2018: A Year in Review at Tower Grove Park

Click to read the full annual report.

Click to read the full annual report.

We’re excited to share our latest annual report with you! Learn about Tower Grove Park’s accomplishments with help from supporters and donors.

The role of the public park is to support conservation and community, and to provide and preserve critical green space and natural resources. True to the philosophy behind the Park, Tower Grove Park connects people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities to accessible programs, facilities and outdoor spaces. All our initiatives support recreation, public engagement, and sustainability in combination with historical preservation of our unique Victorian setting. The 2018 fiscal year was rich in achievements that would not be possible without our members, donors, partners and visitors.

Our urban forest was named an accredited arboretum in March 2018. With over 7,000 trees, ranging from saplings to historic trees over a century old, Tower Grove Park officially became one of only 74 Level-II Arboretums in the world. Our 2.5 million annual visitors can attest to the vast collection and care of the trees, which make our Park a treasured resource for the community.

Partnering with the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, our Arboriculture Team launched a species recovery project to prevent the extinction of critically endangered Torreya taxifolia, a species of cedar. We will monitor the cedar trees’ growth and progress with our best practices. Our new arboretum status makes it easier to collaborate with renowned institutions on plant science initiatives.

Built in 1870 and one of the oldest buildings in the Park, our historic stables received grand renovations due to an anonymous donation of $485,000. The preservation project included rebuilding portions of the deteriorated walls, adding a modern electrical system, and salvaging the original wood paver flooring.

Our expanding science education program welcomed school groups for field trips and workshops. Grade-schoolers learned from our experts about urban gardening, the functionality of a greenhouse, and the environmental impact these things have on our ecosystem. We will continue to cultivate the young minds of future environmental stewards.

Signature and featured events and festivals received over 200,000 visitors. The Park hosted numerous cultural festivals including Festival of Nations, Tower Grove Pride, Pagan Picnic, and the annual Tower Grove Farmers’ Market. Our signature events, including Flower Power, Progressive Pavilion Party, Martinis at the Mansion, Terror at Tower Grove Park, and Tower Trot 5K, raised over $100,000 that support preservation of our historic features.5

We had over 4,850 rentals of the pavilions, venues, and fields, which provide affordable gathering spaces to neighbors in our growing community. With 12 historic pavilions, three indoor venues, the fountain ruins, and fields, visitors had safe, accessible spaces for events and activities.

It was a busy and eventful year at Tower Grove Park. As we review our progress and accomplishments, we take a moment to admire the majesty and history before us. Donated over 150 years ago, the land holds trees and structures older than us all. Our goal is to ensure the natural and historic features endure for another century, so that future generations can experience the great outdoors and appreciate the public park.

Michelle Lawrence