A “Parks for Monarchs” Partnership

Over the past 20 years, it’s been estimated that the monarch butterfly population has declined by 90% due to the loss of their primary food source, milkweed, from deforestation and development. Park Pride, however, in partnership with dedicated community gardeners, the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA) and Southwest Airlines, is doing our part to replant and rebuild the monarch’s natural habitat!

With the support of  NRPA’s Parks for Monarchs program, funded by Southwest Airlines, Park Pride supplied four community gardens in City of Atlanta parks with the resources needed to boost their gardens’ ability to support pollinators with the addition of multiple species of pollinator plants.



The largest planting took place at the Freedom Park Poncey-Highland Community Garden where community gardeners worked side-by-side with Park Pride and Southwest Airlines volunteers to install a brand new pollinator garden, complete with 189 locally sourced native plants.



“Our garden,” explained Wendy Marcum, co-leader of the Freedom Park Poncey-Highland Community Garden, “relies on bees, wasps and butterflies for pollination, and because of the help of Park Pride and Southwest Airlines, our pollinator garden is an even sweeter destination for these insects!



Kirkwoods Gilliam Park, Edgewood’s Walker Park and East Atlanta’s Brownwood Park also received plants through the Parks for Monarchs grant, thereby helping to create pockets of monarch-friendly gardens across the City.

For more information about Park Pride’s Community Garden Program, visit bit.ly/ppgardens.

Teri Nye Joins Park Pride as Park Visioning Coordinator



Teri Nye is the newest member of Park Pride’s Visioning team, holding a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia, a bachelor of science in biology with a concentration in botany, and a Georgia teaching certificate in secondary biology. Originally from Virginia, she began her career in landscape architecture in Sydney, Australia. Upon returning to the United States she made Atlanta her home. She designed parks and urban green spaces in the southeast, including in Houston, Memphis, Charlotte and in Atlanta, for three years before taking a position as a botanist at Fernbank Science Center. There, she honed her expertise in Georgia native plants and plant communities while working throughout DeKalb County in educational outreach.

“Having strong relationships—whether within our families or our friends or our communities—is one of our basic human needs. Parks provide a place for that to happen.” Teri Nye, Park Visioning Coordinator

She spent over ten years helping the public understand and enjoy many of DeKalb County’s parks including Davidson-Arabia Mountain and Stone Mountain, and Atlanta’s urban parks. Teri is also an experienced graphic designer, painter, and photographer; she is a member of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance and the Georgia Botanical Society and is a volunteer with Trees Atlanta.

Teri’s dynamic background is greatly going to increase the capacity of the Park Visioning team, and we’re thrilled to add her to the ranks!

Learn more about Teri through our interview below.

Why are parks important?

Parks nurture deeper connections to our local landscapes and to enable us to find shared connections based on the landscapes we identify as home. This is especially important in cities where much of what we experience outdoors is planned and managed. I believe everyone benefits from knowing their local ecosystem—which includes people!

Park Pride’s mission is “to engage communities to activate the power of parks.” In what ways are parks “powerful?”

The power of parks is that they catalyze clusters of people living near one another to become communities of neighbors. Parks are a community’s collective back yard, not just fulfilling individual needs, but also allowing neighbors to realize shared interests and commonalities. Having strong relationships—whether within our families or our friends or our communities—is one of our basic human needs. Parks provide a place for that to happen.

Why is it important for communities to have a voice in their parks?

It’s essential that local residents—the very people that will use the parks—play a lead role in the management and planning of their parks. Parks must serve the needs of the community or they simply don’t function. The only way to make this happen is via the advice of people who will be, and have been, living and playing there.

What are you looking forward to the most about your position as Visioning Coordinator?

There are so many exciting things going on throughout Atlanta right now! I’m super excited to be part of creating more livable, safe communities through parks.

What’s your favorite local park?

That’s a tough one. I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where the surrounding countryside, the Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway were my local parks. I like to roam! Here in Atlanta my favorite ‘park’ is under construction at the moment—that’s the extension of the Eastside Trail of the Beltline Arboretum. The old train tracks have been an impromptu park for Reynoldstown ever since I’ve lived there. It’s also a great place to spot my favorite butterfly, the Buckeye!

What’s your favorite park activity?

Bird watching and exploring. I love just walking around looking at birds, insects and plants, probably with either my binoculars or my camera, or both. It’s inspiring and relaxing at the same time, plus I get some exercise. We also have some great neighborhood parties in Reynoldstown’s Lang-Carson Park.

A Journey Towards More Greenspace


The first Steering Committee meeting for the greenway along Memorial Drive.

On May 18th, neighbors, business owners, and nonprofit representatives from along Memorial Drive joined the first Steering Committee meeting of Park Pride’s Park Visioning Program. These dedicated stakeholders have embarked on an eight month journey of community building, negotiating, and stretching their imaginations with the ultimate goal of adopting a community-backed park masterplan.


The second Steering Committee meeting in action.

Led by the Director of Park Visioning, Andrew White, a professional landscape architect, this group will work to articulate the community’s needs for the proposed linear park that wold run the length of Memorial Drive between Oakland Cemetery and the State Capitol. White will then incorporate the community’s ideas into a conceptual masterplan.


The Steering Committee beginning a walking tour of the proposed park space.

The hopes within the Steering Committee for the park are as diverse as the committee members themselves, but a single dream binds them together: that the park, which is tentatively being called the “Memorial Drive Greenway,” will someday be a space that unites neighborhoods and is enjoyed by families and individuals of all ages and abilities.

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For information about Park Visioning, visit bit.ly/parkvisioning.

Park Pride Proclamation from City Council

On Tuesday, July 5th, Park Pride and The Conservation Fund were presented a proclamation by Atlanta City Council for our commitment to community engagement and partnership for the betterment of communities in Atlanta’s Westside.



We’re thrilled to be recognized by Council Member Ivory Lee Young and the rest of Atlanta City Council. We look forward to future collaborations with the City, The Conservation Fund and all of the other community and nonprofit partners involved in revitalizing the Westside through green infrastructure and parks!


Council Member Ivory Lee Young presents the Proclamation to Park Pride and The Conservation Fund.


Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki


Stacy Funderburke, The Conservation Fund’s Assistant Regional Counsel & Real Estate Associate


Atlanta City Council, the Community Improvement Association, The Conservation Fund, and Park Pride


From left: Michael Halicki, Park Pride’s Executive Director; Council Member Ivory Lee Young; Tony Torrence, Community Improvement Association; Stacy Funderburke, The Conservation Fund; Shannon Lee, The Conservation Fund

The Power of Parks on Atlanta’s Westside


The creation of new parks and the improvement of existing parks are major parts of the narrative that is emerging in the Proctor Creek Watershed on Atlanta’s Westside and central to the plans for its revitalization.


Michael Halicki addresses attendees to the Vine City Park expansion ribbon cutting ceremony, May 19, 2016

Park Pride is a major part of this narrative, as is The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Westside Future Fund and partners that include The Conservation Fund, the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Community Improvement Association, Greening Youth Foundation, ECO-Action, the Atlanta University Center and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. So too are the related efforts of The Trust for Public Land, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Emerald Corridor Foundation, and many other nonprofits and community organizations including the Friends of Maddie Freeland Greenspace, the Friends of Maddox Park and the Historic Washington Park Conservancy.

These groups all believe in the power of parks to reinvigorate a community.

POWER OF PARKS: Great parks have the power to increase our quality of life and strengthen the fabric of our cities. They are places for members of the community to gather, play, relax, and lose themselves in nature, encouraging mental and physical health. Great parks promote community engagement, safety, and revitalization. They spur economic development and benefit tourism. Great parks make our citizens happy, our communities strong, and our cities sustainable.

