Parks Need Your Support!

City Council Scheduled to Vote; Please Act Now!

Atlanta City Council meets Monday, June 17th at 1:00 pm to consider and adopt the City of Atlanta’s FY2014 budget. The meeting will be held at Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta in the City Council Chambers located on the second floor. Please come to this meeting wearing green and show your support for parks!

Also, please send a note to your city Councilperson asking them to adopt the proposed parks budget without any further cuts. You can use the sample letter below to contact your city councilperson and ensure that our parks are adequately funded. The email addresses of the councilpeople are on the right-hand side of this page.

Dear Councilperson ___________,

As a resident of the City of Atlanta, I know that tough budget choices must be made in this difficult financial climate. However, I believe that parks and greenspace should be one of our highest priorities as a city, as the health and economic benefits provided by our parks system are vital to our future. Our park system has wonderful, existing parks that deserve attention and support. And with the Atlanta BeltLine moving forward and with new spaces such as Mims Park and Westside Reservoir Park on the horizon, there’s a continued and growing level of excitement in Atlanta about our parks. However, it is not enough simply to add new parks; to continue the progress we’re making, we have to provide adequate funding for the operations and management of these parks.

The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs does outstanding work, and has become skilled at doing more with less. I commend Commissioner Dusenbury and the Parks staff for their efforts to make ends meet. However, I fear that the miracles they have worked with maintaining service levels despite the budget cuts of previous years has led to the expectation that further cuts can still be made. In the proposed FY2014 budget, the cuts from the general operating fund for parks are being made up utilizing various park trust funds. While those trust funds will tide our parks over for this fiscal year, this is a one-year, unsustainable solution, and I am concerned that in future years, without the availability of those funds, the maintenance and operations of our parks system will suffer.

I believe we owe it to the future of our city to provide adequate funding to maintain and operate our parks. If Atlanta is to continue to attract new jobs, new residents and wants to be a world-class city, we must make our park system a priority. On Monday when you vote for the FY2014 budget, I urge you to vote against any further cuts to parks and to strive to find ways to increase the funding available to operate our parks. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


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