Bezos Earth Fund Announces $7.9 Million for Urban Green Spaces in Underserved Atlanta Communities
ATLANTA, Ga. — July 17, 2023: The Bezos Earth Fund announces today $7.9 million to fund Atlanta urban greening projects as part of its new Greening America’s Cities initiative, a $400 million commitment through 2030 to create more equitable access to urban green spaces with more parks, trees, and community gardens.
"Green spaces are critical for people and the planet. The Bezos Earth Fund is proud to partner with local communities and government to expand urban green spaces," said Andrew Steer, President & CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. "In partnership, this new initiative will support historically underserved communities, supporting their health and well-being."
Atlanta-based nonprofits receiving funding include:
On Da Farm receives $1 million to support the planting and cultivation of wildlife habitat, native plants, fruit trees, and urban farms, housing for agribusiness workforce development apprentices, and the training of new farmers and farmer apprentices. On Da Farm anticipates producing enough healthy produce to supply 1,500 families with healthy dietary options through their weekly farmers market.
Gangstas to Growers receives $1 million with which it will expand its food justice initiatives, increasing training and infrastructure development. Specifically, they will grow regenerative agricultural production across 30 farms on Black-owned land, create 40 new jobs for at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth, and spur economic activity to benefit West Atlanta residents.
HBCU Green Fund Atlanta receives $1.15 million to support the construction of a Farmer’s Market Café distribution center for locally grown produce, activities of the Alliance for the Activation of Cook Park, expansion of Historic Westside Growers community gardens, STRIVE Transit, the Green Teams, and the AUC Green Fellows.
Partnership for Southern Equity receives $3.5 million to scale the Just Green Hub (JGH) — a promising model for developing grassroots urban greening networks for broader impact across Atlanta. JGH will continue to pilot a framework for expanding urban greening and climate resilience initiatives called Just Communities.
Additional organizations funded to work in Atlanta include the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, ReGenesis Institute, Trust for Public Land, and Policy Link.
“This generous support from the Bezos Earth Fund will support work to build a strong equity ecosystem, especially in marginalized communities where the negative effects of climate change have had the greatest impact,” said Nathaniel Smith, founder and Chief Equity Officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity. “More than ever, the people who are closest to the problem are also closest to the solution. This critical funding will help our partners to move the needle in climate justice toward a future where prosperity can be shared by all.”
“We are excited to help activate the vision for a green and thriving West Atlanta,” said Felicia Davis, founder of the HBCU Green Fund. “The Bezos Earth Fund investment in Atlanta is a model for sustainable development, honors principles of environmental justice, and prioritizes advancing equity.”
Other inaugural Greening America’s Cities include projects in Albuquerque, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Wilmington, Delaware. The grantees are integral in leading these groundbreaking projects to advance nature in their communities. Their work includes community engagement, land acquisition, project design and construction, local training, and long-term maintenance.
There is clear evidence that "greening" U.S. cities with more—and better—parks, trees, and community gardens can improve physical and mental health, increase local resilience to climate impacts like extreme heat and reduce energy consumption. Health benefits come from improved air quality, more physical activity, reduced heat, the stress reduction effect of green spaces, and the opportunities green spaces create for social interaction.
Historic systems of segregation, exclusion, and land dispossession have led to many communities living in nature-deprived areas. Consequently, these communities often do not benefit from nature’s benefits, like air and water purification, climate mitigation, or biodiversity.
The Greening America’s Cities initiative builds on the Earth Fund’s earlier $300 million in funding to climate and environmental justice groups in the U.S. Find more information on each city’s projects and a complete list of the grantees here.
About the Bezos Earth Fund
The Bezos Earth Fund is transforming the fight against climate change with the largest ever philanthropic commitment to climate and nature protection. We’re investing $10 billion in this decisive decade to protect nature and drive systems-level change, creating a just transition to a low-carbon economy. By providing funding and expertise, we partner with organizations to accelerate innovation, break down barriers to success and create a more equitable and sustainable world. Join us in our mission to create a world where people prosper in harmony with nature.