The City of Atlanta is also a major force for change in Proctor Creek, with support provided by the Atlanta Parks Department, Invest Atlanta, Watershed Management, the Office of Sustainability, Atlanta BeltLine Inc., members of Atlanta City Council and, of course, Mayor Kasim Reed. Most importantly, individual community residents are engaging in public forums, visioning planning efforts, and Friends of the Park groups to ensure that the community’s voice factors into revitalization efforts.

For its part, Park Pride has played a significant role in ensuring that both parks and the community’s wishes are represented in the planning efforts. In 2005, Vine City residents participated in our Park Visioning Program to develop a conceptual plan for Vine City Park, which opened in 2007.

In 2010, Park Pride and partners worked with the community to create the Proctor Creek North Avenue Green Infrastructure Vision (PNA Vision) to address stormwater issues and lack of greenspace in the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods.

In 2015, Park Pride supported The Conservation Fund’s efforts to create Lindsay Street Park: the first park in English Avenue and of the PNA Vision. The community-driven process behind Lindsay Street Park was recently recognized with EPA’s Rain Catcher Award.

Ribbon Cutting_3

Ribbon cutting at Lindsay Street Park, 2015

This year, we returned to Vine City Park, completing an expansion that includes a larger playground, an exercise station and a rain garden. The Greening Youth Foundation played a workforce development role that included local youth in the construction of these parks.

Now, efforts are underway to create a vision for the latest park that is a part of PNA Vision: Boone Park West. While these conversations are emerging, we remain steadfast to the greenspace vision for Atlanta’s Westside, optimistic that the community will continue to be at the center of the discussion, and hopeful to fully harness the power of parks for the betterment of these neighborhoods and all of Atlanta.

Boone Park West Concept_web

Final Vision for Boone Park West will be completed after a comprehensive community engagement process, led by Park Pride with support from The Conservation Fund.

For more information regarding the park referred to as Boone Park West, read the recent news coverage:

English Avenue’s Boone Park West won’t be just another pretty greenspace – Creative Loafing

Park Officials Say New Greenspace will be Catalyst for Westside Changes – Curbed Atlanta

Blighted urban lots to become new Atlanta park – AJC

Ribbon Cutting at Adams Park’s “Splash Island”


Welcome to “Splash Island!”

On Tuesday June 21, 2016, City of Atlanta, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Park Pride cut the ribbon on the brand new splash pad at Adams Park (Southwest Atlanta). “Splash Island” is situated conveniently next to the Adams Park pool, and includes water blasters, spray tunnels, and a bucket that periodically pours water over the area.

The children of Camp Best Friends filled the audience and were the first to play in the splash pad after the ribbon cutting.

Highlights of the ribbon cutting are quoted below.


“Atlanta is having a busy year with our parks. It seems like every other week we are cutting the ribbon on a new greenspace or a major enhancement like this new splash pad.”

“… we have an obligation to make sure that you all have what we had when we were growing up. And not only to make sure that you have what we had, but to make sure that what you all have is actually better than what we had. So today I am pleased to say that Adams Park right now is better than the Adams Park when I was growing up, and that’s what being Mayor of the City of Atlanta is all about. I love you guys, you all are 100% of the future. Everything we do in the City of Atlanta is really all about making sure that you have a fair shot and a fair shake in life.”

-Mayor Kasim Reed



“This park is so very near and dear to me. I learned to swim right here in Adams Park. My dad use to coach baseball here. Whenever I come into this park I think of my dad… I asked my mom to bring [my kids] here today because I want them to have the same memories that I have of Adams Park.”

“And so I am so please that we have partners like Park Pride, and Carnival, and people like Amy Phuong and her staff who really pour their all into making sure that every corner of this city is taken care of.”

“What we expect is that when you grow up, and you get a little older like me, that you’ll stand here and you’ll do this for someone else.”

-Council Member Keisha Lance Bottoms



“I can’t wait to see the enjoyment you all are going to get out of this [splash pad].

