Woodruff Park Receives $125,000 Grant to Continue Work to Attract and Serve Diverse Park Users

November 29,2018

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Media Contact: Paige Sullivan
(404) 658-5981


Woodruff Park Receives $125,000 Grant to Continue Work

to Attract and Serve Diverse Park Users

ATLANTA (November 29, 2018) – Woodruff Park is proud to announce it is the recipient of a $125,000 grant, made available through the Southwest Airlines® Heart of the Community program. This grant opportunity was made available to previous HOTC recipients to support the evolution and sustainability of their public spaces. The grant to Woodruff Park will support its efforts to engage and attract a new, more targeted audience, as well as better meet the needs of current users from underserved communities.

Each awardee received $100,000 in initial project funding, as well as an opportunity for a $25,000 dollar-for-dollar fundraising match through the Southwest Airlines Foundation, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

In order to attract younger park users, Woodruff Park partnered with Spark Corps, a local design firm focused on social impact, to engage students from Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, The New School, Leap Year, and Georgia State University in co-design activities. During a six week co-design workshop, students focused on ideas to improve community engagement in the park. The top idea, shared by one of the student groups at a public presentation on November 15, will be produced and marketed by a Georgia State University marketing class in 2019.

Additionally, grant funds were used to partner with Hope Atlanta and fund a social worker position dedicated to connecting with park visitors in need of social services. In just two months, 5 park users have secured permanent housing, and 19 are in interim housing or assessment beds at shelters.

“This grant allows us to take two different but complementary approaches to making the Park a great place for all,” says Ansley Whipple, Woodruff Park Project Manager. “Public space has great potential to improve quality of life for anyone who utilizes it. These projects are both exciting and innovative ways to help us do that more effectively.”

“At Southwest, we believe community is at the heart of what brings us together, which is why we are proud to support the continued development of vibrant public spaces like Woodruff Park,” said Quinnie Jenkins Southwest’s Regional Leader, Community Affairs and Grassroots.               

For more information about Woodruff Park, visit www.WoodruffPark.com.

Follow Woodruff Park online at Facebook.com/WoodruffPark and @WoodruffPark on Instagram.


About Woodruff Park: Woodruff Park is a 6-acre park in the geographic center of Atlanta. Located at the crossroads of commerce, government, and education, it is a natural gathering space for a diverse cross-section of Atlantans and visitors. Originally known as Central City Park in the 1970s, Woodruff Park was created through a generous donation from Robert W. Woodruff, former president of The Coca-Cola Company.  Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) maintains stewardship of Woodruff Park. ADID is responsible for the park’s daily upkeep and programming, as well as securing and implementing funding for future development. 

About Central Atlanta Progress / Atlanta Downtown Improvement District: Central Atlanta Progress, Inc., is a Downtown business association with approximately 200 members. Its mission is to build a vibrant community with strong leadership and sustainable infrastructure that is safe, livable, diverse, economically viable, accessible, clean, hospitable and entertaining. The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable corporation created by CAP to make Downtown safer, cleaner and more hospitable. Stay Connected with Downtown at @DowntownAtlanta.

About Southwest Airlines Co.: In its 48th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 57,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. During peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals. 

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With 45 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet.