Stewardship Advocacy Training Unites Proctor and Intrenchment Creek

Youth participants in the Atlanta Watershed Learning Network along with their instructors

Community members who have learned to advocate for their own communities make the best mentors for those who are just beginning to get their feet wet. Since late April, Proctor Creek Stewards have been working and learning together with Intrenchment Creek Green Infrastructure Advocates to develop strategies to address flooding issues in and protect both the Proctor and Intrenchment Creek watersheds. ECO-Action, in collaboration with WAWA,  The Conservation Fund, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management and the support of American Rivers has engaged roughly 20 participants in each of four workshop sessions, developing their understanding about these watersheds and learning about green stormwater infrastructure, climate change and environmental justice issues related to flooding in these communities.

Participants and trainer brainstorming to identify potential projects.

The program deliberately mobilizes residents from both the Proctor Creek  and Intrenchment Creek watersheds, partnering individuals who have some experience in green infrastructure advocacy with those who are new to it. Participants are now preparing action projects around the topics of 1) communications strategies that will engage additional residents and influence and elected officials and stakeholders for green infrastructure; 2) green infrastructure project development to address flooding issues; 3) water quality monitoring and accountability through citizen science; and 4) education for efficient water use and stormwater retention in homes and schools. Participants’ projects will be presented at the closing session to be held on August 5th at 11 am. The session will be held at the Georgia Hill Neighborhood Center, 250 Georgia Avenue, Atlanta Georgia 30312.

This training is an integral activity of the Atlanta Watershed Learning Network.  This network enhances community outreach and engagement for the development and use of parks and the application of green infrastructure to address stormwater issues. By building community capacity to support the use of green stormwater infrastructure, Integrated Stormwater Management, and other sustainable measures, ECO-Action is building community capability to address flooding issues equitably while also protecting the Intrenchment and Proctor Creek watersheds.

For additional information about the Atlanta Watershed Learning Network, please contact Dr. Yomi at (678) 576-6715 or email asnoibi@gmail.com.

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Inspiring Youth

Inspiring Youth

Are you a young person who wants to meet others interested in advancing their leadership for change? ECO-Action is interested in working with young people interested in deepening their consciousness and understanding of environmental health threats, environmental degradation, and social injustice. We believe that youth can become effective agents of social change.

WHAT WE DO:
Youth Environmental Leadership and Learning Initiative 

RESOURCE LINKS:
South Atlanta School of Law and Social Justice

Greening Youth Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture enthusiastic and responsible environmental stewardship and healthy lifestyle choices among under-served, disconnected children, youth and young adults.

Center for Health Environment and Justice – info on community and school organizing

Beyond Pesticides’ Healthy Schools Project aims to minimize and eliminate the risks posed by pesticides through the adoption of school pest management policies and programs at the local, state, and federal level, thereby creating a healthier learning environment. Central to this effort are activities aimed at public education on pesticide hazards and efficacy of alternatives, and the continued development of model communities that serve as examples.

Healthy Schools Network –a national organization, centered on children’s environmental health , and dedicated to assuring every child and school employee an environmentally safe and healthy school In 1996, to assist parents with health-impacted children, we developed the EPA-award-winning Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids Clearinghouse©, which offers dozens of fact sheets, guides, and peer-reviewed reports.

Green Flag Schools Program: The Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s Green Flag Schools Program for Environmental Leadership provides a framework for students to become environmental leaders and contribute to positive change in their communities. Through the program, students of all ages learn environmental concepts, investigate their schools, and identify solutions for making their schools safer and healthier.

Environmental School Checklist Is your school healthy? Is the school environment fully accessible to all students and staff with asthma, environmental, or learning, developmental, and physical disabilities? Answer the ten questions in our School Environmental Checklist to find out. This information is included on both the Healthy Schools Network and BE SAFE campaign websites.

Coalitions & Campaigns

Coalitions & Campaigns

No one organization can effectively address a large and complex environmental problem alone. A multifaceted environmental problem may take years to totally resolve and may engage hundreds of people, a number of government agencies and multiple non profit stakeholders.

