Designed in collaboration with local communities and city leadership, the park, when completed, will span two hundred and eighty acres and will feature accessible trails, educational facilities and event spaces, a skyline overlook, and a 2.4-billion-gallon reservoir, the city's largest. Combined with a $26.5 million phase-one investment from the city, the gift from the foundation will be used to enhance public access and neighborhood connectivity to approximately fifty acres.
The gift is the lead gift in the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership's capital campaign, which is aimed at activating five shovel-ready parks and trails and the continued creation of interim trails, including greenspace along the Westside Trail at Enota Park, segments of the Northeast and Southside trails, and a link between the Westside Park and downtown Atlanta.
"To date, the Blank Foundation has committed more than $18 million to efforts around parks in our city, and nearly $50 million towards positive Westside neighborhood transformation in the areas of crime and safety, economic inclusion, education, health, and housing,” said Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. "We are grateful to the Blank Family Foundation for their remarkable work to support our city and our One Atlanta vision."
"Everything we do through our family foundation and family of businesses is meant to instill a sense of community, which is why it is important for us to continue to support the efforts of the Atlanta BeltLine as it creates a new space for bringing our community together through Westside Park," said foundation chair Arthur M. Blank, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2010. "We want these Westside communities to feel like this is their park where residents, neighbors, and visitors are connecting and gathering because that is when Atlanta is at its very best."
(Image credit: Atlanta Beltline)