May 8, 2020
CONTACT: Lindsey Wiles
MARIETTA – The City of Marietta is pleased to announce that it was recently honored with the 2020 All-America City Hall of Fame Award by The National Civic League. The City originally won the All-America City Award in 2006 and is now being recognized for its community engagement efforts surrounding the creation of Elizabeth Porter Park.
In 2006, the City of Marietta was honored to be chosen to receive the highly coveted All-America City Award. Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award. The Award recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses, and nonprofit and government leaders.
The National Civic League created a Hall of Fame Award to recognize one City nationwide which displayed an outstanding civic engagement initiative since winning the All-America City Award. The 2020 All-America Hall of Fame Award was bestowed upon the City of Marietta for its community engagement surrounding the creation of Elizabeth Porter Park.
“We are honored to be chosen by the National Civic League to receive the All-America City Hall of Fame Award,” said City Manager Bill Bruton. “I was here in 2006 when we put together a community-wide committee to work on the application for the 2006 All-America City Award. Months of hard work and national presentations culminated into Marietta receiving this award. To be able to come back years later and be honored with an award recognizing our community engagement efforts in telling the story of Elizabeth Porter and the African American history of that area means so much to our City. Marietta is fortunate enough to have elected officials and citizens who had the foresight to pass the 2009 Parks Bond which funded the actual park. Elizabeth Porter Park not only serves as a state of the art sprayground and play structure for youth of all ages, but it also serves as a larger than life story book weaving together our local history.”
In 2015, the City of Marietta embarked on a 3-year process to determine how best to create an inclusive yet historic space for the community at the site of the former Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center. The city sought the assistance of those who held close ties to Elizabeth Porter and the historically African American neighborhood, as well as city staff and local historians, to determine how to best memorialize and honor their legacy. With that, the Friends of Elizabeth Porter Park, chaired by Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly, began designing elements of public art that would voice the story of the site’s history and significance. To that end, a 130-foot mural was created to tell the history of the area and a bronze statue was erected at the entrance to the park to honor Elizabeth Porter herself.
The creation of a destination play space surrounded by the historical significance of a mural and statue to honor African America history enabled Marietta to receive the All-America Hall of Fame Award. The community engagement on this project will allow both residents and visitors alike to spend time at the park while learning the historical significance surrounding the area for years to come.