Schoolyard visioning workshop at Kimberly Elementary.
Imagine you’re a kid living in a neighborhood without a park. Where do you go outside to safely meet friends and play?
This challenge is faced not only by kids, but by many Atlantans, young and old alike. According to The Trust for Public Land’s 2020 ParkScore index, nearly 28% of Atlantans do not live within walking distance of a public park or greenspace. That means approximately one-third of residents cannot access the important health benefits provided by parks and nature (including reduced stress, boosted mood, better sleep, and increased focus) close to home.
But Park Pride believes that everyone deserves
to live within walking distance of a great park.
So, we’ve joined The Trust for Public Land’s Atlanta Community Schoolyards initiative, a city-wide partnership along with Atlanta Public Schools and the Urban Land Institute, that is thinking creatively about our public land and how to make it more accessible to people’s homes.
The Atlanta Community Schoolyards Initiative
The Atlanta Community Schoolyards initiative’s goal is to increase access to public land for kids, families, and communities by opening schoolyards in “park deserts” during non-school hours.
Ten schools will participate over the course of three years. Each will receive about $100,000 of investment to update their schoolyards and turn them into vibrant and welcoming public spaces.
Park Pride’s Role
Park Pride leads engagement efforts with students, teachers, and neighbors to identify neighborhood needs and ways to improve the schoolyard. Potential improvements include new benches, shade structures, water fountains, or community gardens, for example.
To date, six Atlanta Public Schools have participated in the Atlanta Community Schoolyards initiative.
Click the links below to view the conceptual schoolyard design, created by Park Pride with input from the community. Upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. *Note: The schoolyards’ final construction plans differ slightly from these conceptual designs.
Click the links below to view the conceptual schoolyard design, created by Park Pride with input from the community. Upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. *Note: The schoolyards’ final construction plans differ slightly from these conceptual designs.
- Harper-Archer Elementary
- Sarah Smith Elementary
- Miles Elementary
- Centennial Academy (concepts under development)
News and Updates:
- October 2021, Park Pride – Community Schoolyard Coming Soon at Sarah Smith Elementary
- September 2021, Saporta Report – The Trust for Public Land’s plan to use schoolyards as public parks
- August 2021, The Trust for Public Land – Community Schoolyards projects 2021 report
- May 2021, Park Pride – Atlanta-based public-private partnership receives support to bring greenspace to school grounds
- November 2020, Urban Land Institute – Sarah Smith Elementary School Walkability Report
- November 2020, Saporta Report – The Importance of Greenspace During a Global Pandemic
- October 2020, Park Pride – Kimberly Elementary Schoolyard Update
- August 2020, CBS46 – Communities looking at schoolyards in a new way
- August 2020, AJC – 4 more schoolyards picked for public use
- February 2020, Urban Land Institute – A Walk to the ‘Park’
- July 2019, Nation Swell – To Build a Healthier City, Atlanta is Opening Its Schoolyards to Everyone
- July 2019, Park Pride – Public Schools as Public Land
- July 2019, Urban Land Institute – Kimberly Elementary Walkability Report
- July 2019, Urban Land Institute – Dobbs Elementary Walkability Report
- May, 2019, The Trust for Public Land – The Trust for Public Land and Partners Launch 10-Minute Walk Campaign Partnership Fund and Announce First Year Grantee Recipients
- May 2019, AJC – City to expand access to school playgrounds