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02.08 APS Cuts Ribbon on Community Schoolyards at L.O. Kimberly, John Wesley Dobbs Elementary Wednesday
ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Seth Coleman, Director of Media Relations & Television Broadcast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2022
APS Cuts Ribbon on Community Schoolyards at L.O. Kimberly, John Wesley Dobbs Elementary Wednesday
The refurbished school playgrounds will be open to the public during non-school hours
ATLANTA – A community partnership between Atlanta Public Schools, The Trust for Public Land, the Urban Land Institute Atlanta and Park Pride will result in the opening of Atlanta Community Schoolyards sites on two APS campuses that will provide play and exercise areas that are open to the community.
Ribbon cutting ceremonies for the first two Atlanta Community Schoolyards sites opening at L.O. Kimberly Elementary School in Southwest Atlanta and John Wesley Dobbs Elementary in the Lakewood neighborhood, will be held on Wednesday, February 9: 9-10:30 AM at L.O. Kimberly Elementary; 1-2:30 PM at John Wesley Dobbs Elementary.
The Schoolyards Program is a national effort of The Trust for Public Land designed to expand community access to school playgrounds during non-school hours, thereby increasing the percentage of people in the city who live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
In Atlanta, 29 percent of residents do not live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Over the past three years, The Trust for Public Land has worked with 10 APS schools to design their camp use so that they can be used as parks during non-school hours. Reimagining community schoolyards is one proven strategy designed to help cities reach that 10-minute walk goal. The Trust for Public Land has worked in dozens of cities to transform hundreds of schoolyards and make them available to the general public during non-school hours.
The program helps reimagine schoolyards as vibrant community hubs designed to meet the needs of students and neighbors. As part of the program, input from L.O. Kimberly and Dobbs students drove several key design elements during design workshops. At Kimberly, students proposed a shade structure and tables for outdoor learning and also a series of standalone pieces that together will offer a challenging obstacle course. At Dobbs, the new schoolyard includes a pollinator garden, three new trellises with benches, an expansion of the playground, and a dozen new shade trees.
Park Pride is providing support to the program by developing curriculum focused on the benefits of parks and community engagement for the projects. Staff and volunteers from ULI Atlanta inventoried all pedestrian routes to the pilot school sites and developed reports shared with City of Atlanta agency and elected leaders that describe where walking routes to the school are unsafe and inaccessible.
“We look forward to seeing children and families enjoy this green space--during school and anytime,” said George Dusenbury, Georgia state director for The Trust for Public Land. “We know that parks provide a multitude of benefits including improved health and community connections, and that matters today more than ever.”
WHAT: Two ribbon cutting ceremonies will be held to launch the opening of two Atlanta Community Schoolyards sites, designed to expand community access to school playgrounds during non-school hours, thereby increasing the percentage of people in the city who live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Atlanta Public Schools, The Trust for Public Land, the Urban Land Institute Atlanta and Park Pride are partnering on this initiative.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 9
9-10:30 AM at L.O. Kimberly Elementary School
1-2:30 PM at John Wesley Dobbs Elementary School
WHERE: L.O. Kimberly Elementary School (3090 McMurray Drive, SW)
John Wesley Dobbs Elementary School (2025 Jonesboro Road, SE)
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About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 51,000 students across 87 schools and five programs. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 64 traditional schools, 19 charter schools, six partner schools, two alternative schools and five alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
About Urban Land Institute Atlanta
ULI Atlanta is a District Council of the Urban Land Institute. With more than 1,400 members across Georgia, Alabama and eastern Tennessee, ULI Atlanta is one of the largest and most active ULI District Councils worldwide. The mission of the Urban Land Institute is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.
About Park Pride
In 2019, Park Pride celebrates 30 years of engaging communities to activate the power of parks! Working with over 150 local Friends of the Park groups, Park Pride provides leadership, services, and funding to help communities realize their dreams for neighborhood parks that support healthy people, strong neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, a robust economy and a healthy environment. Park Pride is active in greenspace advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the public about the benefits of parks, and annually hosts the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Learn more about Park Pride at parkpride.org