Month: January 2015

2014: Largest Grant Cycle in Park Pride’s History



Park Pride has announced that 15 community groups in Atlanta and DeKalb will receive a combined $800,000 in matching grants to fund capital park improvements, making this the largest grant cycle in the organization’s history. To date, Park Pride has awarded over $3.6 million to projects that include new playgrounds, land acquisitions, improved signage, new trails and exercise equipment, and more.

Historic Oakland Foundation's grant will support new benches in Oakland Cemetery.

Historic Oakland Foundation’s grant will support new benches in Oakland Cemetery.

“Great parks aren’t created in a vacuum. Strong communities build great parks, and we see clear examples of this in our 2014 grant recipients,” explains Michael Halicki, Park Pride’s Executive Director. “We applaud the passion and dedication of community groups all across Atlanta and DeKalb that come together as a voice for parks, creating change in their neighborhoods at the grassroots level. United communities and well-used, well-loved parks go hand-in-hand.” Halicki continued, “The interdependence of healthy parks and strong communities is also the focus of the 2015 Parks and Greenspace Conference that will take place in March.”


Duck Pond Park will use award to install granite edging along the pond and mitigate erosion.

Park Pride began re-granting funds to community groups in 2004, offering awards of varying amounts to groups seeking to revitalize their community greenspaces. Award recipients receive matching funds through three distinct grants: Legacy Grants ($50,000 and more), funded by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation; Community Building Grants ($2,500-$50,000), funded by The Home Depot Foundation; and Small Change Grants (up to $2,500), funded by the Cecil B. Day Foundation. Park Pride’s Associate Director, Allison Barnett, expressed appreciation of the program’s funders, stating, “It’s because of their support that Friends of the Park and other community groups are able to make lasting changes in their neighborhoods through needed park improvements.”

2014 Legacy Grants

Park Pride awarded Legacy Grants to six community groups. These grants are only available to groups within the City of Atlanta. Projects that will be funded include land acquisition, mitigating the damaging effects of stormwater runoff, building a boardwalk around a lake, and large scale renovations of park amenities.

Legacy Grants have been awarded to:

  • Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy – Atlanta Memorial Park
  • Friends of Adams Park – Adams Park
  • Friends of Reverend James Orange Park – Reverend James Orange Park
  • Peachtree Heights East Neighborhood Association – Duck Pond Park
  • Liveable Buckhead, Inc. – PATH400
  • Riverwalk Atlanta, Inc. – Riverwalk Atlanta


Old pool at Reverend James Orange Park

Reverend James Orange Park’s award will support the renovation of the pool, in addition to other improvements.

2014 Community Building Grants

The Home Depot Foundation provides $150,000 in support to Park Pride’s Community Building Grants, which are available to community groups located in both the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. Nine grants were awarded this cycle, ranging in size from $7,000 to $25,000, and include:

  • Friends of Blue Heron Nature Preserve – Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Atlanta
  • Friends of Central and Renaissance Parks – Central Park, Atlanta
  • Friends of Frazier-Rowe Park – Frazier-Rowe Park, DeKalb County
  • Global Growers Network – Forty Oaks Nature Preserve, DeKalb County
  • Friends of Lang-Carson Park – Manigault Street Playlot, Atlanta
  • Friends of Lillian Cooper Shepherd Park – Lillian Cooper Shepherd Park, Atlanta
  • Historic Oakland Foundation – Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta
  • HABESHA – Rosa Burney Park, Atlanta
  • Ansley Park Beautification Foundation – Winn Park, Atlanta

Ansley Park Beutification Foundation’s award will help fund the construction of a granite gathering area in Winn Park.


To learn more about Park Pride grants, visit the Park Pride website.



Fundraising Inspiration for Your Park

Attention Friends of the Park groups!

The Garden Hills Neighborhood Foundation has discovered THE way to fund raise for their neighborhood parks, all while eating, drinking, and being merry.

The secret? House parties. Yes, house parties.

The formula is simple:

  1. Volunteers sign up to be a party host.
  2. As a party host, the volunteer agrees to pay for all of the party’s expenses: food, beverages, and decorations, for example.
  3. Each party host decides on a base cost for their party’s tickets and how many tickets are available.
  4. Party tickets are auctioned at a community event, the proceeds of which will go back to benefit the community.

The Garden Hills Neighborhood Foundation auctioned 24 such house parties at their Gala on November 8, 2014. Jeff Clark, the President of the Garden Hill’s Pool volunteer Board of Directors, disclosed that the Foundation raised $20,000 exclusively from the sale of the house party tickets. That money will fund maintenance and improvements at the Garden Hills Park & Pool, Sunnybrook Park and Frankie Allen Park.

The Garden Hills Neighborhood Foundation Gala, November 8, 2014

The Garden Hills Neighborhood Foundation Gala, November 8, 2014

These parties, however, have done more than just raise money. They’ve literally brought the community together in living rooms and backyards across the neighborhood. “People who never met before,” Jeff explained, “are now friends thanks to these parties. I regularly hang-out with people that I met through these events. It’s been the best thing for the Garden Hills Neighborhood!”

And not only are you going to raise money for your park, and make new friends – but how about having a darn good time while doing it?! Check out just a few of the fun and creative party themes below:

  • Yoga Under the Trees and Sunset Toast ($30)
  • Bavarian Oktoberfest ($50/person)
  • Turkish Lunch and Coffee Reading ($50)
  • Indian Feast ($85/person)

Sign me up for all of them!

If you have any questions about this successful fundraising model and how you can adapt it to raise funds and friendships in your neighborhood, Jeff Clark is happy to answer questions!

Party on 🙂

Welcome Newest Friends of the Park Groups!

Park Pride is proud to welcome several new Friends of the Park groups to the our greenspace family!


New City of Atlanta groups include:

New DeKalb County groups include:

  • Friends of Fork Creek Mountain Park
  • Friends of Callanwolde Park

Interested in receiving monthly Friends of the Park updates? Reach out to the Director of Community Building, Ayanna Williams ( to get on the email list!

500,000 Volunteer Hours for Parks!



In 2014, Park Pride and our partners surpassed providing 500,000 hours of volunteer service to parks across Atlanta and DeKalb County since our founding in 1989!

Over the past 25 years, Park Pride’s Friends of the Park groups have engaged volunteers by coordinating workdays, hosting community meetings and facilitating countless events and positive activities in parks, accounting for more than 140,000 volunteer hours.

Gardeners and volunteers alike dedicated approximately 60,000 hours within the 20 community gardens in parks, and Park Pride coordinated over 300,000 volunteer hours through workdays in greenspaces with corporations, small businesses, foundations and universities.



Last year, Park Pride was honored with the title of Creative Loafing’s “Best Volunteer Program”! We are humbled by the many corporate and individual volunteers, our Friends of the Park groups and gardeners who showed appreciation for Park Pride’s efforts with their votes!

Thank YOU, volunteers, for your contribution and time spent caring for our park system!

If you would like to organize a workday for your business or group, contact John Ahern at