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Wednesday, October 2 • 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Anchoring Community through Grassroots Greenspaces: The Story of Mattie Freeland Park

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This session will feature a panel discussion with residents about their community led and driven placemaking for the Mattie Freeland Park in Atlanta’s historic neighborhood of English Avenue. Mattie Freeland was a dedicated and respected English Avenue resident. Even at 90 years old, Ms. Mattie would sit on her front porch and watch out for the neighborhood kids. Her home was open to neighbors for food and fellowship, even as a shelter in times of need. Ms. Mattie passed in 2007 and English Avenue lost an anchor. She was one of the last elders of a generation who represented the fabric of a tight-knit community that looked out for its own. To begin to honor her vision, New Life Covenant Church planted a community garden across from her home. With the success and interest in this small garden space, the community realized they needed more greenspace. Slowly they started to utilize five other adjacent vacant lots for community gatherings, movie nights and other events. In a neighborhood plagued with vacant, overgrown parcels, this grassroots greenspace serves as a welcomed contrast. The activation of the park was driven by a coalition of residents who lived adjacent to the park and attended church with Ms. Mattie. It is through their determination that they were able to engage community and partners in a park and community home vision that transformed and anchored community. Mattie Freeland Park used techniques from park visioning as well as from the Project for Public Spaces to bring their community vision and home to life. The session will focus on community organizing and grassroots visioning as a cornerstone of placemaking. The objectives of the session are to share the successes and challenges of placemaking in a neighborhood that has unfairly been defined by negative conditions and lack of social cohesion.


Dr. Mironda D. Williams

OBGYN, Peachtree OBGYN
Mironda D. Williams, MD, FACOG is a native of Atlanta (with family roots in Americus and Newnan, GA) who joined Peachtree OBGYN in 1992. She currently serves as a Managing Partner of this successful OBGYN private practice located in Peachtree City, GA.In addition to private practice... Read More →

Billie Walker

Park Staff, Self-employed

Stephen Causby

Community Partnerships Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission

Wednesday October 2, 2019 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
EPB, 7th Floor, Room 2