What’s going on at Proctor Creek? What efforts are ongoing there? How can non profits, agencies and the City of Atlanta work together to revitalize the Creek along with the residents who live near it?
Community members, Proctor Creek supporters, Fulton County and City of Atlanta staff participated in a City of Atlanta Lunch and Learn sponsored by District 3 Councilmember Ivory Young on Friday October 30th to hear more about just this At the event, held in the Old Council Chambers of City, Hall, representatives of ECO-Action, the Community Improvement Association, the Conservation Fund, Proctor Creek Stewardship Council and the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance provided updates on the wide range of ongoing initiatives in the Proctor Creek Watershed. By providing a forum where community organizations might inform City government officials of these initiatives and highlight proposed activities, Councilmember Young hoped to identify ways that agencies might work in partnership with community organizations to meet these needs.
ECO-Action’s presentation focused on the next steps in implementing community projects identified though the completion of the Proctor Creek Health Survey. Since the survey data was collected and analyzed late last year, ECO-Action and Emory University, who together led the effort to complete the survey, have been meeting with interested Vine City and English Avenue community members to identify next steps to reduce the impact of flooding on public health. Community members identified six key goals for future action arising from the study findings. These areas were:
- Educate to promote lifestyle change (personal action)
- Facilitate home repair, maintenance and pest control (individual/landlord action)
- Provide smart relocation resources (personal action and support through a resource support system for relocation)
- Promote individual and community-wide green infrastructure as a method to prevent and reduce flooding and sewer overflows (personal and City action)
- Provide services and support for people with asthma (personal, physician and Fulton County Health Department action)
- Advocate for public policy promoting healthy homes (collective action geared toward City and Fulton County Health Departments)
ECO-Action’s Dr. Yomi presented six community-identified strategies that have been develop to achieve these goals. These strategies would enhance rental unit maintenance, senior home maintenance, pest control, assist individuals in smart relocation and provide additional community education about mold remediation, pest control and green infrastructure through a series of awareness workshops.
Other presentations made at the Lunch and Learn addressed:
- Capacity building for the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council presented by Darryl Haddock, a representative of the Council;
- Proctor Creek Citizen Science Programs presented by Na’Taki Osborne-Jelks of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance;
- Advancing Community Greenway and Green Infrastructure Visioning presented by Stacy Funderburke with the Conservation Fund;
- Atlanta Urban Environmental Resources Center presented by Tony Torrence, of the Vine City Community Improvement Association.
As each of these initiatives were presented, Councilmember Young identified ongoing City efforts that might complement them and provided suggestions for additional funding and partnerships.
There’s a great deal happening near the Creek. Working together, non profits, City government and citizens can enhance both the vitality and the beauty of this resource in our midst while improving the lives and livelihood of those living nearest to it.