Conservation in Cities
By The Conservation Fund on October 3, 2018
The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit working to create innovative solutions that make environmental and economic sense while meeting the unique needs that American communities are facing – creating access to fresh, healthy food, mitigating sea level rise, preserving corridors for wildlife to roam, protecting clean water, investing in small, natural resource-based businesses, and helping cities protect and conserve green space as they plan for growth. Since 1985, we’ve demonstrated our passion for the American landscape by protecting more than 8 million acres of wildlife habitat, working forests and farms, parks, historic sites and favorite places across the United States.
As more and more Americans are calling cities home, balancing nature and infrastructure is a growing challenge. And as cities grow, communities face concerns over flooding, pollution, water quality, food scarcity, and other challenges to overall quality of life. These issues hit underserved communities the hardest. Our Park with Purpose program is centered on equitable development principals that put these vulnerable communities at the forefront of the planning process. These parks are imagined, planned, constructed, and activated by the residents and neighbors who are most impacted by their development.
Working hand-in-hand with residents, community stakeholders, grassroots organizations, a variety of nonprofit partners, and municipal government, we are building smarter, greener and more equitable cities. We are about to kick off construction of our latest Park with Purpose project in Atlanta – Boone Park West/ Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park. This new park will provide a safe place for kids to play and neighbors to gather and will also store more than 3.5 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually, reducing flash flood events that plague this inner-city community. We are also working with the city of Atlanta to create the Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill. This unique project is transforming seven abandoned acres into an edible park landscape – “a park you can eat.” The park is being planted with dozens of fruit trees, as well as edible bushes, vines, and groundcovers, providing fresh and nutritious food in a community that lacks access to healthy foods.
Both projects are being constructed through a workforce training program, employing residents and building skills. Both parks also include pollinator plants and provide critical urban habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, and other area wildlife. These two projects highlight how parks can be used for more than just a place to play. Parks can capture stormwater, provide fresh food, build community skills, and improve overall health and quality of life for those that live, work, and play near these new greenspaces.
At The Conservation Fund we work across America to support healthy, vibrant cities and more equitable and livable neighborhoods. Our goal is to bring the practical and intrinsic values of green space to every person in America, whether they live on a remote mountaintop, a quiet suburb, or a bustling city block. By balancing the need for nature and our growing cities, we are revitalizing neighborhoods, uniting communities, and positioning American cities to thrive in the future.
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