Friends of the West End Park

Historic West End*Atlanta*GA

INTERESTING FILM… September 24, 2009

Filed under: DID YOU KNOW? — WEsprouts @ 3:22 am
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Did you know? August 5, 2009


Poster by Melanie Cervantes (

According to Conservation International, as of the middle of 2008, a plant or animal species was becoming extinct every 20 minutes. This process has accelerated at a rapid rate (in recent times) leaving many concerned about the sustainability of our future.

Bryan Welch (in an article for Mother Earth News-see source below) writes the following excerpts…

“We are aware that our population has been growing exponentially. We are aware that no species can expand infinitely on this finite planet. With this awareness comes responsibility.”

Scientists of the World Conservation Union estimate that 99% of recent extinction and currently threatened species have been or will be destroyed by human activities.

“As our economies are now structured, we depend on population growth to support economic growth. If demand for all goods and services were shrinking, values of all goods and services would also be declining in our current models”-writes Mr. Welsh.

Here are some of my thoughts:

So, the question remains how will an economic system that is based on consumption and population growth (capitalism) sustain in this ever-changing world? This is the time for humans to be visionary and secure sustainability for future generations!

As a child, I remember my family’s way of life was very different from traditional life in the United States. I grew up with many relatives living together so resources were shared and we were purposeful about not wasting or over-consuming. I had grandparents, aunts, cousins-which at one point or another lived with us. At a young age, we learned to be respectful of our environment, to stay grounded and humble.

My father taught me early on that living responsibly and making positive contributions to the world is our duty. I never saw us disconnected from our surroundings. He always taught me that America is one continent and that for thousands of years our ancestors travelled throughout the continent without restrictions. In many ways, our family was a matriarchy. My mother modeled behavior that ensured that as young girls we learned to be self-sufficient, strong and had good instincts. I learned valuable lessons from my grandparents about hard work, spirituality and our traditions. It was a different way of life and I’m so blessed for it. My Afro-Indigenous roots were rich with the wisdom I needed to be a strong woman, community member and mother.

These were stories of an Indigenous population dressed in fancy terms such as ‘Latinos’ to dilute our Amerindian ancestral identity-stories that went back thousands of years born from our ancestors’ thriving civilizations-which today still baffle those who visit ruins. It is there that you’ll find a legacy that is rich with lessons for all of us to learn.

Unfortunately, Indigenous communities in the Americas continue to be marginalized. Perhaps, now is the time to be humble and learn from these amazing pueblos, lets stop trying to pretend that dominant culture has all the answers. After all, many folks are now re-discovering natural medicine, herbal remedies, etc-many of these are our way of life. For example growing up- if you were dizzy or car sick you sniffed or nibbled on a lime, now young children take chemically-processed medications. Let’s be open-minded and stop the disrespectful and indecent treatment and displacement of indigenous people.

Sustainability is now!

Excerpts above from: “Planning for Sustainable Human Future” by Bryan Welch (Mother Earth News, April-May 2009)

*Correction-Initially the poster above was listed as one of Favianna’s creations but it’s actually from another fierce artist Melanie. A thousand apologies to Melanie for the error and pls check out her work at:



Seed Swap

picture from mother earth news, craig elevitch

So here’s the UPDATE: I’m working to get our fundraising stuff in place now that we have a 501C3 fiscal agreement w/ Park Pride.

Base on our last meetings this is what we’re doing…

  • FALL FEST-At our last meeting people were interested in a Fall Fest in the West End Park that can highlight and promote some of our urban farming initiatives but also provide activities for young children. We were thinking pumpkins, hay, etc. We talked about a seed swap, local urban farmers bring fresh veggies from their gardens, a map of gardens in the West End/SW Atl and more. If you’re interested in joining the planning committee (which promises to be much fun) please email me:
  • SIDEWALKS-one of the major repairs needed in our park is our sidewalks-especially our lovely brick sidewalk (north of the park) which currently makes it difficult for individuals w/ strollers or wheel chairs. Unfortunately, the city is in a major budget crisis and we don’t know how much help they’ll provide! I’m working to put pressure on the City in the meantime, we’re considering kicking off a ‘brick by brick’ fundraising campaign to cultivate private donors and get it FIXED! I’m researching how much it will be to have engraved bricks and once I know we’ll have an outline so neighbors can support by buying a brick!
  • FUNDRAISING EVENTS-we’ve talked about doing a semi-formal at the park possibly on the basketball court w/ live music. We’re thinking Spring. We’re still exploring our options. If anyone is interested-please email me at
  • GRANTS-I’m writing a couple of small grants to get rain barrels and start a small children’s garden/outdoor classroom. If funds are secured- we may need some of you handy neighbors to help with some of the projects.

The fall promises to be a busy season. Your INVOLVEMENT is MUY important!

  • Next Friends of the West End Park meeting is on August 19, 2009, 10:30am, location TBA
  • Next Clean-up is on August 15 at 10:30am (this time we’ve been promised mulch!)

