Philanthropic Contributions Enable Atlanta BeltLine Expansion in to Southwest Atlanta

The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has successfully completed its most recent capital campaign to support the building of the Westside Trail. Inspired by a lead gift of $5 million from Jim Kennedy through The James M. Cox Foundation / PATH Foundation and invigorated by a number of donations of $500,000 or more, the $12.5 million campaign was completed in just one year. It was closed out with a matching gift from Richard and Susan Anderson and a final grant of $500,000 from Porsche Cars North America.

The campaign was crucial in securing an $18 million TIGER V grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation that is accelerating construction of the Westside Trail by two-to-three years. Funding will support the development of the Westside Trail, land acquisition, and project management and stewardship through the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s continuing efforts to enable the transformative project, empower the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, and engage the users and visitors of the parks and trails.

“The private sector’s support is once again playing a critical role in delivering more of the Atlanta BeltLine – this time to southwest Atlanta,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Chuck Meadows. “The generous donation by Jim Kennedy, alongside the impressive volunteer leadership of our Board of Directors and Campaign committee members, infused the campaign with the momentum to not only meet the tight TIGER V grant timeline, but also to rally other donors to accelerate the completion of the campaign.”

In addition to the lead gift from the James M. Cox Foundation/ PATH Foundation and the final gift from Porsche, several exceptional contributions were made during the campaign:

  • A $2.5 million gift from Kaiser Permanente which includes $500,000 for health measurement and programming;
  • A $500,000 gift from Wells Fargo Foundation to support accessible, vibrant communities;
  • A $500,000 gift in memory of Herman J. Russell, Sr.

The Atlanta Committee for Progress also provided critical leadership for this campaign, helping to secure key corporate contributions.

The effort was led by the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Board of Directors and a campaign committee led by Honorary Chair Mayor Kasim Reed; Honorary Co-Chairs James C. Kennedy of Cox Enterprises, Philip I. Kent, the late Herman J. Russell, Sr., A. Ray Weeks, Jr. of Weeks Robinson Properties; and Co-Chairs Matt M. Bronfman of Jamestown Properties, Michael S. Donnelly of Wells Fargo Bank, Ernest L. Greer of Greenberg Traurig, Michael B. Russell of H. J. Russell & Company, and Jeffrey Sprecher of Intercontinental Exchange. 

Capital Campaign Donors:

  • James M. Cox Foundation / PATH Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Susan and Richard Anderson
  • The Pittulloch Foundation
    • In Memory of Herman J. Russell
  • Porsche Cars North America
  • Wells Fargo
  •  Mr. John Portman and Mr. Charlie Loudermilk
  • Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.
  • AGL Resources
  • Ray Weeks, Jr.
  • Fuqua Foundations
  • Cousins Properties, Incorporated
  • Richard and Susan Dugas Family Foundation
  • Georgia-Pacific Foundation
  • Intercontinental Exchange
  • Morgens West Foundation
  • Rebecca and John Somerhalder
  • SunTrust Trusteed Foundations:
    • Harriet McDaniel Marshall Trust and
    • Walter H. and Marjory M. Rich Memorial Fund
    • Douglas J. Hertz Family Foundation, Inc.
  • Tommy Holder
  • Jamestown
  • AMLI
  • Philip I. Kent
  • Mr. and Mrs. R. Charles Shufeldt
  • L&C Wood Family Foundation, Inc.
  • Carter

When completed, the Westside Trail will transform an abandoned rail corridor into a 14-foot wide paved multi-use pathway for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles.  The project will also include the construction of 14 access points, 11 of which will be ADA-accessible, along with lighting, security cameras, signage, way-finding, mile-markers, and underground utility tunnels.  An expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine arboretum will blend hundreds of large, native trees and integrate more than 30 acres of inviting and usable new green space. The project will be constructed in preparation for future streetcar expansion. The Westside Trail connects four schools and four parks, as well as the residents of 10 southwest Atlanta neighborhoods to public transit, existing community businesses and future economic development sites.  In addition, the KP funding will programming to improve the health of the people and communities on the Westside Trail. For more information about the Westside Trail, please visit

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