#PowerofWE: “It Takes a Village to Make a Park” by Park Pride’s Michael Halicki

This week’s Historic Westside column for Saporta Report was penned by guest author Michael Halicki, executive director of Park Pride. Read Michael’s piece below, with an introduction from Westside Future Fund’s president and CEO John Ahmann.


Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Halicki, Park Pride has demonstrated the power of “we” in first leading to develop the Proctor Creek North Avenue Watershed Basin: A Green Infrastructure Vision and then helping to bring that vision to life with the recent groundbreaking of the Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park.

As parks and greenspace are a key component of Westside Future Fund’s community health and wellness impact strategy, we have been particularly inspired by Park Pride’s ability to “engage communities through the power of parks.”

Read Park Pride’s story of impact below from Michael Halicki.

Over the past 29 years, Park Pride has learned that quality parks lead to stronger neighborhoods and stronger neighborhoods lead to a better Atlanta. Through Park Pride’s work on Atlanta’s Westside with The Conservation Fund, we’ve learned from residents that parks need to be about more than just parks. Parks provide places for neighbors to gather and for children to play. They can also help to manage rain events that flood people’s yards and their homes. They can also provide opportunities to put people to work.

Back in 2010, Park Pride was asked by [State Representative] Able Mable Thomas to work with the community to support the first park in English Avenue. What resulted, the Proctor North Avenue Study, was not just a plan for a single park. It was a vision for a series of parks to address these larger issues. Out of that vision came Lindsay Street Park in English Avenue and the expansion of Vine City Park. It also laid the ground work for the Joseph E. Boone “green street” improvements and the construction presently underway to create Rodney Cook Sr. Park by the City of Atlanta and a partnership between the Trust for Public Land and National Monuments Foundation.

Click here to read the full column. 

Past #HistoricWestside columns for Saport Report: