Group yoga at the Atlanta Beltline

What has 7.8 miles of open trails, 406 acres of parks, free fitness classes AND an urban farm? The Atlanta BeltLine!

By 2030, the Atlanta BeltLine is expected to loop 22 miles of modern streetcar, 33 miles of multi-use trail, and 1,300 acres of parks.

How? Public funding sources are not enough to complete the ambitious project. Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) helps fill this gap by working to raise $275 million of private funds for the Atlanta BeltLine project. ABP also raises funding for outreach and social impact programs to engage the community.

Dogs hanging out at the Atlanta Beltline

ABP is reaching residents of the 45 Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods with free health and fitness initiatives during events such as their Atlanta BeltLine Play Days. NEEF’s 2016 Every Day Event Grant assisted with ABP’s efforts.

“It’s really about connection, connecting communities and having them know that we are a great public space that they can benefit from,” said Salisha Evans, Director of Partnerships and Development for ABP.

The goal of ABP is to provide unlimited access and resources in a safe space for everyone to enjoy. Through their Play Days, ABP is bringing neighborhoods together to get outside and onto parks and trails in their surrounding communities.

Cop jumping rope at the Atlanta Beltline

Numerous events have been hosted over the past few years with a family focused goal of using the parks to introduce healthy, active lifestyles. The Play Days introduce youth to sports and games they may not otherwise have access to, and provide activities such as free health screenings, music and fun.

ABP looks at the needs of the community and decides on a “hidden jewel” park to bring to the community’s attention. In previous years they’ve chosen West End Park and Washington Park, in the southwest part of Atlanta. This year, ABP chose Boulevard Crossing Park, in the southeast part of Atlanta, as the location for their next Play Day scheduled for Saturday, September 30, 2017.

“It’s very important to look holistically at your environment and make sure the community is accepting and engaged as much as possible in the planning process,” noted Evans about planning for the Play Days. 

Lots of community input and engagement goes into the process of deciding on a park and the event. ABP reaches out to neighborhood groups, schools, and youth.

Gymnastics under a tree at the Atlanta Beltline

To offer a complete experience to the community during the Play Days, ABP partners with organizations throughout the community. The Atlanta Community Food Bank, City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Atlanta Police Department, for example, come together to provide healthy produce, games, and reinforce the availability of safe green space.

“We just want to make sure that everyone knows that the Atlanta BeltLine is an open space, it’s a place we encourage everyone in Atlanta to take advantage of,” said Evans.

Concert at the Atlanta Beltline

Find more information about Atlanta BeltLine Play Days here.

Thanks to the generous support of Toyota Motor North America, NEEF is able to offer Every Day Event Grants to Friends Groups, and others, to host a minimum of three events per year that engage communities on public lands.