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Parks with Purpose

November 25, 2019| Parks with Purpose
Photo by Kelsi Eccles.

Atlanta’s newest Park with Purpose, Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park, was officially opened to the public in November 2019. Two of Atlanta’s most dedicated park advocates were on hand for the ribbon-cutting event, and The Conservation Fund’s Kelsi Eccles spoke with them about why they invest their time and energy in these public parks and what they think needs to be done to strengthen community development.

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November 5, 2018| Parks with Purpose
Stacia Turner

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August 20, 2018| Parks with Purpose
Kelsi Eccles

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November 2, 2015| Parks with Purpose
Fund employees at the ribbon cutting, L to R: Andrew Schock, Shannon Lee, and Stacy Funderburke. Photo by Whitney Flanagan.
I grew up in Cabbagetown, a historic inner-city neighborhood situated 1.5 miles east of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. During the 1980s my neighborhood was poor, under-resourced, neglected and lacked green space, leaving its residents disconnected from the natural environment.

The only real natural areas we had were the overgrown, vacant lots where demolished homes were replaced by kudzu alleyways ripe for adventure. There was also an abandoned elementary school in the middle of the neighborhood, directly across from my house. For a while, it was used as a community center, but mostly it was just left empty. Out back, there was a dirt field, but it had so much broken glass you dare not ride your bike across the yard. Not exactly a great place to play.

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