BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH GOOD DESIGN! March 30, 2009
This past Saturday Jamila, Eugene and I attended Park Pride’s Annual Community Design Clinic. Thanks to Lynn and Brian for drafting a wonderful design which incorporates many different concepts-previously discussed at our Friends of the West End Park meetings.
The workshop was so much fun! When we finished, I was so excited and inspired I could hardly wait to share it with all of you. I’ll definitely bring the drawing to our next Friends of the West end Park meeting (April 15 @ 7pm)-in the meantime I thought I’d post pictures for you to see.
The theme of the park is SUSTAINABILITY and EDUCATION, we hope to provide environmental education, cultural and art-related activities that facilitate learning through positive experiences for park-goers. There’s a strong emphasis on children. We want to create interactive spaces where children can learn about the environment through topics such as growing food, harvesting water, wetlands, composting and understanding seasons in relation to vegetation.
The Children’s Area unites the existing playground to a Children’s Garden-where children can dig holes, make mud-pies, have their own planting events and grow sunflowers, herbs and other wonderful plants that children love. The areas are united by a maze this adds interest and keeps the children engaged. The area is circled by a path (made of recycled/sustainable materials), children can ride tricycles and bikes. The little squares represents a buffer (either posts or retaining wall) to protect the area from cars.
The pink circles that go around the park are flowering trees that provide ongoing blooms throughout the different seasons. Of course, in this dream design the sidewalks are repaired by the City!!! The basketball court has gutters added to the roof to collect water via rain-barrels. On the other side the water is directed to a mini-wetland that is part of our educational theme. We talked about converting that baseball field into a soccer field but still need to assess community preference.
STATE of GEORGIA WILL VOTE AGAINST KINDEZI SCHOOL March 28, 2009
The Kindezi School will not open in the fall.
This unique charter school would have been a wonderful addition to our educational institutions (here) in the Historic West End.
Many educators and community members worked VERY HARD to make The Kindezi School a reality. After being approved by Atlanta’s Public Schools, everyone was certain that the school would open this fall. Administrators had secured funding, hired teachers and began to enroll students-only to find out that the Department of Education (STATE) took a conservative stand on the schools democratic management structure and planned to deny the school’s charter. This is particularly ackward after the City’s approval.
Dozens of community members showed up to the State Board’s hearing to support The Kindezi School but they’re plead was ignored by the Board. The Kindezi School will have to withdraw the applicaton prior to the negative vote next Wednesday. If you’re available attend the GA State Education Board Hearing on April 1st.
If you’d like to call the State Board of Education here’s their info, let them know how disappointed you are that they’ve denied the West End an opportunity to host The Kindezi School!
Administrative Assistant to the State Board
2053 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
Tel: (404) 657-7410
I hope we move towards better days in Georgia, it’s clear we need to change the politics of this state…talk about ‘government’ respecting the needs and opinions of local communities-the West End is continuously short-changed!
Thanks to all the wonderful individuals that continue to work hard to make this a great community despite the lack of collaboration and support from the city and the state!
‘FRIENDS’ IS DOING GREAT THINGS! March 25, 2009
Wow-we’ve been so busy over at the park (and in our Victory Garden) that I haven’t had a chance to blog!
I have few updates for all you keepers of PACHAMAMA (mother-earth):
1. I had the pleasure of meeting the Dervaes family from Paths to Freedom in Pasedena, CA at the Oakhurst Community Garden. The family has an urban homestead- where they grow a good % of what they consume. The event was very inspiring, for more info: http://www.pathtofreedom.org!
2. We’ve decided on our garden location at the park. We’ll participate in a design workshop w/ Park Pride (this Saturday). We will begin to implement our design ideas on April 18th: our Earth Day Celebration. In the fall, we’d like to plant fruit trees. Donate a fruit tree! This is a great way to beautify our park and leave a lasting gift for generations to come. Talking about generations to come…we’re also exploring a children’s garden/area that could serve to educate on issues of the environment and sustainability.
3. The clean-up was a SUCCESS! Thanks to everyone who helped! Mr. Winston, Ryan Harry and Keanu Velez painted the walls by the tennis courts. They look great! Shout-out to our Jesuit Volunteers who also came out to support and Stephanie Harry for providing snacks and coordinating this month’s clean-up! Rock-on West End!!!
WEST END PARK CLEAN UP March 20, 2009
NEXT CLEAN-UP: This Saturday, March 21, 2009.
Friends of the West End Park + Volunteers gather every third Saturday to clean + care for the park.
If you’re interested, join us at the corner of Lawton + Oak Street.
IMPORTANT: JUMP ROPE CLASS CANCELLED THIS SATURDAY March 18, 2009
THIS SATURDAY WE’LL BE HOSTING OUR MONTHLY CLEAN-UP from 10am to 12pm.
COORDINATOR: Stephanie Harry
Volunteers meet at the corner of Oak + Lawton. Thanks!
REMINDER: Next Meeting… TOMORROW!
7pm-Grounds Coffee House
WANTED: USED PLASTIC EGGS March 17, 2009
Friends of West End Park is planning a SPRING EGG HUNT at the park.
Please consider making a donation. We’re counting on local contributions to make this a successful event. To donate email: email@example.com.
* Dollar bills/Change -for older kids
* Prizes: smaller prizes for eggs + larger prizes
*We’ll re-use plastic eggs
*Crafts (ideas/activities for children)
*Herb plants or seeds.
FRIENDS OF THE WEST END PARK-NEXT MEETING!
When? Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Location: Grounds Coffee House ( by CVS/Skylofts.)
REUSE! March 16, 2009
These old chairs get a face-lift. We used a plastic/outdoor table cloth to reupholster the chair.
Re-use + keep stuff out of the landfill.