“We’re happy to be here to give fun back to the community.”

-Mike Pack, Carnival Cruise Director



“I wanted to just mention when I got here and had a moment to speak with Domonique, he was talking about his experiences with parks and recreation making him who he is today, and then we heard just a moment ago from Mayor Kasim Reed the role of parks in his upbringing and his early days. That’s what we at Park Pride call the ‘power of parks’… it’s because of places like this that all of you can be an NBA super star or the next Mayor of Atlanta.

The other reason that we’re here today is to celebrate the power of partnerships, and partnerships are what Park Pride is all about. We bring the community, the City, and funders together, and in doing so we maximize the potential of what’s possible for City of Atlanta parks. The Adams Park pool and splash pad are perfect examples of how this plays out… By leveraging the power of partnerships we took something that could have been good, and we made it great.

-Michael Halicki, Executive Director of Park Pride

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Meet Natasha Burr: Park Pride’s New Park Visioning Intern!


Natasha Burr will soon graduate with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and certificate in Environmental Ethics from The University of Georgia. She is a LEED Green Associate and drafts maps for the Cultural Landscape Lab. She is a radio host on WUOG, the college radio station, and spends her free time throwing pottery on a wheel, hiking, and visiting museums.

“What’s so great about Park Pride, and what I’m looking forward to the most, is having the opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than myself that impacts the human experience and generally improves people’s lifestyle and well-being.” Natasha Burr, Park Visioning Intern

As the Park Visioning Intern, Natasha will assist communities in re-imagining their parks, overcome design challenges, and enhance the capacity of Park Pride’s Visioning team!

Learn more about Natasha through our interview below.

Why are parks important?

Great parks improve how people live, relax, and experience a place. They become a central location for some community members to meet and interact, and a place of solace from the rest of the world to others. Great parks are aesthetically pleasing spaces that provide people with the ability to immerse themselves in the natural world while simultaneously staying in the city.

Park Pride’s mission is “to engage communities to activate the power of parks.” In what ways are parks “powerful?”

Parks are “powerful” because they provide people with a place to get in touch with nature when they ordinarily wouldn’t have the ability to do so. This interaction gives people a sense of harmony with both nature and among other humans because they connect with a common appreciation for parks.

Parks are also fundamental to a child’s development as how they play in a park is bound only by the constraints of their imagination – and general park rules, of course 🙂

Why is it important for communities to have a voice in their parks?

Since parks are for the people, the people deserve to have their say in what happens to their parks. Park spaces are dynamic and attract different members of the community depending on what they enjoy doing at the park – it’s important that all of their voices are heard.

What are you looking forward to the most about your position as Park Visioning Intern?

What’s so great about Park Pride, and what I’m looking forward to the most, is having the opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than myself that impacts the human experience and generally improves people’s lifestyle and well-being.

I also can’t wait to get more involved with community engagement. It’s refreshing to listen to other people’s perspectives of what makes a park successful and what they most enjoy about public greenspaces.

What’s your favorite local park?

My favorite local park is Historic Old Fourth Ward Park. Not only for its innovation in sustainable storm water infrastructure, but also because of the elegant juxtaposition of a rich natural environment in the middle of an urban space. I love walking to it from the Atlanta BeltLine and some of my fondest memories include stopping over at the park with friends before watching bands play at the Masquerade.

What’s your favorite park activity?

I love playing disc golf in parks. It’s a great way to explore the woodlands and find a nice place to watch the natural scenery. On a whim, I once drove 260 miles to a destination disc golf course in the center of the Smoky Mountains!

Park Pride and The Conservation Fund Announce Commitment to Building Community & Parks

CGI for blog

Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki, takes the stage at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces Commitment to Action.

On June 13, 2016, Park Pride, The Conservation Fund and partners announced a “Commitment to Action” to encourage economic growth and opportunity for those living within Atlanta’s Proctor Creek Watershed at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting. The neighborhoods within the Proctor Creek Watershed, including Vine City and English Avenue, have long suffered from the negative effects of combined sewer overflows, economic disinvestment, social and educational challenges, and lack of greenspace.

The commitment launched at CGI America to “Build Community with Green Infrastructure & Parks” focuses on the conversion of several blighted urban lots within the Proctor Creek Watershed into a vibrant park to be known as Boone Park West. Further, the commitment proposes additional benefits related to the park’s development—community engagement in park design and construction, education of community residents in green infrastructure solutions, and access to jobs and workforce training for residents—all of which will serve to catalyze economic revitalization for the surrounding community.


The current site of the future Boone Park West.

Boone Park West is part of a larger green infrastructure vision (Proctor Creek North Avenue Green Infrastructure Vision, Park Pride, 2010) that addresses the lack of greenspace and the need for stormwater solutions in the headwaters of the Proctor Creek Watershed. A key component of Boone Park West will be a green infrastructure amenity designed to capture, clean and infiltrate at least 37,000 cubic feet of stormwater from the surrounding streets, mitigating the recurrent flooding that has historically plagued these neighborhoods.

Boone Park West Concept_web

Through Park Pride’s Park Visioning Program, the final park masterplan will be based on the communities’ wants and needs and driven by community input.

Park Pride will facilitate a community-directed process to develop the park masterplan and ensure that the resulting greenspace meets the needs of the communities it serves. The Conservation Fund will support this community initiative, in addition to serving as the lead in property acquisition for all remaining lots. Other project partners include The City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation, The City of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability, the University Community Development Corporation, the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Greening Youth Foundation.

“Our Commitment to Action recognizes the role parks and greenspace can play in making Atlanta a more sustainable city. We are excited to have this opportunity to connect with the Clinton Global Initiative and thought leaders from around the country and to advance solutions to the challenges facing urban areas across the United States.” Michael Halicki, Park Pride’s Executive Director

Boone Park West will serve as an invaluable amenity to the community, providing residents in Vine City and English Avenue with a place to relax, exercise, play with their families, and meet their neighbors.

“By working in partnership with foundations, corporations, government agencies, other nonprofit organizations, and most importantly, with the local communities, we can meet the needs of area residents. This will be a Park with Purpose, providing environmental, economic, and social justice benefits that improve the health and quality of life for everyone in the Proctor Creek Watershed.”
Stacy Funderburke, The Conservation Fund’s Assistant Regional Counsel & Real Estate Associate


After Mayor Kasim Reed announced the Commitment to Action “Building Community with Green Infrastructure & Parks,” at the CGI America meeting, Halicki had the opportunity to speak directly to what this park means to the future of Atlanta’s Westside. Highlights of this press conference are quoted below.


“[Boone Park West] will increase public access to recreational opportunities, provide jobs and workforce training for residents, improve the environment, restore natural habitat, and act as a catalyst for economic revitalization and job creation.”

“Here’s some more good news… Trust for public land is working with the City of Atlanta to build a new world class 16 acre park, not far from where we are right now. I could not be more excited to announce the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has committed $2.5 million as a seed grant for the  construction of Mims Park.”

-Mayor Kasim Reed



“In order for public parks to be relevant in blighted neighborhoods like Vine City and English Avenue, they need to be about more than just parks. They need to engage the community, and involve new partners. They need to provide additional benefits through green infrastructure, jobs training, and education. They need to be transformational. Boone Park West takes what we’ve learned from Lindsay Street Park and Vine City Park and takes it to the next level. It’s what the Conservation Fund calls a ‘park with purpose.’ It engages the community as a partner in conceptualizing the park, building the park, and activating the park. It involves an expansive group of partners that continues to build and grow. We are heavily invested in this commitment and this new transformational approach.”

