Trust for Public Land Hits $18.15 Million Chattahoochee RiverLands Funding Goal
Trust for Public Land (TPL) met its $18.15 million philanthropic funding goal to build out the Chattahoochee RiverLands Showcase site, which features a greenway trail, new parkland and enhance water access along a 2.7-mile section of river connecting Smyrna to Mableton. Local, State and Federal partners are expected to contribute an additional $25 million to build the Showcase.
The Showcase site is being developed as a proof of concept to help the public, government officials, and civic leaders visualize what the proposed 100-mile linear park through the heart of one of America’s largest metro regions will be.
“Reaching our philanthropic goal was a key accomplishment towards bringing the Chattahoochee RiverLands vision to life. Construction has begun, and it’s truly exciting to see this vision become reality, “ said George Dusenbury, Georgia State Director at Trust for Public Land. “This is the first step for the project that will continue to unfold and evolve over several decades as it connects a corridor through the entirety of Metro Atlanta along the river.”
The Atlanta Regional Commission, TPL, Cobb County and the City of Atlanta published the RiverLands study in 2020, outlining how this massive project would bring people to the water’s edge, promote stewardship and conservation of the river, and reveal the subtle magic of the Chattahoochee to all. In 2021, TPL made the decision to partner with Cobb County to build a 2.7 section of the RiverLands, including new parks, water access and greenway trail. This pilot project, the RiverLands Showcase, will demonstrate the potential of the RiverLands to provide equitable access to the river, new recreational amenities, and connection to the outdoors.
The showcase site starts just south of the Proctor Creek confluence and runs to Mableton Parkway, through industrial areas, commercial development, woodlands and wetlands – a true microcosm for the 100 miles anticipated for the entire project. The stretch includes a trail, park, kayak launch, boat ramp and playground, and includes ecological restoration and watershed improvements. In 2024, construction will begin on the RiverLands Gateway Park, a 12-acre former industrial site at the southern end of the Showcase.
Major RiverLands Showcase donors include the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, James M. Cox Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation and A Friend of TPL. The current Georgia Advisory board and alumni board members collectively donated an additional $1.7 million to support the initiative.
While Trust for Public Land has focused its efforts on working with Cobb County to build the Showcase Site, communities up and down the river also are investing in the RiverLands. Since 2020, public funders and philanthropic organizations already have committed more than $250 million for the build-out of the Chattahoochee RiverLands.
Trust for Public Land is championing the creation of this outdoor recreation destination with 100 miles of parks, trails and amenities stretching from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park. The Chattahoochee RiverLands will connect nearly 1 million nearby residents and visitors to the outdoors where they will be able to kayak, swim, bicycle, picnic, walk, camp, and wheel along the river.
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.