Some of Atlanta’s most iconic green spaces—alongside lesser-known parks—are set to benefit from matching grants that will repair historic structures, enhance walking trails, construct full pavilions, and provide for better playscapes for kiddos across the city and DeKalb County.
Park Pride officials announced today that 21 community groups associated with Atlanta and DeKalb parks will receive a cut of $864,000 to fund capital improvements. From well-known Chastain and Grant parks to smaller Westside green space Sara J. González Park (the first in Georgia to honor a Hispanic citizen), patrons should notice a difference.
Each dollar of Park Pride’s grant-making programs—which launched in 2004 and have dolled out $6.6 million to date—will be matched by community groups and other sources.
The nonprofit is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year of funding green space improvements and “engaging communities to activate the power of parks,” as the agency puts it.
Separate grant categories will provide awards of different sizes. Each is designed to support Friends of the Park groups in taking on larger projects as they grow.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect with this year’s biggest beneficiaries, as announced today by Park Pride.
$50,000 and up, funded by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation for groups within the City of Atlanta
At a famed Atlanta park turning 135 years old this year (making it the city’s oldest), The Grant Park Conservancy will restore several historic features. Those include Lion’s Bridge and the Erskine and Milledge Fountains.
Chastain Park wrapped an impressive $2.8-million playground redevelopment in 2016. Now, the Chastain Park Conservancy will expand the playground to include a playhouse and fire station for toddlers, plus a “sensory tunnel” and musical equipment, according to Park Pride.
Friends of Armand Park, near Lindbergh Drive, will construct a pavilion overlooking the playground for shade. Additionally, a “raingarden will improve water quality before it reaches the South Fork Peachtree Creek and a low impact, slate trail pathway will provide access to existing trails,” per Park Pride.
On the western fringes of the city, Friends of Collier Heights Park will revitalize an aged play area. Also expect new fitness equipment and metal benches.
The Friends of Kennedy Park, off Joseph E. Boone Boulevard in Vine City, are going big, revitalizing and reconstructing the entire park. “This includes a synthetic playing field for football, soccer, and other sports, and a resurfacing of the basketball court,” reports Park Pride officials, in a press release. Also expect a paved walking path and new fitness equipment.
In a historic neighborhood just north of Westview, the Friends of Mozley Park will add fitness and playground equipment.
Last but not least, the Friends of Sara J. González Park will add what’s called a “learning nook.” Its purpose will be to offer educational space for all community members, from kids to seniors. Meanwhile, a small playing field will host youth clinics and play.
A full list of grant recipients in Atlanta and DeKalb can be found here.