-Michael Halicki, Executive Director of Park Pride


“Mims Park will be the westside equivalent of the Old Fourth Ward Park, for those of you who are from Atlanta, you have seen how that park transformed the neighborhood where it was. We believe the same thing will happen on the westside, that this is a community development project, it’s a sustainability project, that it will provide jobs, and it will solve a flood plane problem that’s been long standing in these neighborhoods. So this is an important centerpiece of what we believe will be catalytic redevelopment on the westside.”

-Penny McPhee, President of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation


Vine City Park Ribbon Cutting – Recap

The Vine City Park Ribbon Cutting that took place on Thursday, May 19 was a wonderful celebration of the teamwork and collaboration that went into making this park a more  useful space for the Vine City community.

Elected government officials and representatives from nonprofit and community organizations participated in the celebration, including: Mayor Kasim Reed; Commissioner of Parks and Recreation-Amy Phuong; Counsilmember Ivory Lee Young Jr.; Chief of Police George N. Turner of Atlanta Police Department; Major Timothy Quiller of Atlanta Police Department; Executive Director of Park Pride-Michael Halicki;  Assistant Regional Counsel and Real Estate Associate, Stacy Funderburke; Linda Adams of the Vine City Civic Association; and Byron Amos of the Friends of Vine City Park.

The ribbon cutting marked the completion of the park’s Phase II developments, which includes acquisition of additional properties doubling the size of the park and allowing for a range of new amenities. Vine City Park (on Atlanta’s westside) now provides an expanded playground, new exercise equipment and green infrastructure features, such as a rain garden, a dry creek bed and a micro-forest, as well as educational signage explaining how these features will help to mitigate the flooding caused by stormwater runoff that has historically plagued the Vine City neighborhood.

Park Pride is proud of the role we played to help the Vine City community articulate their dreams for their park through our Park Visioning program that resulted in a conceptual masterplan for Vine City Park.

See below for a photo recap of the event.

IMGP6492“Greenspace of course is a very vital tool in our communities to help to ensure that we are vibrant, that we are economically stable, that we have wonderful places for adults and community members and children to visit all across the city.” -Amy Phuong, City of Atlanta’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.


IMG_8276“One goal of mine is to make sure that everyone in our city, no matter where they live, is within a half mile walk of a park or a greenspace. Today brings us closer to that reality in Vine City and the westside.” – City of Atlanta’s Mayor, Kasim Reed

“Parks bring an endless amount of good to neighborhoods. They contribute to the quality of life for all of us. They strengthen the tapestry that is the City of Atlanta. Greenspace helps cities breath. They add a natural rhythm to our daily routines. They help us slow down in our lives, stretch out, and reflect on our sense of community and the greater good.” -Mayor Kasim Reed


IMG_8286b“The community established a vision for re-purposing this ground, and we’ve done everything we could to grow and develop that vision. We’re in the shadow of new houses that have been built in the last 15-20 years, right around you, stimulated by this park. Residents who have been here for decades, as I have, are not leaving.” – City of Atlanta Coucilmember, Ivory Lee Young Jr.


IMG_8304b“What’s so inspirational about this park is that it has really, truly been a labor of love. It’s been a vision of the community, of the residents, of Byron Amos.” -Penny McPhee, President of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

“Park Pride has been an amazing partner for this park, and for so many parks in the City of Atlanta. We could not do it without Park Pride.” -Penny McPhee


IMG_8307b.jpg“This park is part of a larger vision. Park Pride developed a vision back in 2010 known as the Proctor Creek North Avenue Green Infrastructure Vision. Since that time we’ve been working with different partners to develop this vision park by park… So, echoing what Mayor Kasim Reed said, you haven’t seen anything yet. This is really just the second park in this larger greenspace vision.” -Michael Halicki, Executive Director of Park Pride


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Vine City Park Ribbon Cutting

Vine City Park, a City of Atlanta Park in west Atlanta (3)


On Thursday, May 19th, the Vine City community, Mayor Kasim Reed and several partner organizations will gather in Vine City Park at 10:30 A.M. to celebrate recent park improvements with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The ribbon cutting marks the completion of the park’s Phase II developments, which includes acquisition of additional properties doubling the size of the park and allowing for a range of new amenities. Vine City Park (on Atlanta’s westside) now provides an expanded playground, new exercise equipment and green infrastructure features, such as a rain garden, a dry creek bed and a micro-forest, as well as educational signage explaining how these features will help to mitigate the flooding caused by stormwater runoff that has historically plagued the Vine City neighborhood.

