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The Imperative of Parks

For a quarter of a century, an indispensable Atlanta organization has championed the proliferation of parks. The nonprofit Park Pride orchestrates greenspace cleanup, planting, workshops, planning, maintenance, and much more. And it has always invoked the same reasons put forth more than 100 years ago by urban planners: parks promote physical and mental health and strengthen social bonds.

In Druid Hills, Park Pride first made its mark in 1995 when it helped develop a master plan for the Olmsted Linear Park before the formation of the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance [OLPA]. The Druid Hills Civic Association’s major financial support helped launch OLPA’s effort to rehabilitate the park which was led by the unsinkable Sally Harbaugh. Read more

The Past is Present in Druid Hills

medallionDuring the past half-century, Emory University has acquired more than 40 linear feet of papers that illuminate the work of the Druid Hills Civic Association. The records, which date back to the association’s founding in 1938, recently were augmented and now feature a complete collection of the Druid Hills News. The 1999 centennial medallion issued by the American Society of Landscape Architects, in recognition of Druid Hills as Frederick Law Olmsted’s last designed suburb, also has a new home at Emory.

“How do we make sense of such a large scale and diverse phenomenon as a city?” asked Randy Gue, curator of Modern and Political Historical Collections at MARBL (Emory’s Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Collection) who oversees the DHCA Collection. Read more

Parkwood Historic District

parkwoodmapThe City Commission of the City of Decatur, Georgia, has unanimously approved an ordinance amending Section 58 of the Decatur City Code to create the “Parkwood Historic District.”

The July 7 vote follows the April 21 vote to annex the Parkwood Neighborhood, which was petitioned by residents in January 2014: http://wp.me/p1H6Pf-Q7

The amended ordinance means that homeowners within the newly created historic district must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness and meet specific design criteria if they wish to make any material changes to the exterior of their homes.

The 3.2-acre Parkwood Park also was annexed by the City of Decatur.

070214 Parkwood LHD Ordinance

Celebrating with the Lullwater Garden Club

A few weeks ago as summer weather descended on Atlanta, friends and members of the Lullwater Garden Club celebrated National Garden Week with a new grant and bench dedication. Last fall, the 83-year old club launched a long-term revitalization plan to better manage water, erosion, and invasive species as well as expand trails and cultivate a wildlife habitat. Therefore, members were especially pleased to announce that the garden had received a Love Your Block grant from the City of Atlanta.

The grant was used to reach out to the community and government about the garden’s history and plans and to spruce up an area in the garden dedicated to one of the Club’s distinguished members. Read more

Close Encounter Near Deepdene Park

A longtime supporter of the Olmsted Linear Park had a close encounter with wildlife on June 12. It was early afternoon when Gail King drove along Ponce de Leon Avenue from Decatur back to her home. She spotted a very large moving object crossing the street near the intersection of Ponce and East Lake Road.  It turned out to be a huge Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra Serpentina) making its way slowly across the busy avenue from Deepdene Park. Gail immediately slowed and turned her car sideways so as to block two lanes of traffic heading west.  Another motorist also saw the turtle and used his vehicle to block the east-bound lanes. Then an observer who seemed knowledgeable about what he was doing lifted the turtle by the rear of its shell and carried it safely across Ponce de Leon in the southerly direction in which it was traveling. Gail estimated the turtle’s length at about 15 inches including a very large head. At one point the turtle snapped at the air and Gail could see pink inside the turtle’s mouth. Read more

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