Spring Cleanup Day Set for May 21

KVHB Fall Cleanup Photo

The Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful team preparing to head out for a recent fall cleanup.

Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful is looking for volunteers for its annual pre-Summerfest, spring clean-up of the neighborhood. The event is set for Saturday, May 21, 8:00 am – 12 pm.

Volunteers will meet at American Roadhouse on N. Highland Ave. and enjoy bagels and coffee before heading out to do litter, debris, and weed removal, as well as sticker and graffiti abatement along N. Highland Ave., St. Charles Ave., around the triangle island at N. Highland and Virginia Ave and on other streets.

No RSVP needed. Just show up ready to help spruce things up around the ‘hood!

Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful is a joint effort of VaHi residents and businesses. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/KeepVirginiaHighlandBeautiful.

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Volunteers Needed for Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful Fall Clean Up

KVHB Fall Cleanup PhotoPassing along the following from our friends at Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful…

Join residents and business owners in a fall cleanup of the neighborhood. This is the kick-off for our efforts to having N. Highland Avenue looking in top shape for the upcoming holiday season.

For Volunteers:

  • Meet in front of American Roadhouse restaurant (coffee and biscuits will be served). If you can’t be there at 8:30 am, join us at any point in the morning!
  • Bring work gloves, rakes, weed spray, gas powered weed whackers, small scrapers for sticker removal, etc.
  • We will provide trash bags and latex gloves
  • Can’t make it on the 18th? Go for a walk in the neighborhood any day. Take a trash bag and pick up litter as you go.
  • Parents, please consider bringing (or volunteering) your teens to help. This would make a good volunteer project for any youth group or to meet high school volunteer requirements.

For Business Owners:

  • Volunteer staff to work alongside residents
  • Hire someone to do extra clean up around your business
  • Donate supplies or refreshments for volunteers
  • Consider what you can do to improve the appearance of your storefront – perhaps it’s time for some new planters and fall pansies. See Mica at Intown Ace Hardware for guidance on what to plant
  • Don’t neglect parking areas. This is often the first thing your patrons see driving into the neighborhood.
  • Partner with nearby businesses and hire someone to do regular cleanup of your whole block, or shared parking area.
  • Make sure trash is making it all the way into the dumpster and dumpster doors/lids are kept closed.
  • Have graffiti on your building? Contact the Graffiti Task Force for help. graffiti@vahi.org

Questions? Contact Kay Stephenson kay.stephenson@gmail.com (404) 431-2603, or Tim Langan t_langan@hotmail.com (678) 464-7268.

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeepVirginiaHighlandBeautiful

 

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Volunteers Needed for VaHi Cleanup Event

DSC05672Passing along the following from our friends at Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful…

Join your neighbors – residents and business owners – on Saturday May 17 as we spruce up the neighborhood in anticipation of Summerfest. Meet at 8 AM at American Roadhouse for coffee and a biscuit to fortify you for your labors. Bring work gloves, scrapers (for sign and sticker removal), and if you have one, a gas powered weed whacker or leaf blower. Bags and water provided.

Special thanks to Emile (American Roadhouse) and Kristi (The Warren) for providing refreshments.

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

IMG_1169

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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Keep VaHi Beautiful Group Holds Successful Clean-Up Event

Volunteer Tim Langan does battle with weeds along N. Highland Ave.

Resident volunteers and local business owners joined forces on Saturday April 13 to spruce up several areas around the neighborhood in the most recent event sponsored by the Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful group.

“We had about twenty volunteers and strong support from local businesses like Paris on Ponce, City Storage, Urban Body Studio, Java Jive, J. Christopher, Atkins Park, American Roadhouse, Intown Ace Hardware and Highland Tap,” said event coordinator Kay Stephenson.

Stephenson said workers focused on picking up trash and pulling weeds at three main areas: Maiden Lane, Orme Park, and N. Highland Avenue from Ponce De Leon Avenue to Los Angeles (and east on Virginia Avenue).

A long line of trash bags filled with weeds and trash is evidence of the clean-up's success along Maiden Ln.

“I can’t say enough about the support we’re getting from some local business and commercial property owners,” said Stephenson. “Property owner Lynn DeWitt worked side-by-side with us pulling up weeds from tree wells and Paris on Ponce owner Dennis Baker worked actively with the team on Maiden Lane.”

After the event, volunteers were treated to lunch and a cold beverage at Highland Tap.

Volunteers enjoy lunch at Highland Tap after the clean-up.

 

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Keep VaHi Beautiful Group Sets Date for Spring Clean-Up, Seeks Volunteers

Volunteer Roger Harris cleans-up under a bench at the triangle while Bob Coomes chases down pesky weeds during last Fall's Keep VaHi Beautiful clean-up event.

Keep VaHi Beautiful, a group that formed last year to encourage VaHi residents and businesses to focus on keeping the neighborhood as clean and tidy as possible, will hold its second major clean-up event on Saturday April 13 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. The event is part of the group’s efforts to get the neighborhood looking as good as possible prior to this year’s 30th anniversary Summerfest.

