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Parks with Purpose

April 26, 2021| Parks with Purpose
Photo by Ivan LaBianca.

Welcome to Marlborough. This vibrant community in the southeast section of Kansas City, Missouri is home to about 10,000 people and covers five connected neighborhoods spread over two and a half square miles. Today, Marlborough residents can meet at their community center, enjoy walking on more than two miles of consecutive sidewalks connecting three different greenspaces, and let their children run and climb at the playground. This urban community’s struggles with stormwater and sewer flooding, trash dumping, lack of greenspace, and general neglect have been greatly improved over the last decade, thanks in great part to the efforts of the Marlborough Community Coalition.

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March 5, 2021| Parks with Purpose
Photo by Kelsi Eccles.

Aleemah Ali, our 2020 Charles Jordan Intern, was inspired to launch the Community Art Project after researching how parks can benefit urban communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her project combines community engagement and creative expression to safely draw the community outdoors into two Parks with Purpose in Atlanta. Her internship might be over, but her bright future is just getting started!

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November 2, 2020| Parks with Purpose
Stacia Turner. Photo by Robin McKinney.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt to entirely new limitations and possibilities. This post is the third in a series on how our staff members are navigating unprecedented conditions and still managing to accomplish good conservation outcomes. We feature Stacia Turner, our Parks with Purpose Urban Conservation Associate, who shares how she has maintained connections with partners and found new ways to build community. Stay tuned for more of these personal stories in coming weeks and months.

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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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