The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has awarded a $17.5 million grant to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership to support development of Westside Park on the Atlanta BeltLine.
With the first phase anticipated to open next year, Westside Park will eventually become the largest greenspace in the city, spanning approximately 280 acres when complete. The former Bellwood Quarry will be turned into a city reservoir that will hold 2.4 billion gallons of water.
Joining the city’s $26.5 million investment in the first phase Westside Park, the Blank Foundation’s grant will enhance public access, neighborhood connectivity, and long-term sustainability of approximately 50 acres of the 280-acre greenspace.
The grant is also the lead gift in the BeltLine Partnership’s forthcoming expanded capital campaign, and will build on the $4.1 million raised to date to support the creation of Atlanta BeltLine Interim Trails, including the recently opened 4.5 mile Southside Interim Trail.
The Partnership’s proposed campaign, combined with public and other identified sources of funding, will activate five shovel-ready parks and trails and the continued creation of interim trails to open more of the BeltLine as quickly as possible. Working with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation, plans include creating greenspace along the Westside Trail at Enota Park, completing trail segments on the Northeast and Southside Trails, and working with the PATH Foundation to link downtown Atlanta to Westside Park — in addition to efforts to activate the first phase of Westside Park.
“The Foundation’s Westside Park grant is the latest in the Blank family’s longstanding commitment to investing in Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhoods, and in parks and greenspaces across Atlanta,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “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. 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, ” stated Arthur M. Blank, Chairman of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “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.”