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Updates about groups and activities related to the
Proctor Creek watershed of Northwest Atlanta
NEWS
Residents Improving Parks in the Watershed
Neighborhood groups have been hard at work improving their parks in the Proctor Creek watershed. In the Lincoln Homes neighborhood, the Friends of Lillian Cooper Shepherd Park secured a grant from Park Pride and worked with the City Department of Parks to install brand new playground and exercise equipment. The Friends of group is also planning a park workday and ribbon cutting event in April.

Meanwhile, in the Carey Park neighborhood, neighbors have been working to improve a forgotten park that was brought to the attention of the City Parks Department last fall. Neighbors have formed the Friends of Watkins Park and secured a NPU grant to hire a troupe of goats and clear invasive plants that had overtaken the park. The group is next planning to add a park bench near a MARTA stop by the park and is enthusiastic to make future improvements. (Photo by Keith Sharp)
Groups Share Comments on City Permit
Earlier this month, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) held a public hearing to collect comments on a draft permit for the City’s combined stormwater and sewer systems (CSS). Mandated by the Clean Water Act, the permit sets requirements on the treatment and release of water from the City’s combined sewer system into waterways. Many organizations working in Proctor Creek shared comments at the hearing and in writing including: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, ECO-Action, Metro Atlanta Urban Watershed Institute, the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and West Atlanta Watershed Alliance. Examples of recommendations made at the hearing include ensuring that the revised permit uses consistent terminology, that it clearly defines how overflow events will be measured, and that it includes provisions to notify downstream users if an unpermitted release occurs. Now that the public comment period for the permit has closed, EPD staff are reviewing comments while making any necessary revisions to the draft.
Proctor Creek Water Quality Update
West Atlanta neighborhoods have been teaming up with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) to test water quality in Proctor Creek since 2010. These tests help CRK trackers find pollution sources and notify the City of Atlanta, who has been responsive in making necessary repairs. CRK staff and community members test for several parameters including E.coli bacteria, which is measured in MPN (“Most Probable Number”). Ongoing tests show that after many years of degradation, water quality in Proctor Creek is finally starting to get better. Residents testing the creek at a site near the Bankhead MARTA station, for example have seen E.coli levels drop from an average of 2200 MPN (in 2010) to 734 MPN (in 2014). Atlanta’s other urban streams average around 300-600 MPN, and the level designated by EPA as safe for “primary recreational contact” (i.e. swimming) is 126 MPN, but we’re moving in the right direction. You can keep up with all the test results at www.chattahoochee.org/nww. There’s more work to be done in Proctor Creek; contact Mike Meyer mmeyer@chattahoochee.org to help with the sampling effort. (Article contributed by Mike Meyer)
UPCOMING EVENTS
Community-building Coalition of Northwest Atlanta (CCNA) Annual Meeting
Date: Friday, February 27 (10am-Noon)
Location: Fire Station 28, 1925 Hollywood Rd NW
Description: "As Northwest Atlanta emerges from the demolition of public housing, the Great Recession, and entrenched social challenges, join us to discuss how strong schools and partnerships are key ingredients to the revitalization of our communities. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools. Followed by a panel discussion with educational leaders from NW Atlanta schools."  Click here to view the flyer.
Organized by: Community-Building Coalition of NW Atlanta
 
Proctor Creek Forum
Date: Saturday, February 28 (10am-1pm)
Location: Grove Park Recreation Center, 750 Francis Pl NW
Description: "Join Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and West Atlanta Watershed Alliance as we hold a Proctor Creek Forum to chat about what we have learned from water samples collected through the Neighborhood Water Watch program and the Proctor Creek River Rendezvous in November. We will discuss improvements made to Proctor Creek as a result of your efforts and would love to get your input as we move forward!  Lunch provided if you RSVP to Mike Meyer at mmeyer@chattahoochee.org. And we are giving away 8 Atlanta hawks ticket vouchers as door prizes!"
Organized by: West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
 
Westside Atlanta Land Trust Advisory Board Meeting
Date
Saturday, February 28 (3-5pm)
Location: Neighborhood Union Health Center, 186 Sunset Avenue (Community Room No. 1)
Organized by: Westside Atlanta Land Trust
 
Celebration of New Playground at Grove Park
Date: Wednesday, March 4 (4:30pm)
Location: Grove Park, 709 Hortense Place NW
Description: "On behalf of Commissioner Phuong, the Department of Parks and Recreation cordially invites you to celebrate the new playground at Grove Park.  Please invite your family and friends to join us at this community celebration!"
Organized by: City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation

March Proctor Creek Stewardship Council meeting
Date: Friday, March 6 (1-3pm)
Location: Fire Station 28, 1925 Hollywood Rd NW
Contact: Na’Taki Osborne Jelks @ 404-825-3872 or Tony Torrence @ 678-663-1858
Organized by: The Proctor Creek Stewardship Council
 
AUC, Vine City, & English Ave EcoDistrict Town Hall Meeting
Date: Monday, March 9 (6-8pm)
Location: Cosby Auditorium, 440 Westview Dr. SW, Spelman College
Description: "Join us, as the CEO of EcoDistricts, Rob Bennett, shares how neighborhoods across North America are working together across the public, private, and civic sectors to achieve their goals for becoming a more socially just and ecologically sustainable district. Learn more about how Atlanta is already at the forefront of this movement, and how we can work together to take that vision further. We are excited to work with you to reimagine the AUC, English Ave, & Vine City district from the ground up. Join us to make your voice heard and to join the team committed to get this work done!"
Organized by: University Community Development CorporationHELP ORG, Inc.City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability
 
