Every other year, up to two groups in the City of Atlanta will be selected to receive, at no charge, the services of Park Pride’s visioning department, led by a professional landscape architect, for a six to eight-month community engagement and design process to create a conceptual park vision plan.
Park Pride is not accepting applications for park visioning at this time. Applications will open in Winter 2025 for the City of Atlanta.
Please review all of the below information fully and carefully before beginning your application.
What is park visioning?
Park Pride assists communities within the City of Atlanta & Unincorporated DeKalb County to develop vision plans for their neighborhood parks. Professional park designers will facilitate a public participation process with neighborhood groups that builds consensus around a conceptual, but realistic vision plan that can be built over several years. At the end, the community will have a professionally produced long-term plan and report that will provide a fundraising and advocacy tool for the community.
How does Park Visioning Work?
Our process hinges on a robust, inclusive public engagement strategy, which is tailored to each park and each community. A steering committee of committed residents and stakeholders will serve as representatives of the community and will work closely with the visioning team throughout the process. At monthly steering committee meetings, the group will help to develop and implement a public engagement strategy as well as participate in design discussions and decisions. Committee members should represent a broad and diverse spectrum of community interests and act as liaisons to and representatives of the larger community.
Applicants for park visioning and members of the steering committee must not be tied to pre-determined outcomes and must be open to results based on feedback from the community. Park Pride’s landscape architects and the steering committee analyze community input and balance it with site conditions, accepted industry best practices, and municipal standards to develop a conceptual vision plan. The final plan and report will include a summary of the process; including public engagement strategies, documentation of how decisions were made, a rendered vision plan, and a prioritized project list and budget.
Limitations of a vision plan
It is important to note that a vision plan is not a mandate, does not carry weight of law (unless officially adopted by Atlanta City Council), and does not guarantee funding from either the City of Atlanta or Park Pride for the projects detailed therein. However, many groups who complete a vision plan successfully use the document for fundraising, grant applications, and advocacy.
Park Pride relies on the applicant to assemble a diverse and committed steering committee to represent the community. It is important that the steering committee represent differing interests and perspectives. No one can be purposely excluded from serving on the steering committee, nor should any one group be over-represented. Steering committee membership should reflect the demographics of the neighborhood (race, gender, and socio-economic status) and should not exceed 15 members. Steering committee members will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding before visioning starts.
At a minimum, Park Pride strongly recommends that all steering committees include at least one long-term resident (15 years or longer), one newer resident, one parent with young children, one senior citizen, and one park-adjacent resident. One person may fulfill multiple of these required roles (for example, a senior citizen who also lives directly adjacent to the park).
Depending on your park, the applicant should also consider and include different park user groups or interested parties – especially anyone in your community who feels strongly about the park. Past steering committees have included: recreation enthusiasts, dog owners, elected officials, clergy, teenagers, allied non-profit staff, City of Atlanta staff, lawyers, school teachers & principals, sports league representatives, historians, preservationists, professional engineers & architects, builders, college students, artists, professional grant writers, differently-abled people, police officers, cyclists, NPU officers, Scouts, neighborhood association members, naturalists, and business owners. Think carefully and compose the proposed steering committee with the intention to achieve the broadest representation possible.
The applicant’s proposed steering committee will be reviewed during the interview, and Park Pride may ask the applicant to expand outreach and/or reorganize the steering committee if it does not achieve the goals of broad representation as stated above.
What are the eligibility requirements?
- The park or potential park must be in the City of Atlanta.
- The applicant must be a registered Friends of Park group with Park Pride.
- The steering committee must be ready to commit to six to eight months of planning work.
- The park or potential park must be publicly accessible in perpetuity.
- The applicant and steering committee must be open to an inclusive, consensus-driven public engagement process during which all ideas will be considered.
In order to be selected for visioning, all groups must meet the eligibility requirements listed above. In addition, proposals will be evaluated on the following:
- Does the project address an identified need?
- Are there ongoing or pending initiatives that might influence the timing of a Park Visioning?
- What are the challenges and opportunities presented by the project?
- What neighborhood dynamics are at play that may help or hinder the visioning process?
Applications are first reviewed by Park Pride staff, including the Visioning Team, Executive Director, Associate Director and Director of Community Services.
Once all applications have been reviewed, Park Pride will schedule interviews with each applicant. Interviews will consist of a site visit to the park, and will include discussions of:
- Park challenges and opportunities
- Previous neighborhood and park planning efforts
- Community initiatives in the park or proposed park
- Proposed steering committee members
- Neighborhood dynamics
- Overview of visioning process
Based on the applications and interview, Park Pride will recommend up to two parks to receive visioning services. Park Pride will request additional input from the City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation before finalizing selections.
Once selections have been finalized, all applicants are notified of the decision and the first steering committee meeting is scheduled.
Once you have reviewed all of the information above, you may proceed to the Park Visioning Application!
Park Pride is not accepting applications for park visioning at this time. Applications will open in Summer 2024 for DeKalb County and Winter 2025 for the City of Atlanta.