Maiden Trail Workday Recap

20140712_091609The alleyway that runs parallel to St. Charles and Ponce de Leon avenues, between Frederica and Barnett streets, received a big dose of TLC from local residents and student volunteers this past weekend.  A group of 30+ worked from 9AM to noon on Saturday July 12 to clear brush, collect trash and recyclables, and spread gravel to improve the alley known locally as “Maiden Trail”.

photo 2bNeighborhood residents most closely engaged with maintaining and improving the alley formed the Maiden Trail Conservation Group in late April.  The group’s goal was to apply for and win a ‘Love Your Block’ grant from the City of Atlanta, and the group was advised in late May that they’d been awarded $1,000. Some of the funds were used to improve the alley’s surface and overall appearance during this most recent workday.

20140712_093620A dozen bags of trash and recyclables were collected and 13 cubic yards of gravel was spread in just a few hours with the help of more than 20 college student volunteers.  These students are recipients of Gates Millennium Scholarships, which provide each student a full 4-year scholarship to use at the college or university of their choice. The students give back to the community through various volunteer activities.

Councilman Alex Wan of District 6 provided bottled water for the group and the Atlanta Community ToolBank lent shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows at no cost for the event.

photo 2aFuture plans for Maiden Trail include planting shade trees and perhaps adding address markers to help APD officers more easily identify locations along the alley when responding to assistance calls.

“The Maiden Trail Conservation Group encourages neighborhood residents to check out Maiden Trail and see how pleasant the area has become for walking the dog or just taking a stroll,” says organizer Christopher Juckins. “Gone is the overgrown brush and excessive mud that plagued the alley for several years. It’s great to see a huge decrease in the previous loitering and littering problems, but the help of vigilant neighbors is needed to keep the area clean and secure.”

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Bring a Neighbor to Maiden Trail’s Upcoming Workdays

After_01a (Large)Passing along the following from VaHi resident Alicia Cardillo:

The Maiden Trail Conservation Group was recently awarded a Love Your Block grant from the City of Atlanta to further expand cleanup efforts for Maiden Trail. This group of neighbors began their efforts in January by hosting trash pick-up and brush-clearing workdays to make the area more accessible to cars, pedestrians, and dog walkers. We will host two workdays in the next two months to put these grant funds to good use:

  • Saturday, July 12 @ 9AM to spread gravel, clear brush growth and pick up trash (Rain date: July 13)
  • Saturday, August 2 @ 9AM to plant trees from Trees Atlanta (Rain date: August 3)

Please join us and bring your neighbors! Wear work clothes, comfortable shoes and work gloves; tools will be provided by the Atlanta ToolBank. Volunteers should meet at the alley entrance on Barnett Street where it intersects Maiden Lane.

We look forward to working side-by-side with you at these two upcoming workdays! Like our Facebook page to keep up with group activities: https://www.facebook.com/MaidenTrailATL.

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More Love for Maiden Trail

After_01a (Large)Residents who have been working to improve the condition of the alleyway that runs east of Barnett between Ponce and St. Charles – which they’ve dubbed Maiden Trail – have organized another clean-up event for Saturday May 3.

Anyone who wants to help remove trash and overgrown brush from the alley is invited to meet at the Barnett St. entrance to Maiden Trail at 8 AM, or just show up and join the group whenever you can. Volunteers should wear work clothes and bring gloves. Trash bags, other supplies and bottled water will be provided.

The group’s commitment to caring for the alleyway was rewarded this week when they were told they are the recipient of a City of Atlanta ‘Love Your Block’ grant to fund continued improvements. The award – which could be as much as $1,000 – will be used to purchase gravel to fill in ruts and plant native trees along the improved alleyway, according to organizers.

To aid police in responding to 911 calls, the group is also working on a plan to post St. Charles Ave. street numbers on the back fences along the alleyway.

“The Maiden Trail project for improving this particular alley continues to evolve thanks to the hard work of dedicated residents,” says organizer Christopher Juckins.

“Several conversations are in progress with various civic groups and city officials,” Juckins says. “I’m excited to see so much interest in making this neighborhood sore spot a future asset for the community as it becomes a pedestrian-friendly access path.”

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Date Set for Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful Fall Clean-Up Event

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Editor’s Note: Passing the following along from our friends at Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful (KVHB).

It’s time for Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful’s fall neighborhood clean-up event and organizers are looking for your participation.

What: Volunteers will clear weeds, pick up trash, and remove stickers and handbills.

When: The event is scheduled for Saturday November 2nd from 8 AM – 12 Noon.

Where: Efforts will be focused on the N. Highland Ave. corridor, primarily in the Atkins Park and N. Highland/Virginia commercial nodes.

Please contact keepvirginiahighlandbeautiful@gmail.com to volunteer or sign up on the group’s Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/221805984647003/.

If you are aware of a church, youth, or other service group that is looking for a project, please contact organizers so they can coordinate supplies and assignments.

DSC05676If you would like to self-organize to clean-up additional sections of the neighborhood, please let organizers know. In the past, groups have worked additionally around Orme Park and the Maiden Lane area.

Volunteers should bring work gloves, rakes, shovels, gas powered weed whackers and leaf blowers, and hand scrapers.

For businesses or individuals who would like to donate supplies, organizers need the following:

  • Lawn & leaf bags (20 or more)
  • Trash bags (one large box)
  • Latex gloves (one box medium and one box large)
  • Work gloves (10 pairs to be reused by volunteers)
  • Broad spectrum weed killer (two containers with built in sprayers)
  • A place to gather before – would be nice to have coffee for volunteers
  • A place to gather after – would be nice to have some sort of post work refreshments for volunteers

Please contact us if you can make a donation or would like to offer your place of business as a gathering spot or to donate refreshments.

DSC05671What else can you do?

Business and property owners are asked to take a critical look at the area from your front door to the street. Please make an extra effort to clean all the way to the street (including the curb area). Sweep up the cigarette butts and broken glass.

If you have a tree well in the right-of-way, how about making sure it is clear of weeds and buying a bag of mulch to make it look neat and keep the tree healthy?

For residents, this is a great time to make every part of the neighborhood look great – not just the commercial areas. Make sure the area in front of your home is groomed all the way to the street.

KVHB’s previous two events – in October 2012 and April 2013 – were very successful. Organizers are optimistic this November’s event will be the best ever.

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Work Day Scheduled for VaHi Triangle Island

DSC05442It’s time to bring some fall color to Virginia-Highland’s main intersection. Please join me and other interested volunteers at 1 PM on Sunday, October 27 at the triangle park space in front of Taco Mac.

Bring trowels, gloves and a bottle of water, if you have them. If not, we will provide them. We will do some light maintenance and plant some beds of pansies and kale. Stay for as long as you want. Come help us make your community center a beautiful place to spend time.

Questions or suggestions? Contact us at parks@vahi.org.

– Lauren Wilkes Fralick, VHCA Parks Committee

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