Atlanta parks department sets road map for the next decade

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Days before a new mayor takes the helm at City Hall, Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation released a master plan Thursday that sets the course for the agency as the city grows over the next 10 years.

The 140-page “Activate ATL: Recreation and Parks for All” document lays out the vision, goals and action plan for the department, based on a mission of equity and addressing geographic disparities in the city’s parks system.

Today, Atlanta has 376 parks spanning over 4,200 acres and 27 indoor recreation centers.

Based on input from residents, goals for the next 10 years include investing in the city’s existing assets, connecting more parks and neighborhoods and growing the parks system.

The city has a goal of ensuring every Atlantan lives within a 10-minute walk of a park. A May report found 72% of Atlanta residents live within 10 minutes of a park.

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The city also has a new tool that uses data and mapping to identify disparities in the parks system and helps pinpoint ways to eliminate them through park investments and improvements in specific neighborhoods.

“Atlanta is growing, and our parks and recreation system must keep up with residents’ needs; from improving maintenance in existing facilities, offering exceptional recreational programming, connecting trails, greenways, and nature preserves, expanding biking and walking trails, and of course maintaining the incredible Atlanta Beltline,” department Commissioner John Dargle said in a statement.

Implementation of the master plan is set to start next year.

The full master plan is available online.