Director of Park Visioning at Park Pride Andrew White is in studio for today’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Radio. Co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick welcome White on this segment of Around Atlanta Radio to discuss the Park Pride initiative, past and ongoing projects and ways to help the community.
White is a registered landscape architect who moved to Georgia 10 years ago. White originally moved to Georgia to attend graduate school for landscape architecture at the University of Georgia. After earning his degree, he moved to Atlanta and has been in the city ever since.
Park Pride is a nonprofit organization celebrating 30 years of operation. The organization works with several communities to help and elevate spaces around Atlanta. The Georgia capital has over 350 parks within its limit, meaning Atlanta residents can visit a new park every day for almost an entire year. The abundance of parks in the city not only helps to provide a beautiful and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy, but they also aid in several health benefits for those who visit as well.
“Parks are good for people,” said White. “It’s good for their health, parks help lower blood pressure and they are good for stress. Thay are also good for the community. Parks are a place where people can come together, meet neighbors and strengthen those social bonds. Parks are also great for the environment. They are good for the water, they help lower the temperature and keep the air clean. There are a number of benefits that come from parks.”
Park Pride has several programs to help aid in its goals of keeping Atlanta beautiful. One program, the Park Visioning Program, acts similar to a grant program. Instead of granting money, it grants professional design programs free of charge. This helps community groups stay on the same page and articulate a shared vision for their specific neighborhood park. Park Pride also has a Volunteer Program, Grant Program and various other support programs.
Park Pride recently wrapped up a project in Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park. This three-and-a-half acre-park is a multipurpose area that experiences a lot of localized flooding in the surrounding spaces. Years ago, the streams adjacent to the park were used as a deposit for waste, making them de facto sewers over time. Eventually, the streams were covered and built on top of, leaving nowhere for runoff and excess rain to go. Katheryn Johnston Memorial Park helps to capture stormwater and takes it offline, helping low-lying areas from being overwhelmed by runoff.
Park Pride is currently helping support Mattie Freeland Park. This small green space only occupies less than an acre of space and was recently transformed by the community. Members of the neighborhood saw a rundown lot filled with old cars and junk and transformed it into a beautiful park for everyone to enjoy. The community has been working to develop this city greenspace for almost 13 years, and recently joined forces with Park Pride to turn it into a real City of Atlanta park.
In addition to smaller local park projects, Park Pride is also working on a much larger scale initiative. In conjunction with the City of Atlanta, the nonprofit organization is working to double the Atlanta greenspace overtime.
“This is the citywide comprehensive plan,” said White. “The purpose of that plan is to really set the priorities for the parks department for the city of Atlanta and to help them strategically think about everything from new acquisitions to operations and maintenance to staffing. Park Pride is working with them on the community engagement piece of that.”
Because Park Pride has been working in Atlanta for 30 years, they have an extensive network of supporters. The organization has several park boosters and supporters that work in their own neighborhoods. Park Pride can leverage this support to help communities’ voices be heard.
To learn more about Park Pride or to find out how you can help, listen to the full interview above. You can also visit .
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