By Nicholas Cappon
Today, the Atlanta City Council adopted 23-O-1074, authorizing a contribution of $2.8 million in district-specific funds to Park Pride, with $1 million directly to park improvements and upgrades in Council District 5.
“The health and vitality of a community can be measured by the growth and preservation of its greenspaces,” began Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari. “Residents voted last year for neighborhood improvements, and we are immediately putting those dollars to work,” she added. “In District 5, our network of 26 parks across 130 acres is as integral to the fabric of our community as the residents who call it home. With this $1 million appropriation, we are ensuring that while we grow as a community, so, too, will the amenities that have made District 5 the best place to live, work, and gather in the city of Atlanta,” she added.
Funding for this allocation is sourced through the Moving Atlanta Forward 2022 Infrastructure Program’s horizontal infrastructure bond, from which each Council District is afforded $1.5 million for discretionary projects. This allocation will complement and support ongoing efforts by the Department of Parks and Recreation to improve, upgrade, and maintain area parks and will not impact the Department’s general obligations or operational budget.
“The longstanding relationship between the City of Atlanta and Park Pride is an exemplary public-private partnership that conceives, executes, and leverages major outcomes for our residents, and the cooperation between our organizations ensures that Atlanta’s parks system remains an accessible and outstanding network for our community to gather and enjoy,” stated Justin Cutler, Commissioner, Department of Parks and Recreation.
Friends of the Park groups in District 5 will work with Councilmember Bakhtiari, local communities, and Park Pride to identify park improvement projects.
“For over 30 years, Park Pride has engaged communities to activate the power of parks,” stated Michael Halicki, Executive Director, Park Pride. “The action taken by this City Council accelerates our efforts and sets a new standard of engagement that will be felt for years to come. I thank the Council for recognizing the importance of parks in our city, and especially to Councilmember Bakhtiari for her generous $1 million contribution – the largest single donation received from a sitting Councilmember in Park Pride history.”
The City of Atlanta’s Chief Financial Officer is now authorized to donate the appropriation.