Art fights blight in DeKalb neighborhoods


Art fights blight in DeKalb neighborhoods

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Mark Niesse
Colorful barriers off River Road in south DeKalb County block a former illegal dump site. Photo: DeKalb County

Colorful barriers painted with butterflies, flowers and animals are preventing illegal dumping across DeKalb County.

The county’s Barriers to Beauty program is installing heavy concrete blocks to prevent access to roads where trash and debris has been discarded.

Children spray paint and color in the barriers to brighten the previously blighted areas.

“These barriers are used to prevent dumping in key areas, and when they are bare, they look institutional,” said Gordon Burkette, program director of Keep DeKalb Beautiful, in a statement. “This hands-on project  is designed to give young people the opportunity to improve how their own communities look through creativity.”

Since the program began last year, about two dozen barriers have been installed.

Information: 404-249-2010 or

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