The History

The creation of Vine City Park has been a collaborative effort from the very beginning. Community leaders determined to create a park for their neighborhood gained the support of the City of Atlanta and Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to purchase several abandoned properties. In 2005, Park Pride began working with the community in order to transform these overgrown lots into a community greenspace.  Over several months, Park Pride worked closely with the Vine City community in a collaborative process to create a conceptual master plan or “Park Vision” for the new Vine City Park.

Vine City Park_2004

The Partnerships

This Vision included plans to develop the lots owned by the City into Vine City Park, and to continue to pursue the acquisition of the adjacent properties for a Phase II expansion.  With the continued support of the City and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, as well as Atlanta Renewal Community Coordinating Responsible Authority (ACoRA), the Atlanta Development Authority (now Invest Atlanta), the Waterfall Foundation and Henry Len DeFoor Trust, the community’s vision came to life as Phase I of Vine City Park.  As the community enjoyed the new park, they continued to push forward to achieve their vision of a larger park that would meet the needs of the community. With the help of The Conservation Fund, this dream finally became a reality as the additional properties were obtained.

“Phase II of the redevelopment of Vine City Park would not have been possible without the support of committed park advocates and community partners,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Amy Phuong. “Like other cities nationwide, the City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s public-private partnerships are instrumental in bringing new assets and amenities online in communities like Vine City and throughout the metro area.”

Working closely with both the Friends of Vine City Park and the Vine City Civic Association, collaboration from the following organizations have helped to bring the phase II park improvements to fruition: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, The Conservation Fund, Greening Youth Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, Park Pride, PNC Bank, and U-Haul.

“Vine City Park represents what communities, philanthropists, nonprofits and businesses can achieve working together,” says Byron Amos, the leader of the Friends of Vine City Park.

Demari M

The Green Infrastructure

The green infrastructure amenities included as part of this phase of development place Vine City Park in a vital position amid the revitalization efforts underway on Atlanta’s Westside. “This expansion of Vine City Park is a part of the plan set forth in the Proctor Creek North Avenue Green Infrastructure Vision to address the stormwater issues and the lack of parks and greenspace in the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods,” says Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki. “Park Pride is pleased that parks with green infrastructure are being held up as a win-win solution. We see Vine City Park and neighboring Lindsay Street Park as models for future park developments across the city.”

Vine City Park, A City of Atlanta Park in west Atlanta (2)

A Park with Purpose

The community-driven process that created both of these new park spaces focused on environmental, economic, and social justice outcomes that support local residents. For example, Vine City Park’s new rain garden, creek bed, and micro-forest were planted with over 620 deep rooted native plants generously provided by The Home Depot, and will help capture rainwater runoff and prevent it from reaching and overwhelming the neighborhood’s sewer system. These features were built in part by four neighborhood residents who received training and employment through Greening Youth Foundation’s Youth Conservation Corps. These layered benefits were supported in part by U-Haul and earned Vine City Park the “Parks with Purpose” designation by The Conservation Fund.

“A park is a place that brings people together, from building it, to hosting events, to simply enjoying it every day,” said The Conservation Fund’s Southeast Regional Assistant, Stacy Funderburke. “Thanks to the vision, dedication and support of all of our partners, Vine City Park and nearby Lindsay Street Park are community spaces that improve the health of the neighborhoods and quality of life for residents – they are truly Parks with Purpose.”

Vine City Park_Park with Purpose