One of ECO-Action’s core strategies has been to assemble and coordinate efforts of communities and partner organizations to work as coalitions to address environmental threats though engaging in campaigns. Through sustaining and protecting power that has been gained as a result a single issue-specific community action, campaigns achieve long-term changes.

WHAT WE DO:

• South Atlanta for the Environment (SAFE) is the ongoing Atlanta campaign that has partnered with the national Safe Chemical and Healthy Families initiative.  Read more about SAFE here


Safe Chemicals, Healthy Families ECO-Action is the Georgia liaison with this national campaign to reduce toxic exposures through the use of safer chemicals.

RESOURCE LINKS:
BE SAFE: A national campaign of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, BE SAFE promotes precautionary action to protect human health and prevent pollution. The precautionary approach shifts the questions we ask about environmental hazards from “what level of harm is acceptable?” to “how can we prevent harm?” BE SAFE works with hundreds of groups across the country to build a national precautionary movement through advocacy, educational events, organizing and technical support to groups working on local and state precautionary policies, and distributing cutting-edge resources, publications and model precautionary policies.
Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals In May 2004, Louisville hosted a meeting of a network of groups and individuals whose common goal is to work together on chemical policies and campaigns to protect human health and the environment from exposures to unnecessary harmful chemicals. Participants named the Charter after this city to honor it and all the communities across the country and around the world committed to ending toxic chemical contamination.

Connecting Resources

Connecting Resources

Because many people don’t know what to do when they discover their neighborhood has been designated for a waste site or harmful facility, they turn to us. They need to learn the process of fighting a permit or forcing a company to comply with government regulations or to secure a clean up. ECO-Action teaches community groups the process and, in certain cases, connects them with intensive or specialized expertise including:

• Scientists
• Engineers
• Public health experts
• Doctors
• Lawyers

Having the facts is important in any issue. Researching the effects of chemicals on human health, and the environment and the laws is essential to establishing the credibility community groups need to fight against injustice. HOWEVER, knowledge is not power UNLESS we use it to make change.

ECO-Action also connects people to resources that we cannot provide directly. If we cannot help you when you need it, we will work with you to get you in touch with the organizations that can!

 

RESOURCE ORGANIZATIONS

Clark Atlanta University’s Center for Alternative Renewable Energy Technology and Training (CARET2 )

Environmental Protection Agency Region 4

Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness

Georgia Environmental Protection Division

Georgia State University, Georgia Health Policy Center

Georgia State University, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities Research

HERCULES Exposome Research Center

Park Pride

West Atlanta Watershed Alliance

Organizing Communities

Organizing Communities

When a community encounters an environmental issue of concern, they need to get mobilized to solve it.  By working together to identify the common issues they share, develop a strategy to get what they need and applying pressure to make needed changes, a community develops the capacity to take on even more difficult issues. ECO-Action provides technical assistance to communities to help them organize themselves to address the concerns they identify. We help communities answer three questions:

• What do you want? (long and short term planning)
• Who has the power to give it you? (power analysis)
• How do we get it? (identification of strategies and tactics)

WHAT WE DO:
Tire Initiative to Reduce and Eliminate Dumping
Whitesville Sanitary Landfill Closure

RESOURCE LINKS:
T.I.R.E.D of Tires — is a project of NPU-V & NPU-L in partnership with ECO-Action Tire Initiative to reduce and eliminate dumping. View the presentation here:  T.I.R.E.D. PDF

Center for Health Environment and Justice provides organizing and technical assistance to grassroots community groups in the environmental health and justice movement. CHEJ works with the environmental health and justice movement to eliminate harmful toxic exposures. We help people build democratic, community-based organizations to address public health and environmental threats from chemical hazards.

COMM-ORG, the online conference for community organizing attempts to bring together theory and practice, and academics and organizers, to advance the craft of community organizing. Toward that goal we have a papers collection, a syllabi collection, and links to resources supporting community organizing. As new materials get posted you will hear about them on both the e-mail list and on this home page.