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Cbeyond and Park Pride Make a Big Impact on Brownwood Park

Photos by Jill Seider

By Alesia Williams
Eager volunteers rallied early in the morning at Brownwood Park and Recreation Center during three days in September, pumped up to give back to the community. More than 130 volunteers from Cbeyond and Park Pride partnered with the East Atlanta Kids Club to complete an impressive array of beautification and renovation projects in the park and recreation center.
At Brownwood Park on September 13 to 15, about 45 Cbeyond employees worked for several hours each day to complete projects including mulching around trees and play areas, building benches and planters, planting flowers and shrubs, beautifying signs and bulletin boards, stabilizing a bridge over a creek, implanting erosion control materials, and building a new wall for the community garden. Inside Brownwood Recreation Center, volunteers built and painted cabinets and shelves and installed carpet, creating a warm new study and storage space. They also installed a cooling unit in the computer lab and put up sound-absorbing panels in the rec center. In total, Cbeyond gave 540 hours of volunteer service to the park and made a $3,500 cash investment in the project. The rec center renovation was also supported by Village Church of East Atlanta, which contributed $2,000.
The project was planned and coordinated by a committee of Cbeyond employees; John Ahern, Volunteer Manager of Park Pride; Jill Sieder, Executive Director of East Atlanta Kids Club (EAKC); and Mary Yetter and Laird Ruth, who co-lead the Brownwood Community Garden and the East Atlanta Community Association’s Parks & Beautification efforts. Cbeyond chose to direct their significant volunteer and cash resources toward Brownwood Park in part due to a longstanding partnership between EAKC and Cbeyond, which also provides free phone and internet service to Brownwood Recreation Center, and whose employees serve on EAKC’s board of directors. East Atlanta Kids Club has managed Brownwood Recreation Center in partnership with the City of Atlanta since 2009, and relies on numerous corporate partners to maintain and improve the facility.
Community service and philanthropy are ingrained in the Cbeyond business plan. In addition to donating its IT and telecommunications products and services to nonprofits, every year Cbeyond employees are involved in at least one major volunteer project, an outgrowth of the philosophy of CEO Jim Geiger. He says, “Giving back to the community has always been a passion of mine. It’s my belief that success isn’t only about achievement, those things that we can measure. It is about contribution, those things that we unselfishly give back.”
All projects were created to enhance the overall look of the park, to improve the functionality and feel of the recreation center, and to ensure the park continues to be an attractive, safe and welcoming environment for all visitors. Come out and visit Brownwood Park soon and check out all the impressive enhancements!

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