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Support Freedom Park on August 17th

Join Freedom Park Conservancy on August 17th for a trivia filled evening in support of our work to improve and preserve Atlanta’s Freedom Park for the benefit of a diverse public!

Attendees will participate in an Atlanta-themed trivia game complete with prizes from Freedom Park’s neighboring businesses. Earn extra points for naming local music between questions. Stumped on a question? A small donation at the event will earn you a hint!

Teams are asked to limit themselves to 6 participants. Have a small group or want to come solo? Play as a team of one or join another group – anything goes!

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Ticket sales and additional donations all benefit Freedom Park Conservancy!

 

Trivia prizes donated by:

A Cappella Books
Atlanta Cleaning Source
Clermont Hotel
Condesa Coffee
Historic Oakland Foundation
King of Pops
Manuel’s Tavern
Pure Barre
Queen of Cream
Savi Provisions
Select Shades
The Carter Center
The Men’s Parlor
Victory Sandwich Bar
YogaWorks

Rescheduled! Second Saturday Volunteer Day August 24

Roll up your sleeves and help Freedom Park Conservancy spruce up the park for all to enjoy! Each month we will tackle a necessary project such as planting flowers, mulching, removing invasives, or pruning.

On Saturday, August 24th beginning at 8:30am we will gather at the corner of North Avenue and Candler Park Drive to tackle several projects including creating a path through the Bird and Butterfly Garden.

There will be bugs and there will be dirt, so plan accordingly. Please wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and bring water. Gloves and bags will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own if you have a preference.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP!

Who Cares? A Message from the Executive Director

Across the Board is a monthly column authored by members of Freedom Park Conservancy’s Board of Directors. This month’s post was written by Executive Director Laura Hennighausen.

Recently an acquaintance asked what motivated me to take the position as Freedom Park Conservancy’s first Executive Director and I had to think for a moment. Why do I feel drawn to this job? I don’t know… why wouldn’t I? I’ve always loved parks and this park needs a champion!

Laura Hennighausen is the Executive Director of Freedom Park Conservancy.

I remember specific parks from when I was a kid. I remember the playground my grandparents would take us to when we visited them in New Jersey. I remember trying to catch a ground ball during a baseball game at our neighborhood park on Canada Day and the ball popping up and bashing my shin. I remember soaring as high as I could on the swings just so I could jump off to feel like I was flying for a split second.

What I don’t remember is trash. Or erosion. Or invasive plants. Someone else worried about that! Now that I’m older, I know that it takes people like me to make sure kids can grow up with similar memories. 

Now, when I walk through Freedom Park I see litter. I see where the ground is eroding and where kudzu is fighting to take over groves of trees.

 

But I also see where there could be gardens. I can picture local dance groups performing in the meadow. I can imagine picnics and places to rest.

I believe Freedom Park should be a space where everyone feels comfortable. A place where there is something to be curious about and where you can relax. A place to see friends or get your heart pumping. The park should be filled with laughter, it should be clean, and it should be cared for.

This past Saturday, Freedom Park Conservancy organized a volunteer day. An energetic group collected 15 bags of litter (and two tires!) in just an hour. You might look at that and think “that’s great, a free way to keep the park clean.”  But remember, to make this possible FPC had to spend time creating a sign-up sheet and publishing calls for volunteers with neighborhood associations and on social media. Hours were spent identifying the area for the project and planning logistics, buying supplies, and coordinating to have the collected trash picked up and disposed of after the event. We even worked with an attorney to draft a volunteer release!

We all own Freedom Park. There might be a bunch of trash and who knows how it got there.  In the end what matters is that it’s addressed and that’s why Freedom Park Conservancy exists and why I am proud to lead this organization.

But who cares? Do you? Right now you might be at work. You’re busy. Maybe you have to take kids to soccer this weekend or your in-laws are coming. You have to go to the store. It’s hot. You have allergies. You understand what needs to be done but you don’t have time to get out and volunteer. That’s fine! By simply making a donation to enable us to do this work, you can do your part.

Our motto is Freedom Is Your Park and that’s because it is. It’s yours. It’s mine. It’s Atlanta’s. Help make Freedom Park a place to be proud of – make a donation today.

Volunteer on July 13th

Roll up your sleeves and help Freedom Park Conservancy spruce up the park for all to enjoy! Each month we will tackle a necessary project such as planting flowers, mulching, removing invasives, or pruning.

On July 13th beginning at 8:30am we will gather to pick up litter in O4W. We will meet at Condesa Coffee at 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE #100.

There will be bugs and there will be dirt, so plan accordingly. Please wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and bring water. Gloves and bags will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own if you have a preference.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP!

Across the Board: A Neighborhood Asset

Across the Board is a monthly column authored by members of Freedom Park Conservancy’s Board of Directors. This month’s post was written by Philip Covin.

My wife and I bought our little bungalow in Inman Park in 2016. There were a number of factors that led to that decision: a great school district, historic architecture, short walking distance to restaurants, close proximity to a MARTA train station, etc.  On the other hand, one of the negatives was that it did not come with a very big yard in which our five-year old son (nor our soon-to-be-acquired dog) could play. However, only a few steps away was a huge rolling park with wide open spaces, a playground, and walking paths.  

