Community Schoolyards Program Expands to Fulton County
Trust for Public Land announces its successful Community Schoolyards program is expanding to Fulton County in the 2023-2024 school year.
Fulton County Schools has selected South Fulton’s Stonewall Tell Elementary for its first project. The design process is complete, and the school will be the first in the district to break ground on a Community Schoolyards site later this year. In addition, the Conley Hills Elementary replacement site in East Point will begin design as the new school year starts. A third school, yet to be identified, will start community engagement in Spring 2024.
“We are excited about expanding this program and sharing what we learned from our pilot program with Atlanta Public Schools to create safe and inviting schoolyards throughout Fulton County,” said Jay Wozniak, Director of Georgia Urban Parks for Trust for Public Land. “Hundreds of families will benefit from having greater access to nearby outdoor recreation areas.”
The Schoolyards Program is a national effort of Trust for Public Land designed to expand community access to schoolyards during non-school hours and increase the percentage of people who live within a 10-minute walk of a park. While access to parks in the metro Atlanta area continues to improve, 49.7% of Fulton County residents do not live within a 10-minute walk of a park. This initiative will begin to provide park access to those 546,229 residents.
“We are thrilled to begin this partnership and to provide new and updated outdoor spaces for our families and neighborhoods,” said Noel Maloof, COO of Fulton County Schools.”We’ve already begun engaging students, staff and community members in the process to design an inviting, accessible and safe space for school-day play and after-hours recreation.”
The designs created for each campus are shaped by the students and the school community. Trust for Public Land, along with its partners and donors, educate students about the value of parks and the careers that shape these community spaces.
Current plans for Stonewall Tell’s schoolyard include spaces for learning experiences, outdoor musical instruments, seating areas with shade structures, and new climbing equipment.
Over the past three years, Trust for Public Land has worked with APS schools to design schoolyards for 10 schools. Five APS campuses are complete and open to the public. Three projects are currently under construction: Scott Elementary, Centennial Academy and Price Middle School, a Purpose Built School. Continental Colony is waiting on its permit to begin construction this fall, and Toomer Elementary is currently working through the design process.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.