July 21, 2017
CONTACT: Elizabeth Porter Park Fund Contacts
Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly
Historic Monument, Art, and Murals Committee Chairwoman
Economic Development Project Manager
City of Marietta
Marietta Redevelopment Corporation Contacts
Marietta Redevelopment Corporation Chairman
Redevelopment Project Manager
Marietta, GA – On June 30, the Elizabeth Porter Park fund received the largest donation of its fundraising campaign. Between February 24 and June 21, the fifteen members of the City of Marietta’s Elizabeth Porter Historic Committee raised $43,956 from community members and organizations to fund Monument, Art, and Murals in the new Park. This balance was nearly doubled with a donation by the newly dissolved Marietta Redevelopment Corporation (MRC) of $40,701. The EP park fund was created for enhancements within Elizabeth Porter Park including a statue to honor park namesake Elizabeth Porter and interpretative signage recounting the history of the African American hospital and the Baptist Town community.
The MRC board voted to dissolve the organization on March 22 after playing a leading role in the development and implementation of redevelopment projects in the city for over a decade. These efforts were impeded for years by the Great Recession. In late 2016, the board completed their signature initiative when a developer acquired 8-acres of land the MRC previously assembled. The deal allows for construction of 78 single family homes, cleared the MRC’s existing debt and left the non-profit with $40,701 after final expenses were paid. When the vote to dissolve was taken in March, MRC Chairman Terry Lee was entrusted by the Board of Directors to address final operating expenses and disposal of remaining funds.
"We considered quite a few charitable organizations in Marietta: local churches, Must Ministries, and the Salvation Army. Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly was relentless in her pursuit of funds on behalf of Elizabeth Porter Park. She also presented the most compelling arguments why the money would be put to good use. Elizabeth Porter Park was selected because it is a significant part of Marietta's history. We are proud to be a part of preserving that history."
“I am very excited that the new Elizabeth Porter Park will be the beneficiary of these funds,” said City Council member and Marietta Historic Committee Chairwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly. “The committee formed in September 2015 with the purpose of establishing a timeline between the historic hospital, the once popular canteen, and the final re-purpose to the Elizabeth Porter recreational facility. Needless to say, this facility meant a lot to the “Baptist Town” community. Preserving and celebrating our city’s history is part of what makes the City of Marietta great!”
With this donation, the Elizabeth Porter Park Fund will have more than $80,000 from community members to tell the story of Marietta, Baptist Town, and the Elizabeth Porter. Current plans call for approximately $50,000 to go towards a statue of Mrs. Porter, signage within the park, and donor recognition. Additional plans for enhancements to the park are to be finalized.