Atlanta Civic Site Partners Meeting

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					                       ATLANTA CIVIC SITE PARTNERS MEETING
                        ROSA BURNEY PARK REDEVELOPMENT
                                             AUGUST 7, 2008

  o Be updated on the progress, partnerships and co-investment efforts in the revitalization
     of Rosa Burney Park;
  o Increase understanding of the impact of the Park’s revitalization efforts; and
  o Share thoughts and ideas on opportunities to increase Park use by community residents

PARTICIPANTS: Gail Hayes, Jody Brooks, Ronnie Galvin, Dana Rickman, Sheila Bissonette,
Walt Thompson, Joseph Krygiel, Lou Ann Braxton, Sylvia Williams, Sister Marie Sullivan,
Joyce Whitted, Kevin Eccles, Kevin Kelly, Cerrice Sanders, Katrina Monroe-Greene, Kwabena
Nkromo, Wendy Scruggs-Murray, Renee Giles, Semira Ajani, Mtamanika Youngblood, David
Jackson, Jennifer McCrary, Laura Lester, Pam Tatum, Jane Turner, Karen Kelly, Tierri Thomas,
Polly Boyd, Marion Platt, Iman Woodard, Annette VanDevere, Khaatim Sherrer-El, Diane
Bellum, Cori Dickens, Sharon Hausmann, Clara Axam, Sharon Collins, Cicely Garrett, Alvin
Dobson, Valarie Wilson, Sgt. R.E. Gordon, Deborah Nicholson, Danny Shoy, Jr., Olivia Alston,
Renetta Murray, Ayanna Williams, Michelle Chivore, Olatunji Cotton, Sylvia Robinson, Deb
Strahorn, Patricia Williams, Leon Brown, DeBorah James, Michelle Hampton, Ray Kuniansky,
Kim Kelley


Gail Hayes
Today, we will be talking about the redevelopment of more than 19 acres of land right in the
heart of Mechanicsville and NPU-V, including Rosa Burney Park, the school and the community
center. This is very exciting. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve these physical
facilities to ensure that they offer world class programs for kids, youth and the community.

Today, we will talk a lot about the park. People used to have a very traditional view of parks but
we are learning more about them and their broad impacts. They are economic development
vehicles that bring jobs to a community. They raise the property values in neighborhoods. There
is also an important public health dimension to parks as they impact wellness and fitness, reduce
stress and improve mental health. They help develop youth. There are great examples from
around country of amazing park programs that develop youth. Finally, they are also about
Community Building because they are places to gather, spend time together and develop
important social networks.

                                   Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                       Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                August 7, 2008
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Jody Brooks
Jody has been tasked with coordinating the activities around the redevelopment of Rosa Burney
Park and the Dunbar Center. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the impact of
collaborations and partnerships. There is a wide variety of partners with different agendas that
have found common alignment around the parks in this community. This meeting was designed
to bring together representatives from the many partners supporting improved conditions for
children and families in NPU-V to help the Civic Site find ways for the Park, the Dunbar Center
and the Civic Site to support their organizational goals.

Previously, Rosa Burney Park was known as Phoenix Park I. In 1992, Abbot Laboratories made
a donation to add the basketball courts and playground area but there have been few investments
in improving the park since then.

Rosa Burney was from South Carolina and she worked very hard for the community when she
came to Atlanta. She helped to start the community’s baseball team where her two sons played
and her husband coached. After her husband passed away, she kept the team going. She served
as the NPU-V chair person. She worked with the APS school system and served on a number of
boards. Things in the community would not have happened the way they did without her. She
was very stern and believed in doing things in a decent and orderly manner. To her, it was
important to follow the process that had been put in place.

Sharon Collins was her god-daughter. For about 15 years, she followed Ms. Burney around as
she served on the Southside Medical Center board and the board for Parks, Roosevelt High, etc.
She took Sharon with her to the board meetings and to city council meetings. During an
executive session, when citizens are not allowed to speak, Executive of the Council Rob Pitts
called on Ms. Burney to share her thoughts about an issue relating to Mechanicsville. Mayor
Campbell named the park after her. She passed away in 1993. She worked hard for these
communities. One of the things that Sharon always admired about her was her commitment to
see that the children had activities in their community. During the missing and murdered children
scare, Ms. Burney made Sharon responsible for bringing the children to the art center. That was
an important role but Sharon didn’t realize at the time. Ms. Burney was making sure those kids
got through the community safely.

Sharon has tried to follow in Ms. Burney’s footsteps. She hopes this park will provide activities
to enhance the mind, body and spirit of the kids in this neighborhood. They want a pool! They
are sneaking into City View! You would not believe how many calls Sharon gets each summer
asking about the pool. It means a lot to have this park, to have a park where young, old and all
can go and enjoy themselves. The life path is something we all need, not just the seniors.

This time you spend today talking about the park is important to the community. Look around
outside and notice the absence of kids out there today. Come back and see difference after this
process is over. We have come a long way baby, but we are not done yet!

                                   Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                       Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                August 7, 2008
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Atlanta as a city is lacking parks and green space. While the City has a lot of trees, it has the
least amount of parks and green space among 25 comparable cities. The BeltLine is addressing
that to a degree but it is also important to build on the parks that are already in place. The
equipment that was donated to Rosa Burney Park in 1992 is no longer useable and the kids don’t
have a place to play. Play and recreation and outdoor learning are important though so we are
really trying to establish a crown jewel for the Mechanicsville area through this redevelopment.

City of Atlanta Recreation Bond
The City of Atlanta has dedicated a recreation bond to this project. That has funded some major
transformations here. With that money, the City renovated these areas of the Dunbar Center and
will also renovate two additional meeting rooms in the Dunbar Center for community use. Suite
207 will house a large meeting room with a long boardroom table and a table for serving
refreshments. The third floor meeting room will be renovated to serve as a smaller conference
room with a small break room. The plan is to have the money appropriated and spent by end of
the year. RWH Design will do that work. While the drawings show the meeting room doors
facing the bathroom doors, they will not be situated that way. Residents made that suggestion
last week and the designers have not had a chance to create new drawings to reflect that yet.

Lots of kids come over from Dunbar Elementary to play in the Dunbar Center gym. Dunbar
Center has almost become a business center because of the large number of nonprofits housed
here so there are lots of kids interacting in the main lobby with business people. The City will
also fund the addition of a separate recreation entrance for the kids to use. This new entrance will
stay in front but it will include a canopy and entrance to the recreation side of the building.

Rosa Burney Concept Master Plan
There has been a lot of investment in this area as a result of the McDaniel Glenn HOPE VI
project. The pool has been offline for five years and there have been many debates about the
pool, ball fields, walking trails and volleyball courts, etc. Jody was brought on to help move the
group of stakeholders from the planning stage to the action stage.

The first stakeholder meeting to craft a Master Plan for Rosa Burney Park was held in 2006 and
Columbia Residential helped to create the original Master Plan. In 2008, we have taken that plan,
brought the stakeholders back together and put a new version in place. Ecos Environmental
Design, a local design firm that is working with the BeltLine, has been engaged to do this.
They have done great work in parks. Ecos, Jody and others have met with community members
and associations to get their input and the drawings Jody shared reflected that.

Aspects of the Master Plan include:
   o Dunbar Elementary and the Early Learning Resource Center – These represent a huge
       investment of more than $13 million to renovate the school and launch the ELRC. There
       will be new parking lots, play area for younger kids, etc.
   o Renovations of Dunbar Center – We hope these will include a green roof and urban
       agriculture components. We will plant trees and flora on the roof to reduce the impact of
       heat effect and to provide water catchment.

