Category Archives: news

Volunteer with us September 14

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, September 14th beginning at 9am we will gather at the flags in front of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum to tackle invasive removal in Poncey-Highland.

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!

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

Across the Board: Why I Donate my Time

By Nancy Megehee, Board Secretary

I recently met with a small group of Atlanta businessmen about topics unrelated to Freedom Park.  When I mentioned I was on the Freedom Park Conservancy Board of Directors, they shifted forward in their seats to hear more. It was just one of the many times I’ve experienced the interest and connection the entire Atlanta community has to this wonderful asset.  I told them it was part of the Conservancy’s mission to advocate for improvement of the park and it was clear from their follow-up questions that they felt the park has a lot of promise and that now is the time to act. This public perception is one of the main reasons I agreed to represent my neighborhood on the Freedom Park Conservancy’s Board – to have an opportunity to apply my expertise in a meaningful way to generate results that the public can recognize as benefiting the park and surrounding areas.  

Nancy Megehee lives in Historic Fourth Ward.

Freedom Park is an enormous green space that ties together the neighborhoods of Candler Park, Druid Hills, Inman Park, Lake Claire, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey-Highland, and Virginia Highlands.  Depending on which stats you review, Freedom Park is larger than Piedmont Park, and is Atlanta’s largest passive park.

What does “passive park” mean? Passive recreation refers to activities that do not require prepared facilities, like tennis courts, sports fields, or pavilions.  Passive recreation typically can include activities like bird watching, walking, photographing nature, and bicycling. While this can be a bit restrictive, we are also a Public Art Park, and as such boast multiple pieces of permanent outdoor sculpture and host temporary art installations.  These features differentiate Freedom Park from Atlanta’s other green spaces and motivates us to be creative in how we engage visitors. We hope this adds a wonderful dimension to the enjoyment of Freedom Park.

What does it take to create programming, to successfully plan events, to make improvements in landscaping, and to implement the countless other ideas we and our constituents have for the park?  Citizens like you that are willing to give of their own time and expertise to contribute to the process. Input from across the region from readers like you on what you would like to see in the park.  Donors like you that provide critically needed funding to make the community’s dreams a reality.

I hope you’ll see an opportunity to make a meaningful difference.  It doesn’t have to be a large investment, but every contribution of every type helps!  I hope you’re leaning forward in your chair and deciding that you, too, will have a hand in making Freedom Park the best community-treasured passive park it can be.

Click here to sign up to volunteer, or click here to make a donation!

Our Supporters

Dwelling would not be possible without:

Mailchimp
Alice Franklin and Dennis Hawk
Emory Center for Digital Scholarship
Gensler

Dwelling Project Team:
Creative Directors: Nancy Boyd, Victoria Walsh
Artists: Mark Wentzel, Robert Henry
Writer: Michael Ross
Dwelling Graphic Artist: Anna Ladson, Gensler
Location Map Graphic Artist: Emma Ming Kayhart
Printer: Tower Press
City of Atlanta, Parks: Doug Voss, Daniel Calvert, Bretta Hunnicut, and crew

Special thanks to:
Emory University
Emory Center of Digital Scholarship (ECDS)
Wayne H. Morse Jr., Co-Director ECDS
Michael Page, Geographer, Geospatial Specialist
Randy Gue, Curator,  Modern Political and Historical Collections, Rose Library
Kim Collins, Art History/Classics Librarian and Research Engagement Services,
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Joanna Mundy, Digital Project Specialist
Anandi Knuppel, Senior Digital Scholarship Specialist
Melanie Kowalski, Copyright and Scholarly Communications Librarian,
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Edith Kelman
Kelsey Fritz
Pamela Henman
Phoenix Flies
Park Pride

 

If you are interested in supporting Freedom Park Conservancy, please click here.

Dwelling

An exploration of lost landscapes, a site specific art installation with a digital interface that adds to a layered understanding of Freedom Park.

Dwelling starts as a line drawing and leads us to an exploration of Atlanta’s lost landscapes. Abandoned stoops, broken sidewalks, historic markers, trails, and Freedom Park’s natural features unfold and invite you to dwell on the history of this place and engage with the site through your own imagination.

Dwelling is a temporary, site-specific art installation in Freedom Park at N. Highland Avenue and Carmel Avenue, on view to the public for the month of March during park hours. Visitors are encouraged to use their smart phones to visit www.dwellingfpc.org during their visit to enhance their experience.

#DwellingFPC

Click for directions.

Click for more information about Dwelling.

Click to see our supporters.

Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden: Wildlife Sanctuary and Cub Scout Pack 586

By Jessi Noreault

At 210+ acres, Freedom Park is one of the largest green spaces within the Atlanta area.  A hidden gem located in the park at the corner of North Avenue and Candler Park Drive is the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden, a site for the reintroduction of native plants and shrubs for bird and pollinator habitat.

On January 15, 2019, Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden became Atlanta’s first certified Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary of 2019! With the certification, the garden will be joining a network of approximately 450 Atlanta properties in reestablishing and adding wildlife habitat for threatened birds and other species to our urban area.  To find out more about Atlanta Audubon’s Wildlife Sanctuaries or how you can certify your own property, visit: Atlanta Audubon.

Atlanta Audubon Board Member Melinda Langston presents the certification sign. L-R: Pandra Williams, Laura Hennighausen, Melinda Langston, and Leslie Edwards.

This past November, Beech Hollow volunteers Pandra Williams and Jessi Noreault, worked with members from Cub Scout Pack 586, a Scouts for Equality Inclusive Unit from the Candler Park, Lake Claire, and Inman Park neighborhoods of Atlanta.

