Every resident will live within a 10-minute walk to a park. As the city of Atlanta strives to reach this goal, four more Atlanta Public Schools schoolyards will be reimagined as playgrounds for public use during non-school hours.
Centennial Academy, Harper-Archer Elementary, Miles Elementary, and Sarah Smith Elementary are the latest schools to join the Trust for Public Land’s Atlanta Community Schoolyards program. In the coming months, students and community members will play an active role in the process to design an inviting, accessible and safe space for school-day play and after-hours recreation.
“The Trust for Public Land’s experience transforming schoolyards into parks for communities across the country, combined with nearly 30 years working here in Atlanta, will ensure this program will create safe and inviting schoolyards for all,” said George Dusenbury, Georgia state director for The Trust for Public Land. “We are thrilled to work with Atlanta Public Schools, Park Pride and Urban Land Institute to help thousands of families within a 10-minute walk of these schools benefit from greater access to safe outdoor recreation areas.”
While access to parks in Atlanta continues to improve, 29 percent of residents do not live within a 10-minute walk of a park. So, the city of Atlanta, Park Pride, Urban Land Institute, The Trust for Public Land, and Atlanta Public Schools partnered to make a change.
Over the next three years, 10 APS schools will help create community schoolyards, making those schools open to the public during non-school hours. John Wesley Dobbs Elementary and L.O. Kimberly Elementary were the first two APS schools on the list.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, Dobbs and Kimberly students and community members played an integral role in designing their respective schoolyard community parks, which are slated to open by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Community access to the parks will be determined by COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.