Donations ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE and can be made to:

Friends of the West End Park

Mail to: Friends of the West End Park, 1080 OAK ST SW, Atlanta, GA 30310.

Thanks and I’ll keep you posted!


Designing a garden w/ your child… June 20, 2009

0401-beanteepee2In previous posts I’ve shared the benefits of gardening w/ children.  If you’re interested in learning more, there is a wonderful on-line resource called: In their Family Room you’ll find several articles on getting your garden started. Below is one of the chapters written by Cheryl Dorschner.


When it comes to making a kids-only garden, half the fun is in the designing. Here’s where your backyard reflects your family’s own style, your garden’s conditions, and your region’s climate. There are plenty of resources to advise you on the last two, but you’re the expert when it comes to creating a garden that matches your family’s personalities.

Brainstorm together. Try to use some part of everyone’s ideas — even if your kids claim they want a three-story tree house and a pond that has a cave you can only get to by swimming underwater — all on your 30×30-foot suburban lot. Maybe you compromise a tad with a delightful 5x5x10-foot playhouse with vines growing up three sides and a circulating “waterfall” from the top deck to a pond below. Okay, maybe it means a twig-made dome planted with vines beside a lined half-barrel “pond.” The pond features floating water plants, gold fish, and a “treasure chest” on a chain that they can drop in and pull out of the water. Your kids will love it. What they’re saying is they want a lookout and a hideaway. Scale is negotiable.

The best words of advice for a first garden is to start small (and add on or up). Even beloved children’s book character, Mary Lennox, stuck flowers in little beds before she boldly asked her uncle, “Might I have a bit of earth?” Then she revived “The Secret Garden.”

One easy design is to divide one-foot-squares with paths, adding as many as you’d like in whatever pattern suits your spot. The paths can be made of stones, bark mulch, newspaper covered with straw, or even boards. Kids plant something different in each squar (more…)


GARDEN FLAGS: Reuse fabric or old plain t-shirts! June 18, 2009

This is such a cute project from a blog called maya*made. Perfect for all of our little victory gardens in the West End (even the farm could benefit from these!)

For full post click on:

good wishes for gardens. earth. life. community.

good wishes for gardens. earth. life. community.


Interested in Outdoor Classrooms? June 17, 2009


Outdoor Classroom Symposium

Please save the date for Georgia’s 13th annual Outdoor Classroom Symposium to be held

Friday, October 30, 2009at Chase Street Elementary School in Athens, GA!  This year’s theme

of “Growing Fertile Minds” will feature sessionson how to create specific types of school gardens,

how to start farm-to-school programs, and how to use your school grounds to enhance cross-curricular

learning. The always popular “Make and take” classes and post-symposium workshops will also be offered.

Other highlights will include informative exhibits prepared by program providers and outdoor classroom

experts, a local farm-fresh lunch, presentation of the Outdoor Classroom Service Award,

and endless opportunities for networking and inspiration!

Additional details will be available when symposium registration opens in August 2009.

For Outdoor Classroom Guide:


Oakhurst Community Garden-Classes in the Garden! June 16, 2009

The Oakhurst Community Garden is offering a variety of classes (and camps) for all ages! For complete list click more or visit: Enjoy!

Animal Husbandry

Chicks and the City: Keeping Chickens for Eggs, Compost, and Endless Amusement
Join Andrew Wordes for our popular chicken crash course. An intro to coop design, relevant ordinances, breed selection, care and feeding, and resources with a local keeper of an “urban flock.”

Saturday, June 27, 10-noon, Pre-registration required
$25 Garden member, $30 non-member

Chicks and the City: Keeping Chickens for Eggs, Compost, and Endless Amusement
Join Andy Schneider, the Chicken Whisperer for our popular chicken crash course. An intro to coop design, relevant ordinances, breed selection, care and feeding, and resources with a local keeper of an “urban flock.”

Saturday, August 15, 10-noon, Pre-registration required
$25 Garden member, $30 non-member




Filed under: General Updates — WEsprouts @ 6:24 pm
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A group of neighbors is interested in creating a FRIENDS group for our library. No-I can’t coordinate because I’m too busy w/ the park but we have a couple of people who will step up to coordinate and I will provide support. The library needs this! We could use more books, programming, etc. If you’re interested. Email me: 1st meeting date: TBA.



Jossakeed and Cici’s beautiful VICTORY GARDEN in the Historic West End (Holderness):

The front yard is refitted w/ lots of edible veggies and fruits.

The front yard is refitted w/ lots of edible veggies and fruits.

Cici shows me their amazing trellises. Theyr'e handmade w/ bambo and stand over 5ft tall.




Filed under: DID YOU KNOW? — WEsprouts @ 5:39 am
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mission-balmy-alley-mural-tradAtlanta’s Fourth Annual Latin American and Caribbean Film Festival

June 11-June 14, 2009, nineteen recent films from across the Americas and the Caribbean will be screened at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.