Pickleball courts in Summerhill. Badly needed shade structures in Vine City. A new playground in Buckhead. And a public performance space beside sculptures in Old Fourth Ward.
That’s all in the 2023 pipeline as part of the largest capital improvement push in the 34-year history of Park Pride, officials announced today.
A record $2.5 million is being channeled to 25 communities across Atlanta (and several in unincorporated DeKalb County and Brookhaven) for park improvements soon, according to Park Pride.
The Atlanta-based nonprofit works to maintain and enhance more than 200 greenspaces around the city, alongside 100 Friends of the Park groups
Park Pride says 67 percent of the 2023 grant funding with be spent in low-income neighborhoods. “Everyone deserves to live within walking distance of a great greenspace,” said Michael Halicki, Park Pride’s executive director, in today’s announcement.
Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program was established in 2004 and has awarded nearly $15 million to date. Completed projects include new playgrounds, trails, exercise equipment and multipurpose courts, art installations, bridges and piers, ADA-accessibility upgrades, and green infrastructure such as rain gardens and bioswales, among other upgrades.
Founded with support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation, the program counts Georgia Power, the City of Atlanta, and private donors as key revenue sources. Last year, the Atlanta City Council allocated $884,000 to Park Pride for greenspace improvements in low-income communities—an amount matched by philanthropists, officials said.
Below are brief descriptions of the widespread January 2023 grant recipients, as provided by Park Pride officials today: :
- A pavilion, pathways, educational signage, and seating are in the works for The Hill at Waterworks Park, a new 2-acre space opened last year in Berkeley Park.
- The Loomis Street entrance at Grant Park will be refreshed with a plaza and seating for picnics, gatherings, and parties.
- A “History Trail” will be created at Maddox Park, with fitness equipment lining a path and signage that highlights local leaders.
- Bessie Branham Park in Kirkwood will benefit from improvements to the entrance at Kirkwood Road with new pathways and landscaping; the playground will also be resurfaced.
- A plaza and tiered seating area will be added to 54 Columns Art & Sculpture Park in Old Fourth Ward, creating space for the community to gather and view live performances.
- Shade structures will be installed at Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Vine City over the fitness equipment and at the playground.
- New playground equipment, a multipurpose court, and a shade structure over the basketball court will increase the recreational offerings at A.D. Williams Park.
- Benches and picnic tables will enhance the playground area at Ardmore Park.
- Native plants and soil health improvements will restore habitat near the Confluence Trail Bridge. (See a photo essay of that area here.)
- Dean Rusk Park will benefit from a variety of park amenities, including benches, trash cans, picnic tables, fitness equipment, and a grill.
- A new entrance will be created at English Park, in addition to a walking trail around the existing multipurpose field.
- Several new amenities will enhance visitors’ enjoyment of Flat Shoals Park, including a shade structure over the picnic tables near the playground and over the bleachers at the tennis court.
- A multi-user “friendship swing” will be installed at Iverson Park, and erosion will be addressed by extending an existing retention wall to help keep soil in place.
- Knight Park will increase its offerings with a reading nook.
- Mozley Park will benefit from additional seating throughout the park, including bleachers at the open field and benches near the playground and new dog park.
- Park visitors will soon be able to enjoy fitness equipment at N.H. Scott Park.
- Oakland Cemetery’s new visitor center will receive fresh landscaping.
- Pickleball courts, a volleyball court, and improvements to an Olympic monument are headed toward Phoenix Park II.
- A new mural on the exterior of the Pittman Park recreation center will highlight local leaders.
- Pathways and a pavilion will be installed at Riverwalk Park, one of the City of Atlanta’s newest parks and the first to connect residents to the Chattahoochee River.
- A gazebo at Shoal Creek I will offer protection and shade to the park’s portable restroom.
- Tanyard Creek Park will benefit from a new playground, benches, and picnic tables.
- A “kid zone” with nature play elements, signage for learning about the environment and nature, and garden with fruit trees are all in store for the Atlanta Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill Park in Lithonia.
- A beautiful mural will be painted on the surface of the basketball court at West End Park.
- Visitors to Whetstone Greenspace will enjoy beautiful views of the wetlands from a new trail.
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