Highland Tap will be supporting the clean-up event by providing Krispy Kreme donuts for early-arriving volunteers. In addition, volunteers will receive vouchers from Highland Tap good for either one complimentary beer, or a hamburger or chicken sandwich with fries or onion rings and a non-alcoholic beverage for the discounted price of $6. Volunteers can use the voucher at the post clean-up lunch to be held at Highland Tap. For those who can’t stay for lunch, the voucher will be good for 60 days from April 13.

Group co-chair Key Stephenson offers the following guidelines for volunteers and businesses who would like to help:

For volunteers:

  • Meet at the triangle (intersection of N. Highland and Virginia) at 8:00 AM on Sat. April 13. If you can’t be there at 8:00 am, join when you can.
  • Bring work gloves, rakes, weed spray, gas powered weed whackers, small scrapers for sticker removal, etc.
  • Trash bags and latex gloves will be provided.
  • Parents, please consider bringing (or volunteering) your teens to help. This event would make a good volunteer project for any youth group or to help meet high school service requirements.
  • Can’t make it on the 13th? Go for a walk in the neighborhood any day. Take a trash bag and pick up litter as you go.

For business owners:

  • Volunteer staff to work the event alongside residents.
  • Hire someone to do extra clean up around your business.
  • Donate supplies or refreshments for volunteers to use during the event.
  • Consider what you can do to improve the appearance of your storefront – perhaps it’s time for some new planters and spring plants. See Mica at Intown Ace Hardware for guidance on what to plant.
  • Don’t neglect parking areas. This is often the first thing your patrons see when driving into the neighborhood.
  • Partner with nearby businesses and hire someone to do regular cleanup of your whole block, or shared parking area.
  • Make sure trash is making it all the way into the dumpster and dumpster doors/lids are kept closed.
  • Have graffiti on your building? Contact the Graffiti Task Force for help at graffiti@vahi.org.

Questions? Contact Kay Stephenson kay.stephenson@gmail.com (404) 431-2603 or Tim Langan t_langan@hotmail.com (678) 464-7268.

To like the group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeepVirginiaHighlandBeautiful.

Click here to read about the group’s first community clean-up event, held last October.

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Voice – August 2012 – A New Garbage Can Today; A More Beautiful Neighborhood Tomorrow

New Volunteer Group To Focus on Upkeep of VaHi’s Commercial Areas

By: John Becker
A shiny new garbage can made its debut last week on the southwest corner of North Highland and St. Charles avenues. The new receptacle – provided by Keep Atlanta Beautiful and paid for by Atlanta-based UPS – is the first tangible byproduct of the efforts of a new neighborhood group that seeks to spruce up VaHi’s commercial nodes.

According to its mission statement, Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful is an informal group of volunteers committed to keeping VaHi an inviting and well-maintained neighborhood that residents, business associates and visitors enjoy – and criminals avoid. Specifically, the group plans to make sustainable improvements to litter control and weed removal around the neighborhood’s commercial districts.

Peggy Denby, Executive Director of Keep Atlanta Beautiful, (l) and John Wolfinger, Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful member, apply a decal to the new garbage can at N. Highland and St. Charles avenues.

While it’s working loosely with the VHCA’s Public Safety Committee chaired by John Wolfinger, the group currently has no formal ties to the civic association. Wolfinger explains why the group formed.

“Many of the businesses and property owners in the commercial areas along North Highland do an excellent job of maintaining their property – not just the storefront, but all the way to the street. They keep litter picked up, sweep their sidewalks and curbs, maintain plantings, remove illegal handbills from poles, and more. Sadly, some owners do not share this focus.”

Wolfinger says the inconsistency creates a poor public image and contributes to the “broken window” theory that says poorly maintained properties send an inviting message to criminals. Wolfinger points out that, while a few dedicated residents have taken it upon themselves to periodically clean up problem areas to supplement the efforts of many business owners, a more sustainable solution is needed.

“Our goal is to expand the regularly scheduled clean-up services that occur in certain commercial areas to include all commercial properties in the neighborhood, including those where upkeep is lacking,” says committee member Kay Stephenson. “We plan to hold special resident and merchant cleanup days and will be contacting property owners – including owners of a few foreclosed storefronts that have become unsightly – to request help. We also hope to develop a kit of resources so that each property or business owner can easily maintain their part of the streetscape.”

Stephenson points out that the group is just getting started and cautions not to expect dramatic change overnight.

“Informally we’re looking first at the St. Charles node,” Stephenson says, “but over time we intend to address all the commercial areas throughout the neighborhood.”

Anyone who shares the committee’s vision of creating a more sustainably beautiful Virginia-Highland is encouraged to get involved. Send an email to Stephenson at kay.stephenson@gmail.com or committee member Tim Langan at t_langan@hotmail.com and you’ll be kept up to date on group activities. If you have thoughts about how the committee can accomplish its goals, Stephenson says, include them in your email.

VOICE tips its hat to the committee for checking the first item off its to-do list with placement of the new garbage can at N. Highland and St. Charles. We look forward to seeing more improvements in the weeks and months ahead.

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