                                   Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                       Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                August 7, 2008
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o Habisha Gardens – Habisha is a nonprofit group that does community gardens and
  education with youth. They educate kids over the course of a year and then take them to
  Ghana. They use the gardens to teach math and science. They also have an organic fest
  every year in the parks.
o Park Paths - Ecos is following the existing pathways and mimicking them as they design
  the park’s paths and trails.
o Children’s playground area – Enterprise Community Partners has placed a playground in
  the Park with Annenberg money. We want to put an edible garden beside that and would
  develop programming where the children use the kitchen at the ELRC to practice healthy
o Stressing Safety – Several years ago a young girl was raped and murdered in the area and
  more recently a man exposed himself to kids in the playground. We want to make this as
  safe as possible and will make sure grading, landscaping and other park components
  support safety and allow as many eyes on park as possible.
o Promenade - Blank has invested in this park and will be funding the construction of a
  yellow brick Promenade as the central walkway through the park. There will be
  secondary trails off the promenade.
o Incorporation of Current Park Activities - Ecos has incorporated what people are already
  doing in the park. For example, there will be gaming benches at the entrance where
  people play checkers already. This will encourage people to keep using the parks.
o Adding New Trees – Every tree we take down that is greater than two inches in diameter
  has to be replaced.
o Replace the Gazebo – The existing gazebo is in disrepair. It was built in about 1976.
  There is no electricity and only one bench. So it will be replaced. We will put a shade
  structure there and will have grills there too.
o Repaired Courts with Programming – Currently, the tennis courts and basketball courts
  that are in the park are under-used. Nobody uses the tennis courts because they are
  cracked and there are no nets. We want to fix those and implement programming around
  them. The National Recreation Park Association is connected to the National Tennis
  Association so we will work with them on programming. We will also add a second
  basketball court to provide the opportunity for younger kids to use court while older kids
  use the current court.
o Open Active Space – This will allow people to just play in creative ways.
o New Pool, Splash Pad and Bathhouse – The pool has been out of commission for several
  years but the Parks Commissioner has promised that it will be up and running in 2009.
  There is money set aside for the renovation. There is also money for a new artistic fence
  around pool and for bathhouse renovations.
o Boundless Playgrounds – This playground will enable kids and caregivers of all abilities
  to play. There are three Boundless Playgrounds in Atlanta already and others are in the
  works. Rosa Burney Park is in the running for a national grant to get a fully funded
  Boundless playground. Boundless is a brand name but it means Universal Access. The
  playgrounds look normal but allow people of all abilities to interact on every level.
o Other Playgrounds - We are also competing for a Falcons grant to support playgrounds
  throughout Atlanta.
o Decorative Entrance on Crumley Street – This street has been closed and there are no
  plans to reopen it so we will add an entrance there.
                              Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                  Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                           August 7, 2008
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   o Trail System Around the Park – The trails will be made of a permanent, non-pervious
     surface and will include the Life Trail Systems designed for older adults to get exercise
     around a short circuit loop. This will increase the eyes on the park. Any age can use them.
   o Ball Fields – The ball fields are already there and are phenomenal. We might add a
     soccer field and might put benches on opposite sides of the field.
   o Swings
   o Pool Bathhouse – Columbia Residential has an impact fee for each phase of its
     redevelopment. We want to use that for the bathhouse renovation. We want to demolish
     the current one and will seek LEED certification for the new one.
   o Green and Sustainable Components - We want as many LEED components for this park.
     We are trying to go green and make it sustainable.

Questions and Discussion

You listed several things that will be provided by grants. Is there a list of things you still need
that people can donate? What is the process if someone would like to donate time and materials?
Jody would love to talk about that. That is a great segue into the afternoon discussion. We don’t
have process in place for that yet but we can talk about that in the small groups.

United Way has helped to brand positive messages about early learning through its public will
campaign. We could take advantage of open public spaces to do something similar around
health and fitness and child development. At Stone Mountain, there are signs to promote activity,
etc. We could do signs about young kids and their development. Born Learning Trails are what
they are called.