I’m not even sure that I knew Freedom Park’s name at the time, but what did it matter?  Here was this great resource in my backyard, and yet I didn’t even have to maintain it! Even better, right?  The Freedom Park PATH could also connect me to other fun neighborhoods which I could walk or bike to: Candler Park, Druid Hills, Lake Claire, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey-Highland, and Virginia Highland, as well as the Beltline which could eventually link me to even more areas of town.  As both a commercial real estate broker and an actor, I spend a lot of time in the car, driving from appointment to appointment. Yet, as we contemplated the purchase of our home three years ago, I felt enticed by this opportunity to use my car as little as possible on weekends as we could walk to restaurants, neighborhood festivals, or shopping, using the park and its trails.  

All that is to say that Freedom Park helped convince us to buy our home. And when the northeast segment of the Beltline trail is completed hopefully later this year, I will be able to bike from my home to my work, using only the Freedom Park and Beltline trails.  It’s pretty exciting, to say the least. My commute time will become exercise time so that I can start my day with a clear mind, and I’ll also save on gas and car maintenance expenses.

What a wonderful resource we have right around us – the largest park in the City.  Do we take it for granted? Hopefully not. Let’s invest our resources – both time and money – to make sure that it continues to provide these benefits and more.   Please consider giving a couple hours of time on one of our volunteer days and contributing monetarily, as you can. Every dollar counts. Can you help?

Click here to learn more about how you can support Freedom Park Conservancy!

Volunteer on June 8th!

Roll up your sleeves and help Freedom Park Conservancy spruce up the park for all to enjoy! Each month we will tackle a necessary project such as planting flowers, mulching, removing invasives, or pruning.

On June 8th beginning at 8:30am we will be working in several groups to pick up litter in several “hotspots” in the park.

There will be bugs and there will be dirt, so plan accordingly. Please wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and bring water. Tools and gloves will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own if you have a preference.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP!

Across the Board: Celebrating Urban Activism and Activity

Across the Board is a monthly column authored by members of Freedom Park Conservancy’s Board of Directors. This month’s post was written by Naka Nathaniel.

It’s not out of the ordinary for ancient Rome to be credited for great urban ideas. Contemporary Rome? Not so much. However, Atlanta was the beneficiary of an idea inspired by a modern-day Roman: Jane’s Walk.

For a year, the Freedom Park Conservancy prepared to become our city’s inaugural host for Jane’s Walk. Jane’s Walk is an annual celebration of free, citizen-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs. On the first weekend of May every year, Jane’s Walk festivals take place in hundreds of cities around the world.

I’m proud to say Atlanta’s first Jane’s Walk weekend was a tremendous success.

Kelly Jordan and Don Bender led a Jane’s Walk discussing the past forty years of revitalization in Little Five Points. Photo by Terry Kearns.

The idea first came to our board member Nancy Boyd, when a friend called to wish her happy birthday from Rome. Her friend had to end the call so he could attend a Jane’s Walk. Nancy had never heard of the event, but she knew she wanted to bring it to Atlanta.

Fortunately, Harriet Lane, the president of the FPC board, has a very well-earned reputation for leading great urban hikes. It was a natural pairing of urban activism and urban activity.

Jane Jacobs inspired the walks, but her story isn’t well-known in Atlanta. Luckily, Matt Tyrnauer recently directed an incredible documentary about Jacobs called “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.” The Carter Presidential Library and Museum hosted the film and Matt was interviewed by CNN’s Lisa Respers France after the screening. It was wonderful to see Georgians inspired by her story and the parallels to the fight to create Freedom Park.

Over 100 people attended a free screening of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.

Matt and Harriet were also interviewed by Lois Reitzes for WABE’s City Lights program. “Citizen Jane” can also be seen on many streaming services, but it was tough to beat watching in a crowd of like-minded citizens.

FPC conducted several workshops to train citizens on how to lead the walks. Twenty three walks were  held across Atlanta through not only through Freedom Park, but Oakland Cemetery, Little Five Points and the Olmsted Linear Parks.

My favorite was the hike I did with Cub Scout Pack 586. Many of the scouts are students at Mary Lin Elementary which was supposed to have an interstate highway next to school. Thankfully for the students, there’s a bird and butterfly garden next to the school instead of six-lanes of traffic.

The Cub Scouts hiked through the park collecting more than a 150 pieces of trash before reaching the Farmer’s Market at the Carter Center where they celebrated their hike and their helpfulness with popsicles.

Next year’s Jane’s Walk will be May 1-3, 2020. The FPC hopes you’ll be able to join a walk next year, or even better lead one! If you’re interested in helping sponsor this event next year, please contact our Executive Director, Laura Hennighausen, at laura@freedompark.org.

Announcing Second Saturday Volunteer Days!

Freedom Park is one of the largest public parks in the city of Atlanta, and it takes an army to keep it looking its best!

It’s our duty to contribute to the upkeep of our public spaces, so beginning in June, Freedom Park Conservancy will host a monthly volunteer work day on the second Saturday of the month.

You can see upcoming volunteer dates and projects on our events page by clicking here, or join our volunteer list to receive email alerts about upcoming work days.

Let’s do this!