Access to parks and green spaces is essential for the well-being of individuals and communities. Unfortunately, in the United States, many people lack easy access to parks, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods. According to a report by the Trust for Public Land, almost 100 million people in the U.S., including 28 million children, do not have access to a park within a 10-minute walk of their homes. This lack of access can have negative impacts on physical and mental health, community cohesion, and the environment.
In Atlanta, this disparity in park access is particularly pronounced, with residents in low-income neighborhoods having access to 48% less park space than those in high-income neighborhoods.
Rev. James Orange Park at Oakland City is more than just a green space for recreation. It is a living monument to the struggle for civil rights and social justice in Atlanta, making it an important landmark for the Oakland City community. Unfortunately, over time, the park has fallen into disrepair and neglect.
Fortunately, the Friends of Rev. James Orange Park at Oakland City, in partnership with Georgia STAND-UP, Trade Up, Clorox, ParkPride, NPU S, and the Oakland City Community Organization took action to ensure that everyone, no matter income or zip code, has access to beautiful, accessible, and safe park space.
On April 13th, 2023, from 9 AM to 2 PM, community members and representatives from partnering organizations came together for a park clean-up event. The day's activities included litter removal, grilling station restoration, clearing storm drains, landscaping, and pavilion clean-up. Over 70 volunteers from Clorox were present to support the Friends of Rev. James Orange Park in this endeavor, and Clorox also distributed free products for the community, including Burt's Bees.
"As we come together to clean up and restore Rev. James Orange Park at Oakland City, we honor the legacy of this unsung civil rights icon and the impact he had on our community. It's a place where we can come together, celebrate our community, and build a better future for all," stated Deborah Scott, CEO of Georgia STAND-UP.
The park clean-up event was a success, and the park now stands as a beautiful and welcoming space for the community. The Friends of Rev. James Orange Park at Oakland City, in partnership with Georgia STAND-UP, Trade Up, Clorox, ParkPride, NPU S, and the Oakland City Community Organization, demonstrated the positive impact that can be made when organizations and the community come together.