Can we get the local major sports teams involved?
We have partnership with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. We have applied for grants
from them and they might partner with us on the walking trail. Jody spoke with John Bare of
Atlanta Sports Philanthropy and they are exploring options. The Atlanta Track Club director
might be open to this. The Braves have a partnership with the school in Peoplestown. They might
be interested in expanding to include this.

Once the park is completed, people will their walk dogs there. Will we have poop canisters?
We haven’t discussed that but it is good idea.

The challenge for city parks is upkeep over time. Is there an endowment plan for the Park?
We will have to do that as part of our fundraising campaign. There is no budget in the city to pay
for the utilities of the additional lighting we are seeking. The City is in a financial crisis so we
will have to raise the money to maintain the Park. That is hard money to raise! Philanthropists
expect the City to maintain the parks. Hopefully we will find some wealthy donors who
understand that maintenance is critical to long term success but that is the hardest money to raise.

                                   Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                       Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                August 7, 2008
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The Blank Foundation has four strategic initiatives:
   1. Pathways to Success – This initiative provides support to enable all young people to
       make successful transitions from high school to college and careers. While Blank is not
       investing directly in this community as a part of this initiative, it is investing in the New
       Schools at Carver where a lot of kids from Mechanicsville and NPU-V go. Those
       investments are close to $4.8 million. The Foundation has also made investments that
       benefit all of APS and is looking to launch work at Southside and other schools.
   2. Inspiring Spaces – This initiative seeks to enhance people’s quality of life by increasing
       people’s access to green space.
   3. Art of Change – This initiative also seeks to enhance people’s quality of life by
       increasing people’s access to the arts.
   4. Better Beginnings – This initiative involves partnerships with other organizations,
       including United Way, QCC, Atlanta Community Food Bank, etc. It is an investment
       strategy to ensure that young kids are ready for the first stages of life and school.

Blank has contributed funds to support the redevelopment of the Rosa Burney Park promenade
and the artistic fence at the pool. Blank is focusing on parks within one mile of the BeltLine and,
to date, 33 parks have been identified. Rosa Burney Park is one of those parks.

Commissioner Cohen couldn’t come to today’s meeting. The City of Atlanta ranks very low in
terms of numbers and area of parks. Alvin came to Atlanta from Denver and didn’t realize how
many parks Denver was lucky enough to have there until he got to Atlanta. One of Alvin’s roles
is that of professional beggar. He seeks to shake lose money to support Parks projects. Before
this team came together, the City and Casey were making renovations at the Dunbar Center.

To date, a fair amount of investments to support the Park and Dunbar Center renovations has
been accumulated, including:
    o $600,000 from Blank to support the promenade walkway and artistic fence
    o $588,000 through a Community Development Block Grant to support renovations in the
         Dunbar Center such as painting, etc.
    o $100,000 through an Opportunity Bond
    o $223,000 from ACoRA to deal with pool which hasn’t been working for several years.
    o An additional $400,000 to renovate the pool.
In all a little over $2.2million has been invested in Rosa Burney Park. We believe that parks and
recreation programs are the heart and soul of a city. Normally our department gets cut first when
there is a budget crisis. We took an $8.2 million hit in the budget this year and have lost staff
while we try to maintain services.

Gail: The partnerships with Blank and the City are so important. We can’t do this without
partners. Blank has had a great partnership with the City and we got to take advantage of that and
piggy back on it. I am sorry that Commissioner Cohen can’t be with us because she has been
fabulous. The entire team has been incredible! The city gets beat up a lot and takes a lot of
criticism but we want to thank you on behalf of the whole team.
                                    Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                        Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                 August 7, 2008
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Park Pride is a small nonprofit that works in the City of Atlanta for new and better parks.
Community gardens are highly regulated and Park Pride administers the Community Garden
program. Community Gardens have to have community support, approval from the
commissioner, set up fees, and paperwork. The city council says you can have gardens in parks
and we are encouraging more to be planted. There is one in Rosa Burney Park now led by
Habisha that does programming with youth. Walt Ray administers program.

