, on which Camilla has worked, provides grants to nonprofits and communities to cleanup abandoned properties and redevelop them into community assets. In Atlanta alone, Camilla estimates that she has supported the cleanup efforts of well over 300 properties. Her work with projects like the Atlanta BeltLine, Proctor Creek Greenway, and East Decatur Greenway exemplify her passion for creating improved public health outcomes. Thank you, Camilla, for your lifetime of service, and congratulations on your Inspiration Award and your upcoming retirement.
Winfrey Young, the leader of the Friends of Pittman Park, is the kind of person who never hesitates to jump into a situation to lend a helping hand. Since 2019 she has been working tirelessly to revitalize Pittman Park in the heart of Atlanta’s Pittsburg neighborhood. She has secured several grants for the park that have funded new playground equipment, park benches, picnic tables and grills, and most recently a new basketball and volleyball court which will be opened to the public this summer. Winfrey is credited with bringing people back to Pittman Park and making it a space of community gathering and strength for all ages and all abilities to enjoy. Congratulations, Winfrey, on your successes for Pittman Park. We know you’re not done yet, but congratulations on your Inspiration Award.