Westside Atlanta Land Trust Advisory Board Meeting
Date
Saturday, March 14 (3-5pm)
Location: Neighborhood Union Health Center, 186 Sunset Avenue (Community Room No. 1)
Organized by: Westside Atlanta Land Trust
 
Confluence - Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Annual Volunteer Conference
Date: Saturday, March 14 (9am-5pm)
Location: Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center,
2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford, GA
Description: "Discuss, share, and learn more about the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program! Meet water quality professionals and
AAS local coordinators, trainers and volunteers. Come experience: Hands-on Workshops, Networking opportunities, Student water research poster competition, Volunteer presentations and awards ceremony"  Click here for more information.
Organized by: Georgia Adopt-A-Stream
 
Going Green Through Advancing Green Infrastructure Community Forum
Date: Tuesday, March 17 (10am-2:30pm)
Location: Clark Atlanta University, room tba
Organized by: ECO-Action
 
Fertile Crescent Steering Committee Meeting
Date
Friday, March 20 (3-5pm)
Location: The Center for Working Families, 477 Windsor St SW
Organized by: Southwest Atlanta Fertile Crescent
 
Parks & People: A Declaration of Interdependence - Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference
Date: Monday, March 23 (8am-5pm)
Location: Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE
Description: "What makes a park great? This is the question at the center of the 2015 Parks and Greenspace Conference theme. Great parks don't happen by accident. Atlanta's Woodruff Park illustrates an inspiring example of how iconic spaces have been brought back from the brink of despair and disuse by a group of committed community members, businesses, and initiatives. All over the world, languishing public spaces have been re-invented by strong community interventions, deliberate design and programming and strategic partnerships. It is clear that there is a symbiotic relationship between a community and its park that creates either success or disaster. The theme of this year's conference, "Parks and People: A Declaration of Interdependence," explores the direct (and often complex) relationships between engaged communities and successful parks."  For more information about the conference, click here.  *Note that some scholarship and volunteer opportunities are available. Contact Ayanna Williams (404-546-7963) at Park Pride for details.
Organized by: Park Pride
 
Proctor Creek Conversation with Alexie Torres-Fleming
Date: Tuesday, March 24 (10-11am; followed by a small group discussion for watershed residents from 11am-Noon)
Location: Atlanta Community Food Bank, 732 Joseph E Lowery Blvd NW, Conference Room B
Description: Meet and hear from Alexie Torres-Fleming, community organizer and urban planner from the South Bronx, NY as she shares stories of community leadership and collaboration to reclaim and restore the Bronx River. The conversation will explore strategies for success and similarities between efforts in the Bronx River and Atlanta’s Proctor Creek. Everyone engaged in efforts in the Proctor Creek watershed is encouraged to attend. Following the presentation and large group conversation, watershed residents are encouraged to stay and meet with Alexie afterwards from 11am-Noon.

Keep up with upcoming events relevant to the Proctor Creek Watershed online at: http://aboutproctorcreek.com/upcoming-events
OPPORTUNITIES
Grant Opportunity - Environmental Education Local Grants
Through the Environmental Education Local Grants program, EPA seeks grant proposals to support locally-focused Environmental Education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship through designing, demonstrating, and/or disseminating environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. Projects under this RFP will help develop informed, knowledgeable citizens, and provide them with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. From this RFP, EPA expects to award three grants from each of EPA’s 10 Regional Offices, for a total of approximately 30 grants nationwide. Proposals under the Local Grants RFP are being accepted through March 6, 2015. Visit the EE Grants Program webpage for details on how to apply.
Grant Opportunities - The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
The Community Foundation has several grants that may be of interest to groups working in the Proctor Creek Watershed. The Foundation's Neighborhood Fund provides resources to community groups (non-501(c)3) seeking to impact their community at the local level (Application deadline March 13). The Foundation's Common Good Funds are available to nonprofits for general operating support for an organization’s ongoing administrative and infrastructure costs and/or to maintain existing, effective programs (Letter of Intent due April 15). The Community Foundation offers several other grants throughout the year.  For a full list of grants, deadlines, and orientation sessions click here.
Grant Opportunities - Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection
The Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection Web site is a searchable database of financial assistance sources (grants, loans, cost-sharing) available to fund a variety of watershed protection projects. To visit the catalog, click here.
Webinar - EPA Grants Award Process
Webinar for anyone interested in applying for EPA grants or currently managing an EPA grant on March 18 (2-3pm). For more info and to register, click here.
WATERSHED TIP - Reporting water quality problems
Ever wonder who to call if you see something that may be a water quality problem in Proctor Creek?  
  • You can report sewer overflows, sewer odor, or illegal discharges to sewer with the City's Department of Watershed Management by calling 404-658-6500.  
  • You can also report most water quality threats with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper online by clicking here or by calling Jason Ulseth at 404-352-9828 ext.16
Be sure to note the exact location, possible sources, and odors, and take pictures to help identify the source of the problem.
You received this newsletter because of your involvement, leadership, and interest in activities related to Proctor Creek and Northwest Atlanta. Numerous individuals, organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions are actively working within the Proctor Creek watershed to improve the environment and the quality of life of residents. To share information about your work or an event or story for the next newsletter, email contact@aboutproctorcreek.info
Online at - Aboutproctorcreek.com
On Facebook at - Facebook.com/Aboutproctorcreek
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