Park Pride’s team is growing! We’re excited to welcome Lauren King as the new Community Services Associate for DeKalb County. In this newly created role, Lauren will support the Dekalb County Friends of the Park groups as they work to improve their parks, build their capacity to make positive change and strengthen community through the stewardship of public greenspaces.
Lauren grew up in the suburbs of Northwest Georgia near Lake Allatoona with an early love and connection to the outdoors. She graduated from Georgia State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and, since then, has worked for local and national nonprofits that have cultivated a strong respect and protectiveness for our natural environments. Her recent roles as a Wilderness Ranger in North Georgia, SE Tennessee, and a Wilderness Specialist in SW Virginia have centered around data collection, trail maintenance and visitor engagement. She worked with local Forest Service staff and specialists to research, compile, and write Wilderness Character Monitoring Baseline Reports for 5 Wildernesses in the Eastern Divide Ranger District.
The natural world has always been a source of inspiration for Lauren, and she’s dedicated to preserving and enhancing access to nature for future generations to enjoy.
Continue reading to get to know Lauren in her own words!
What does the “power of parks” mean to you?
It represents the idea that parks have a special and meaningful role in my life. Whether it’s the serenity and relaxation they offer, the opportunities for physical activity, the chance to connect with nature or the social and community aspects they provide, “the power of parks” is the influence and importance these spaces have on my well-being, happiness, and overall quality of life.
Why are parks an important part of the community?
Parks are essential components of a thriving community, enhancing the physical, social, and environmental aspects of people’s lives. They contribute to the overall well-being and identity of a community, making them an important part of any neighborhood.
What are you most excited about regarding your new role?
Meeting, working with and learning from more people who love parks and greenspaces.
How do you hope to empower communities to engage and make a difference in their neighborhood parks?
My hope is that by educating myself and the community members I work with about how to operate within the systems in place, I can help myself and others become successful stewards and advocates for their neighborhood’s parks and greenspaces.
What’s your favorite park memory?
My favorite park memory is the first time I saw the THOUSANDS of yellow flowers that bloom every September at Arabia Mountain. Every year I return with friends and family to walk through the natural pop-up garden and take photos.
Favorite Atlanta park (and why)?
Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Such a unique natural landmark. Always discovering something new there.
Help us welcome Lauren to the team! Email her at email@example.com.