Friends of the Parks

FOP Mailer

Friends of Gainesville Parks & Greenways is ...

a non-profit organization. Our mission is to serve as a cultural, educational, and recreational resource to develop, beautify, maintain, restore and preserve passive and active leisure pursuits in Gainesville, Hall County.

Since its inception in 1996, Friends of the Parks have funded over $820,000 in projects and successfully advocated for another $5.6 million in capital projects, park improvements and grants for Gainesville Parks and Recreation

Wilshire Wonderland of Lights

A Strolling Holiday Experience at Wilshire Trails Park | 849 Wilshire Trails Road
Find out more about the event.

We are so honored to be a part of this inaugural event held in our beloved Rock Creek Greenway.
This 1/2 mile out and back stroll through the woods of Wilshire Trails include Holiday themed lighting in the trees, as well as a Santa's Village, North Pole and more.  We look forward to supporting our Gainesville Parks and Recreation Agency as the event continues to grow over the coming years.  

Please join us in supporting this free community display.  Donations can be made below.  Please be sure to select Wilshire Wonderland of Lights so your gift will be appropriately earmarked.

Make a Donation

No amount is too small. Make your tax deductible donation in your name or that of a loved one, colleague or friend. Your support is needed and appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible. 
Checks should be made payable to: Friends of Gainesville Parks and Greenways, Inc. and
mailed to: 830 Green Street, Gainesville, GA 30501 or
Online with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover by clicking on the Donate link below.

Become a Park Rooter

As a member of the Park Rooters, you are one of the Friends of Gainesville Parks & Greenways most treasured supporters. Your annual gift directly supports our mission  to serve as a cultural, educational, and recreational resource to develop, beautify, maintain, restore and preserve passive and active leisure pursuits in Gainesville, Hall County. For more details, see our various giving levels and benefits below.
Take a look at our membership levels.

Annual Butterfly Release

For 24 years, Friends of Gainesville Parks and Greenways Sunday in the Parks Butterfly Release has been a much anticipated community event. In 2022, the free event returns to spring time on May 22 at 1pm. The event will be spread across four fabulous parks.  Locations TBD. The Butterfly Release is a celebration of our parks, complete with exhibitors, food and beverage, merchandise, kids activities and butterfly garden workshops.

Donate to the Wilshire Wonderland of Lights

A Strolling Holiday Experience at Wilshire Trails Park | 849 Wilshire Trails Road
Find out more about the event.

Giving Tree and Park Bench Program

Remember a loved one; Celebrate a new life; Honor someone special
Giving Tree: $1,000
Park Bench: $2,500
Both includes a recognition plaque and installation.
Call 770.531.2680 for more information.


Our Legacy

  • Friends of the Parks was formed in response to citizen concerns for the need to restore Ivey Terrace Park.
  • In 1996, a public-private partnership was created between the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Parks and Recreation, and the 501-C3, Friends of Gainesville Parks, Inc.
  • Friends of the Parks is funded through private donations and grants.
  • Friends of the Parks is under the direction of Board of Directors, a mixture of City Council and Board appointed.
  • In 2002, the organization changed its name to Friends of Gainesville Parks and Greenways, Inc.
  • Friends of the Parks hosts the annual Sunday in the Parks Butterfly Release.
  • Focuses on:
    • Restore the Rock Creek Greenway Corridor, including streambank restoration, erosion control, landscape beautification, and the construction of multi-use trails
    • Acquire land for parks and greenways to develop greenway network in partnership with the City of Gainesville
    • Maintain and beautify parks and greenways
    • Increase connectivity and greenspace awareness through educational programs

Our Achievements

  • Creation of the Rock Creek Park or "Gateway Park" dedicated in 2001
  • Land acquisition along the linear corridor
  • Master Plan development for the Rock Creek Greenway
  • Stormwater management and streambank stabilization
  • Restoration of Ivey Terrace Phase I, II and III
  • Annual Butterfly Release
  • Sidewalk Initiative (In partnership with the City of Gainesville Sidewalk Master Plan)

Get Involved

Friends of Gainesville Parks and Greenways meets the first Thursday of every month at the Gainesville Civic Center.