Park Pride will also be the fiscal agent for the money being raised to support the renovation of
Rosa Burney Park as a part of its Fiscal Partners Program. That Program is available for any park
in city, enabling citizens to raise and spend money for a park. Park Pride can also able to accept
physical donations and can assist people who are interested in donating.

Questions and Discussion

Is there a recycling or water retention strategy for community gardens and trees because of
Yes. Kwabena will talk about that. People are encouraged to plant drought tolerant trees. There is
a landscape consultant on staff at Park Pride to answer questions. We also encourage the use of
gray water. The City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department has engaged UGA’s
Department of Agriculture to look at drought resistant parks. Diane has had staff work with
them. That will be a good thing to work with them on.

The Urban Agriculture work at Rosa Burney Park came about haphazardly. In a brief
conversation in a coffee shop, Jody asked the Community Building Team to facilitate a
community engagement process. We said that we had been talking about urban agriculture as a
part of the University Avenue project and we thought we could do it with Rosa Burney Park as
well. We want to wrap urban agriculture around Dunbar Center.

There can be a green roof on Dunbar Center to add to the existing garden that is an institutional
garden for the Habisha youth program. There can also be an edible school yard and a water
catchment system. We want to do a community garden at Windsor Plaza too later on. We want to
increase urban agriculture throughout NPU-V.

The existing project with Habisha is a fascinating project that speaks to multifaceted dimensions.
The kids grow food that they can eat. It is a process that reconnects people back to the land and
food production in a way that helps them learn about horticultural, fitness, environmental
awareness, math, science, biology, leadership development, etc. Habisha has been focused on
teaching math, leadership development and cultural affirmation in terms of types of plants and
design. It also provides a connection to the children’s African ancestry. Through the garden’s
geometric design, Habisha is teaching geometry. All of the shapes in the garden, including
triangles, hexagons, require measurement calculations. The plants are also landscape designs.
                                  Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                      Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                               August 7, 2008
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For example, the corn is like fountain. The children are growing eggplants, peppers, sweet
potatoes, beans, etc. and they can just eat them right out of the garden. It connects kids to their
food and there is real magic to that process.

There is another community garden at the Martin Street Church of God where the preacher and
his brother started a garden behind the church. They are not doing a lot of intensive crops this
season but they have done a lot in the past.

There is a green roof at Atlanta City Hall outside of the cafeteria. It is ornamental but they could
actually grow food there. Green roofs offer uninhibited access to the sun and they can capture a
lot of water. They allow us to use area that would otherwise be fallow.

Proposed Urban Agriculture components at Rosa Burney Park include:
   o Edible School Yard – This is a branded concept that was developed by Alice Waters in
      California. She was a chef who tried to connect horticulture education to kids by infusing
      their curriculum with gardening in close proximity to the school. You don’t have to buy
      the franchise but you can follow her model. It is a serious, intense production of food to
      connect to kids diet and education.
   o Water Catchment – The current roofs have drain systems but we will catch the rain in a
      system or tank. We would have large aluminum tanks that can redirect that water to other
      uses. We hope to negate the use of city water and could even share our water with others.

Everything we have said is relatively inexpensive. There are a lot of choices in terms of materials
and design but it can fit into any budget.

Questions and Discussion

What is the city’s policy on wells inside city parks?
The policy is nebulous. Piedmont Park has dug one well. The funds have to come from an
outside entity. The City is okay with that if we want to explore it. We would need sign off from
the Commissioner and other legalities. Also, whenever you a create hole in the ground, you have
to protect people from falling in it before the pump house is placed on top. The Freedom
Parkway folks have gotten permission to dig six wells.

The water catchment system is a great idea. In California, they also collect the water that has
been gently used once from bathroom sinks, etc. It can’t be used on the gardens because of the
soap but we could collect that to use in the toilets.

Lighting in the Park is a number one priority for residents. People don’t go to the park at night
when it is dark because of safety issues. We have talked about installing a solar/hybrid electric
system. The green roof could also hold solar panels. We want to find out if that is affordable.

