The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that the City of Atlanta has been selected as one of the newest members of Groundwork USA, a national network of nonprofit environmental businesses. These businesses, called “Groundwork Trusts,” are locally organized and controlled, and work to transform blighted urban areas into community recreation assets.

“The addition of Atlanta to the Groundwork USA network is an excellent example of how the National Park Service partners with local communities and government agencies to revitalize open space in urban communities,” said NPS Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin.

The newly designated Groundwork Trust is eligible for up to $180,000 over 4 years as well as technical assistance from the NPS and Groundwork USA. The monetary award will help clean up natural areas, improve access to the Chattahoochee River, restore blighted properties, build trails, and engage youths and adults in volunteer and service learning activities. This work will build on the City of Atlanta’s successful history of remediating and redeveloping large brownfields sites for economic development.

“As the city representative for the grant area, I am extremely excited about the possibilities it offers,” said City of Atlanta Councilmember Felicia Moore. “The entire community has rallied around this effort and I am looking forward to all of the work ahead of us to better our community.”

Atlanta is one of three communities selected in 2013 to join the Groundwork USA network of 19 trusts nationwide. The other two are Jacksonville, Fla., and Indianapolis, Ind. The Groundwork USA program is supported jointly by the NPS and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who provide financial and community planning assistance.