Beltline awarded $5 million grant to develop Westside Trail

Private funding will help connect a series of neighborhoods between Adair Park and Washington Park


The Atlanta Beltline’s southwest segment has received yet another funding boost as efforts to build the $43 million mixed-use path move closer toward becoming a reality.

On the heels of a $18 million federal grant awarded in 2013, Atlanta Beltline, Inc., has received a $5 million grant to help with the construction of a three-mile segment of the southwest corridor known as the Westside Trail. The path has been called a “top priority” by ABI CEO Paul Morris and will connect a series of neighborhoods between Adair Park and Washington Park.

The grant comes courtesy of the James M. Cox Foundation, the philanthropic organization started by the founder of Cox Enterprises, that works to provide funding for community projects in places where the company operates. The foundation has previously given $7.5 million to fund the Beltline’s development.

“Across the nation, cities are promoting healthy lifestyles through public access to parks and trails, while also stimulating economic development. The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the nation’s best examples of what can happen when public and private sectors work together,” Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy said in a statement. “I served as co-chair of the BeltLine’s original capital campaign and am thrilled to see this visionary project come to life. The BeltLine’s completed segments are transforming neighborhoods and connecting people with nature. This grant will help the BeltLine build another important segment on its journey to completion.”

In a statement to CL, Mayor Kasim Reed expressed his thanks to the Cox Foundation for another contribution to the Beltline. “The Atlanta BeltLine is a transformative project that is making it easier to move around the city, improving our health by encouraging us to walk and bicycle, changing our housing patterns by revitalizing neighborhoods, and boosting our job creation efforts by encouraging new businesses along its path,” he said. “The development of the Westside Trail will ensure that all of Atlanta reaps the benefits that we have seen along the Eastside Trail.”

The Cox Foundation’s $5 million grant will count toward the $10 million in private funding that the Atlanta Beltline Partnership, the organization’s nonprofit fundraising arm, needs to come up with by July.