Cub Pack 586

Pandra and Jessi guided Cub Scout Pack 586 in identifying invasive species to be removed from the area, how to properly remove plants, identifying desired native plants and how to plant new material.  Together we removed Bradford Pear/ Pyrus calleryana. 

Volunteer Pandra Williams teaches Cub Scouts about plant care. Photo by Meta Larsson.

Pack 586 are fierce with a shovel and did an amazing job digging right down to the roots to get these invasive species out of the garden to make room for planting native plants.  Since it was Fall, plants were hard to identify, and some desired native plants had their roots revealed. No worries though, the plants were put right back in the soil without any plant injuries.  Best of all, this created a great educational opportunity to discuss and look at plant roots and plant dormancy.

Once we cleared a few areas in the garden, Pandra did a demonstration on how to plant.  The scouts planted several native plant species including native Baptisia ssp, Purple Coneflower/ Echinacea purpurea, Georgia Aster/ Symphiotrichum georgianum, and Black-Eyed Susan/ Rudbeckia hirta

Make sure to take a walk-through Freedom Park this spring to check out the blooms from our plantings!

Volunteers work in Freedom Parks Bird and Butterfly Garden.

We love being able to get the word out about native plants, work with and help other local groups and get native roots back into their home soil whenever there is an opportunity!  If you are part of an organization that is interested in education or plant installations of native Georgia plants, please reach out to us.  Every new connection we make is just one more step toward healing our environment.  We can’t do it without y’all!

Thank You for a Successful Georgia Gives Day!

Thanks to thirty-four generous donors, Freedom Park Conservancy exceeded our first Georgia Gives Day goal of $5,000, raising $5,420 in the twenty-four hour day of giving!

This funding is dedicated to several park improvement projects FPC has identified for 2019, including:

– Eight volunteer work days in the park to remove invasive plants, mulch trees, and address erosion issues
– Enhancement of, and Audubon Society Certification for, our Bird and Butterfly Garden (located at the corner of North Avenue and Candler Park Drive)
– The addition of at least two small native pollinator gardens
– Identifying and preserving snags for woodpecker habitat

Although $5,000 may seem like a small amount, these projects will propel FPC into 2019 as we begin to work with our surrounding communities to enhance Freedom Park for a diverse public. Successful projects will allow FPC to demonstrate our ability to tackle much larger projects in the future and target larger funding amounts from private foundations.

Thank you to our Georgia Gives Day supporters and the many others who have supported FPC financially in 2018. If you would like to make a difference, please consider making a donation today using our secure web portal below.

Across the Board – What’s in the Works

By Harriett Lane, Board Chair

FPC Board Chair Harriett Lane

It’s winter and fewer people are using the park. But while the grass lies dormant, Freedom Park Conservancy (FPC) has been busy planning for an exciting 2019 featuring public art projects, new plantings, public events, and more. FPC is eager to implement new projects in partnership with partners like the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Audubon Society, Trees Atlanta, and Park Pride. We can’t wait to share details!

As FPC has been gearing up, many of our board members have been asked about a proposal to build a pedestrian bridge in Freedom Park over Moreland Avenue. A pedestrian bridge over Moreland Avenue was one of several proposed pedestrian bridges in the original concept plan for the park, all of which were not built. A new grassroots effort has brought the idea forward once more. 

EDAW Sketch of Freedom Park at Moreland Avenue
A rendering of Freedom Park at Moreland Avenue from the original 1994 master plan

FPC’s Board of Directors, made up of representatives from our surrounding neighborhoods and other stakeholders, dedicated a meeting to discussing the idea. We talked about the state of the park today and how the bridge concept intersects with our mission to promote the improvement of the park for a diverse public. It’s important to us that the Conservancy encourages the exploration of all ideas that would improve the connectivity, safety, and beauty of the park. We’re very glad to see people talking about Freedom Park and how it’s used!

We concluded that we would like to see the concept studied with full public participation and the complete involvement of all stakeholders, particularly the neighborhoods bordering the park. We intend to be part of that conversation and anticipate the bridge will be explored as part of our upcoming master planning process.

While the bridge idea has generated a lot of discussion, it’s far from the only improvement our park needs. When Freedom Park was first laid out, a beautiful concept plan was created. Many ideas in this original plan were never implemented, and as a result most of our 200+ acres are missing what many may consider to be basic park amenities: benches, landscaping, lighting, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and more.

A rendering of the corner of Freedom Parkway and Ponce de Leon Avenue from the original 1994 master plan

In an effort to enhance the park in ways that would benefit the diverse community who loves it,  FPC is fundraising now for a new master plan for the park to address long-delayed improvements, big and small. We recently received a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor to help us kickstart this fundraising. That’s a lot of money, but we need at least $100,000 more to create a comprehensive plan that spans the parkland running through all seven neighborhoods. Please consider making a donation today to help us improve our park.

If you’re curious about the original plan for the park and what’s missing, you can view high-resolution scans below. Please keep bringing us your ideas and we’ll keep working hard to make Freedom Park the best park it can be.

EDAW Freedom Park Master Plan Page 1

EDAW Freedom Park Master Plan Page 2

Report an issue

Freedom Park Conservancy has a Park Improvement Committee charged with tracking physical issues and opportunities within Freedom Park. The Committee and Executive Director regularly walk the Park to keep track of the Park’s status. Issues noted include incidents of graffiti, erosion, invasive plants, tree canopy issues, and more.

If you have noticed an issue in the park, please feel free to reach out to the Conservancy to make sure it is on our radar. Email Laura@FreedomPark.org or call the Conservancy at 404-480-3018 to bring it to our attention and we will do what we can to make sure it is addressed!