These two closely-knit neighborhoods also lie in the headwaters of Proctor Creek and its tributaries. Today, however, due to poor historical stormwater planning and impacts from development, Proctor Creek is besieged by high bacteria levels, illegal dumping, pollution and erosion. During heavy storm events, the community is inundated with contaminated overflows from the combined stormwater and sewer system. The pollutants from the Proctor Creek Watershed impact the local streams, and then flow directly into the Chattahoochee River, a main source of drinking water. 

For more than a decade, The Conservation Fund has worked with the City of Atlanta to increase park access citywide, creating and expanding 22 parks. In the English Avenue and Vine City communities, we saw an opportunity to do even more.

In 2010, Park Pride, a local citywide nonprofit focused on park and greenspace visioning worked with the community to create a broad plan for the neighborhoods using natural greenspaces as a way to recreate the historical streambeds that were long ago buried under development. This would allow the stormwater to more slowly absorb and filter into soils, instead of overwhelming the sewer system. Together with Park Pride, and numerous other partners, the Fund is now working to implement this comprehensive acquisition and restoration plan and Lindsay Street Park is the first of many projects that will create lasting change in these neighborhoods, one park at a time.

Through a community-driven process focused on the environment, the local economy, and most importantly, the people, this new Park With Purpose is providing numerous benefits.

  • We’ve transformed six vacant and blighted lots into the first park for the English Avenue community, providing a unique nature based setting in a densely urban environment. The neighborhood finally has a safe place for kids to play and for community members to gather.
  • Stormwater runoff from the adjacent street is being collected in a series of large raingardens, absorbing and cleaning the water before it reaches the stream that runs across the property.
  • Through a partnership with Greening Youth Foundation’s Atlanta Youth Corps, and with support from U-Haul and its customers, we have trained and employed four young adults from the community during the construction of the new park, expanding their skill sets and increasing their employment opportunities.
  • An additional job-training program in partnership with Georgia Build Up and Lifecycle Building Center allowed more than 20 residents to gain skills in asbestos abatement, as well as the deconstruction and demolition of an old home that was on the site. Materials from the home were salvaged and repurposed to support community groups and other nonprofits.
  • Partnering with grassroots organizations like the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Proctor Creek Stewardship Council and Community Improvement Association, we’ve provided educational opportunities for Proctor Creek Stewards and local residents through a Watershed Academy program.
  • Not to forget the wildlife, we collaborated with the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Trees Atlanta to ensure that all the new trees, shrubs and flowers we’re adding are native and help support local pollinator species, including our birds, bees and butterflies. 

With all these great impacts, it is important to remember that this is just the beginning. The Fund will continue to collaborate with Park Pride and our numerous partners to implement the 2010 visioning plan that will help to reimagine this community, park by park.  

A Comprehensive Approach to Conservation

Our Resourceful Communities team based in North Carolina, has been crucial in helping to build this coalition of local partners who have rallied around the Lindsay Street Park. RC staff have spent a great deal of time on the ground in Atlanta, facilitating workshops and helping residents and local stakeholders to build trust and rapport among themselves, in order to create a strong network of support for this park. RCP has been helping low wealth communities build capacity and access resources for more than 20 years and is a significant asset that we can offer this community.

In addition, our Conservation Leadership Network sponsored a peer exchange trip where officials from the City of Atlanta officials were able to travel to Philadelphia to see their innovative green infrastructure approaches to addressing stormwater flooding and combined sewer overflows. On their return, Atlanta officials created a Green Infrastructure Taskforce that has since passed a citywide green infrastructure/stormwater ordinance for all new development. They also began implementing demonstration projects throughout Atlanta, bringing this modern approach to additional communities. 

Why This Project Matters

We believe successful conservation needs long-term community benefits. Going beyond land acquisition services, we engage the community and help plan, design and implement lasting strategies that balance environmental, economic and social objectives.

In addition, we strongly support a collaborative approach and seek a wide range of partners. The Lindsay Street Park project has required the support of residents, numerous community groups, nonprofit stakeholders, and a variety of financial supporters to help bring this park to life. We couldn’t have done it without the support of so many others!

Lindsay Street Park Funders

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Boise Paper
City of Atlanta Parks & Recreation
Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta
Deforest Trust
Georgia Power
Invest Atlanta
Park Pride
U-Haul Corporation
Waterfall Foundation

Additional Community Partners

Alliance for Community Trees
Arbor Day Foundation
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
Community Improvement Association
Ed Castro Landscaping
English Avenue Neighborhood Association
Families First
Georgia Build-Up
Greater Vine City Opportunities Program
Greening Youth Foundation
Historic Westside Gardens
Lifecycle Building Center
Proctor Creek Stewardship Council
Southern Environmental & Demolition
Trees Atlanta
West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
Westside Atlanta Land Trust

Lindsay Street Park Ribbon Cutting

Lindsay Street Park