Over 80 volunteers from six neighborhoods took to Peachtree Creek on March 1 and cleaned out 2.3 tons of trash from the water source that runs through the westside of Atlanta. The cleanup was held through Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy, a three-year-old organization that beganbecause residents wanted to take care of their neighborhood.
“The conservancy was inspired after the flooding that Atlanta had during the summer in 2011,” said Roxanne Smith, president of AMPC. “We wanted to clean up the park, the clubhouse and decided to form the alliance with the six neighborhoods to create a master plan to continue improving our local green space.”
Through a detailed master plan, the AMPC aims to renovate the Bobby Jones Golf Course, Bitsy Grant Tennis Center and the park as a whole. Atlanta Memorial Park covers 178 acres and is the third largest park within city limits. The neighborhoods it touches include Brandon, Collier Hills, Collier Hills North Memorial Park, Peachtree Battle Alliance, and Springlake.
Hardman Knox has lived in Memorial Park for 14 years, and knew that getting involved with the conservancy was not only a great way to be involved, but also necessary. “We have to pitch in to take care of the places we live,” he said. Knox and other volunteers like him spent at least two hours in the creek and pulled out 37 tires, car bumpers, clothing, and more.
The cleanup effort was the first of its kind, and the conservancy plans to host more volunteer events to update and beautify the park. “We want people to become members of the conservancy and take pride in the local neighborhood park,” said Smith, who lives in Peachtree Battle. “If not AMPC, I encourage people to join their local park because there is a huge pride in being hands-on with where you live, and is also a great way to teach the younger generation to give back.”
In addition to clean up and beautification efforts, AMPC will focus on solutions to improve conditions on those segments of Peachtree Creek and Tanyard Creek running through the Park, including storm water management and flood mitigation; restoration and preservation of creek beds to prevent further erosion; and management of sewer-related issues.
“There is a lot of work to be done, but seeing the park become a better place for families and our kids is really worth it,” Knox said.
In other news: As a reward for perfect attendance this year, 36 students from T.H. Slater Elementary School in Atlanta received new bicycles and helmets on March 6 through Protiviti and its iCare Program. Protiviti is a global consulting firm located in Buckhead. The event was also in in collaboration with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Quixote Consulting.