Decatur, GA for the Alliance for Innovation
Decatur GA faces limited land availability, with their city consisting of just 4.2 miles. To compound the issue, the city also experiences aging recreational facilities. This situation provided the opportunity for the city to seek out partnerships to provide recreational services. The city developed innovative partnerships with the local school district, Agnes Scott College, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and the local churches. Additionally, they gained public input regarding the availability of recreational facilities and how they could be improved. The partnerships enabled joint use agreements where facilities like a softball diamond, skatepark, soccer field, and dog park would be constructed on private property, but the public could access them. Innovation not only stemmed from the outcome of these partnerships, but the community involvement throughout. An example of such participation includes the parents and students within the community that helped the city receive the Kaboom grant to fund the skate board park. Additionally, Decatur learned an important lesson in developing the partnerships that would be valuable to other municipalities. This includes making sure that one of the partners is given the authority in the agreement so as to manage the time and frequency of facility usage to prevent over use.
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