Community Impact

Established in June of 2006, Greensboro Parks Foundation first incorporated under the name “Friends of Greensboro Parks and Recreation.” The organization has served primarily as a vehicle for individual donors, grant funding institutions, and corporate entities to provide philanthropic support for Greensboro Parks and Recreation. In 2021, the organization filed for a change of name with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office, becoming Greensboro Parks Foundation to align with the foundation’s relaunch into more dynamic operations in the spring of 2021.

Over the years since its founding, the Greensboro Parks Foundation has worked with multiple corporate and individual partners to enhance and expand parks, trails, and recreational programming in Greensboro. Beginning in 2010, Greensboro Parks Foundation acted as a fiduciary agent for donations in support of enhancements at Bur-Mil, Hagan-Stone, and Cascade Parks. Fundraising for Hagan-Stone was particularly successful, generating sufficient capital for the opening in 2012 of the Fun for All Playground, a completely accessible playground with more than 20 play stations, a handicapped accessible restroom facility, a picnic shelter with accessible tables, a walking path, and benches. Additionally in 2010, the foundation began to work with the Friends of Green Hill Cemetery, an all-volunteer group formed in 2009 to offer history and botanical tours, perform weeding and other landscape maintenance, and raise funds for enhancements for this public cemetery in Greensboro, North Carolina.

While continuing with park enhancement projects, Greensboro Parks Foundation branched out in 2011 to increase sports opportunities for vulnerable young people, partnering with area Rotary Clubs to support the youth basketball program at Peeler Recreational Center. The Send a Kid to Camp Scholarship Program was also introduced in 2011, and supports attendance at Greensboro Parks and Recreation summer camps for numerous local youth who otherwise lack the financial means to attend the camps.

Greensboro Parks Foundation established a partnership with Piedmont Land Conservancy for the Weed Warriors project in 2012, and the following year entered into an agreement to act as the fiduciary agent for Guilford County Parks and Open Space, the county agency responsible for management of seven regional public parks. Continuing the focus on playground access for all young residents, in 2014, Greensboro Parks Foundation sponsored the “Declan’s Dash” 5K fun run presented by the Declan Donoghue Foundation to raise funds for building local playgrounds. Greensboro Parks Foundation acted as the fiduciary agent for Declan’s Dash proceeds, which culminated in $34,940 being raised for Declan’s Playground at Griffin Recreation Center.

2014 Kickball Tournament

As the presenter of a Kickball Tournament in 2014 Greensboro Parks Foundation raised much needed funds in support of Parks and Recreation’s youth sports programs. In 2015 the foundation entered into an agreement to accept and administer donations as its fiduciary agent for Choral Society of Greensboro, which at the time fell under the auspices of Parks and Recreation’s City Arts programming. Around this same time, the foundation entered into a formal agreement to accept and administer sponsorship funds and donations on behalf of Greensboro Parks and Recreation, making it possible for the organization to accept a grant award of $25,000 grant from REI to build a pump track and other biking enhancements at Keeley Park.

From 2018 to 2020 Greensboro Parks Foundation acted as the fiduciary agent for the Spencer Love Tennis Campaign, which raised over $230,000 for expansion of the tennis courts at the Spencer Love Tennis facility. Work on this project began in the summer of 2021 and was completed in 2023.

Continuing its role as fiduciary agent for various community fundraising projects, in 2019 Greensboro Parks Foundation assisted with fund management for the Up in the Air Playground at Keeley Park. Designed for all bodies and abilities, the Up in the Air playground is among the largest playgrounds in Greensboro. It is the largest fully accessible playground in this part of North Carolina, featuring six slides, five spinning elements, three zip lines, cargo nets and plenty of places to climb. In 2019 the foundation also assisted with managing funds for the Lisa Westmoreland Memorial Garden at Country Park, and partnered with Build Greensboro Together for the $200,000 Heath Park improvements project.

Friends Homes Greensboro Gift

In December of 2020, the Greensboro Parks Foundation accepted a gift of $350,000 from Friends Homes Greensboro on behalf of Greensboro Parks and Recreation for a feasibility study and to support the development of a natural surface trail connector that runs through property donated by Friends Homes and will connect to the Bicentennial Greenway.

In one of its largest partnerships to date, the foundation accepted $350,000 in grant funding from the VF Foundation for completion of Phase II West of the North Buffalo Creek Greenway, Palmetto Trail Boardwalk replacement, and Keeley Park Accessible Mountain bike Trail. As part of the partnership, since 2021 VF Corporation has been the premier sponsor of Parks and Recreation’s TACO (Take A Child Outside) Week, programming that engages children and their caregivers with fun ways to enjoy and recreate in the great outdoors.  Since 2021, VF Corporation has also provided financial support for National Trails Day, an annual event held on the first Saturday of June. These projects align specifically with the VF Foundation priority area of “protecting our planet and making the outdoors accessible and welcoming to everyone.”

In 2022, Greensboro Parks Foundation launched the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, a yearlong hands on learning experience for middle school girls that prepares them for future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The program had nine graduates in the summer of 2023 and will continue to expand for the 2023-24 program year. In 2022, Greensboro Parks Foundation became the fiscal sponsor of the Downtown Greenway Run and Block Party, expanding this sponsorship program in 2023 to be full year facility sponsorships of all the Downtown Greenway programs and events. In 2023 Greensboro Parks Foundation introduced the Greensboro Parks Foundation Open golf tournament to generate support for improvements to historic Gillespie Golf Course.