The Walnut Creek Wetland Community Partnership, the NC Water Resources Research Institute, and The Conservation Fund are working alongside residents and a variety of partners through the Parks with Purpose initiative to identify, protect, and restore land for a new park or greenspace. Our goal is that this space will provide a variety of social, economic, and environmental benefits for the Walnut Creek community.  

A Comprehensive Approach to Conservation

In Raleigh, the Parks with Purpose project is focusing on increasing access to greenspace among South East Raleigh residents. By integrating environmental education with community outreach and development, the Fund takes a comprehensive approach to urban conservation. With climate change impacting the intensity and frequency of storms, wetlands are a crucial environmental buffer for excessive flooding worsened by the impervious surfaces, like sidewalks and pavement, in our cities. Wetlands provide many ecological benefits like absorbing and filtering sediment, nutrients, and pollutants. They also recharge groundwater resources and are habitats for many animals and plants. Wetlands are increasingly threatened by developments and pollution so increasing opportunities to get community members recreating and protecting their wetlands is the Parks with Purpose approach to supporting the resilience of the environment and community.

Why This Project Matters

Through the Parks with Purpose project, the WCWCP and The Fund are providing support and capacity building to local environmental non-profits and youth leaders committed to environmental science, stewardship, and advocacy. Organizations such as the Partnership for Environmental Justice and St. Ambrose Episcopal Church are working in the WCWCP Task Force to brainstorm new ways to incorporate broader community participation and support for enhancing green space development south of the Walnut Creek Wetland Park. Historically African-American, South East Raleigh still faces the economic and environmental challenges that are the legacy of racial inequities. As an environmental justice campaign, the WCWCP and The Fund are working to incorporate economic, social, and environmental outcomes through developing a community-driven Parks with Purpose project in South East Raleigh.


American Rivers 
Carolina Wetland Association 
Center for Human and Earth Restoration 
Fuller Elementary 
Institute for Landscape Art and Sustainable Spaces 
Kris Bass Engineering 
Natural Learning Initiative NCSU College of Design 
NCSU College of Natural Resources 
Partners for Environmental Justice 
St Ambrose Episcopal Church 
Triangle Greenway Council 
Walnut Creek Wetland Center 
Water Resources Research Institute 

Browse through our parks with purpose Projects:

Parks with Purpose in Atlanta

Parks with Purpose in Atlanta

Conservation efforts, especially in urban areas, often are complicated; but we’ve taken on the challenge in Atlanta with both environmental...
Parks with Purpose in Kansas City

Parks with Purpose in Kansas City

In the 1930s, the Marlborough community in south-central Kansas City, Missouri, was booming. New housing developments, schools and a...
Parks with Purpose in Raleigh

Parks with Purpose in Raleigh

The Walnut Creek Wetland Community Partnership (WCWCP) provides a communication hub for residents, community stakeholders, academic and government leaders to collaborate on...
Parks with Purpose in Baltimore

Parks with Purpose in Baltimore

Garrett Park is a hidden gem of greenspace nestled in the heart of the South Baltimore neighborhood Brooklyn. This...
Parks with Purpose in Durham

Parks with Purpose in Durham

The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) is a Durham based non-profit working to protect and restore waterways and landscapes within the Ellerbe Creek watershed and to connect communities to watershed...