Published on January 24th, 2017 |


Park Pride large and small grants benefit projects at several Buckhead parks

By John Schaffner

Park Pride has awarded $820,000 to 17 Friends of the Park groups to fund park improvements across Atlanta and DeKalb, including Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Atlanta Memorial Park and Little Nancy Creek Park in Buckhead.

The funded projects will include everything from new playgrounds, to building bridges and extending trail systems, to new plantings, pavilions and picnic tables.

To date, this brings the total dollar amount that Park Pride has contributed to park improvement projects through grants to over $4.8 million! Park Pride introduced its matching grant programs 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 (large grants of $50,000 and up), 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 said, “Due to the support of our funders, Park Pride and the Friends of the Park groups we serve are able to complete valuable and much needed

Part of the new playground installation at Atlanta Memorial Park, which will be dedicated Jan. 26.

park improvements for the greener good of our city. They truly make a positive difference for the families and communities that enjoy greenspaces.”

“Friends of the Park groups recognize that great parks increase the quality of life in their neighborhoods,” explained Ayanna Williams, Park Pride’s Director of Community Building and responsible for the Friends of the Park Program.

Park Pride awarded Legacy Grants—only available to groups within the city of Atlanta—to three Buckhead community groups:

  • Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy to replace the playground which has been plagued by flooding and sewage spills with a new, community designed playground located in a more accessible location on higher ground.
  • Blue Heron Nature Preserve for the expansion of its permeable trail system, the “Blueway,” that will highlight the rich habitats along Mill and Nancy Creeks and eventually connect with planned multi-use trails to Chastain Park and PATH400.
  • The Friends of Little Nancy Creek Park will move forward with the implementation of phase IV of their master plan, which includes a pavilion and seating for family and community gatherings, trash/recycling receptacles, beautification plantings and signage.

The Home Depot Foundation provides $200,000 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. The two Buckhead recipients are:

  • The Friends of Bitsy Grant Tennis (COA) will construct a court-side deck at the tennis center for viewers to comfortably enjoy watching matches.

    A pastoral scene at Blue Heron Nature Preserve.

  • The Friends of Peachtree Park (COA) will benefit from a new access point to the nature trail, addition of benches and exercise stations encouraging greater use from the surrounding communities.

With the support of the Cecil B. Day Foundation, Park Pride’s Small Change Grants fund small improvements that have big impacts on park beautification. Two parks on the western end of Buckhead were recipients of these grants:

  • Chattahoochee Now will install two benches at Standing Peachtree Park (COA) so that visitors can sit and enjoy the view of the Chattahoochee River. A new interpretive sign honoring the historic significance of the site and importance of the river will also be installed.
  • Underwood Hills Park (COA) Teen Committee will install exercise equipment to attract adults and teens into the park as an additional health-focused amenity.

To learn more about Park Pride grants, visit

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