Stonewall Tell Elementary School Grounds to Become Neighborhood Park
Fulton County Schools (FCS) Stonewall Tell Elementary will have the unique opportunity to create a park on its schoolgrounds for the whole community to enjoy. This partnership, the first of its kind for FCS, is part of the Schoolyards Project with the Trust for Public Land and Park Pride, two area nonprofits.
Stonewall Tell Elementary is located in a part of South Fulton where public parks are hard to find.
“Our goal with our park program is to build parks in parts of cities where they’re needed the most,” said Jay Wozniak, director of Georgia Urban Parks with the Trust for Public Land’s Atlanta office. “Many school districts have property that isn’t being used after hours.”
“The children will get a say [in the proposed] covered outdoor learning space,” said Stonewall Tell Principal Nikki Porter. “The students will participate in a little design engineering. They will take full ownership of it.”
Wozniak and his team have already started working with the school to develop the neighborhood park. Several students who are part of the Community Schoolyard Club met with his team on September 7 to kick off the project.
“We’re asking for feedback from everybody,” Wozniak said.
The Schoolyard Project will work with Principal Porter, students and the community to transform the undeveloped land around the school into learning spaces that can be used during the day, and a park for non-school hours.
At the kickoff, FCS Board Member Franchesca Warren encouraged the students to voice their ideas.
“You are all architects,” Warren said.
Students shared ideas on how the space could be used. Their ideas included providing sitting areas, places to park bicycles, and swing sets. They also gave suggestions for fundraising.
Students participating in the Community Schoolyard Club will be engaged in the project until the park’s completion in 2023.
“Our students are anxious to make an impact,” Porter said. “We’re taking action that will not only affect our school, but our community.”
Stonewall Tell Principal Nikki Porter listens to students at Schoolyard Project Kickoff