As we hear about contaminated foods and the high cost to transport food and as kids grow more
and more disconnected from their food, it is important to do something about that.

                                    Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                        Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                 August 7, 2008
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The PAL Unit is a division of the Atlanta Police Department that works in low income, high
crime areas. It is not funded by the Police Department. It is a nonprofit organization that raises
money to sustain its programming. The Police Department does provide resources for personnel,
the automated equipment in the office and the cars. In PAL, children don’t have to pay anything
to participate. PAL provides everything for them, from their uniform to their socks, shoes and

PAL offers all major sports, including football, baseball, soccer, boxing, track and basketball.
They want to expand the programming in Mechanicsville to include boxing but don’t have it
there right now. They offer track at Dunbar but we hope to expand that as well. They are trying
to introduce golf and want to offer tennis as well. They also want to offer more sporting events
such as taking kids to Cobb County, Alabama and other places for games. The kids are really
excited for these trips.

PAL has been in the Dunbar Center for four years. When they first started, the numbers of kids
were low. The summer camp had about 35 or 40 kids. Now, it has more than 100. It is also
mixed income now. PAL gets kids off the street. We are increasing the number of teams. A lot of
them don’t have food. We provide them with food.

The PAL Unit really appreciates the ball fields in Rosa Burney Park but would suggest that,
during the redevelopment, a new entrance not be added at Crumley Street because that would
lead to increased traffic across the fields, damaging the area. If the City starts renting out the ball
fields, Sgt. Gordon hopes that the funds raised will be invested in keeping up the fields. He also
pointed out that we need more water fountains in the parks and around the ball fields.

The Gazebo is right on the main street and it has become a major thoroughfare where drug
dealers can sit and deal. People are gambling on it as well. PAL takes aggressive action on that.
People are encouraged to come to the PAL officers and tell them about issues they see in the
park. Sgt. Gordon likes to have an officer in that office at all times.

Before PAL came to the community, it was pretty bad. Things have really improved. Now, other
cops and teachers at Dunbar bring their kids here to play sports. People can tell it is better now.

Columbia Residential is partnering with AHA in the HOPE VI redevelopment of McDaniel
Glenn. That redevelopment is well underway. Phases 1 and 2 are complete at this point and
Phase 3 and 4 are underway. The Mechanicsville apartments and senior residences are complete
and more are under construction. There is 75% occupancy in the apartments and 65% in the
senior residences with lengthy lists of people who want to move in. Columbia expects the
remaining units to be occupied soon. Phases 3 and 4 will add another 300 apartment units. The
original plans had called for blocks of single family and for sale housing but that will not happen
for a while because of the current real estate market. In the meantime, Columbia is trying to keep
those sites well maintained.

                                    Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                        Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                 August 7, 2008
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The importance of Rosa Burney Park to the development is obvious. There is currently about
$130 million in construction activity going on in the area. That kind of investment requires that
something also be done at Rosa Burney Park. New residents are coming in and accessing
programs, seeking work through TCWFI, etc. All of this ties together. The Park becomes a nexus
for the revitalization.

Columbia Residential has invested $200,000 in the redevelopment of the park. Ray has been
working with Jody to help him through the process of identifying a designer and confirming
contracts. The Park is a vital interest of Columbia’s.

The Habisha Garden was recently started in Rosa Burney Park. Habisha wants to increase the
area in support of sustainable agricultures.

Questions and Discussion

How do you sustain the garden with drought?
We want to do a rain water catchment program. Right now, we are just using a limited amount of
water and relying on the rain. We have been blessed with rain recently.

Are there other locations with Habisha gardens in the city?
We are focused here now but used to have a garden near Cascade as well.

Where did you come up with the concept design that you use?
I came with design myself because I was seeking to use geometric shapes as a way to teach
geometry to the smaller kids. The design also gives it more flair.

How can the kids volunteer? What ages are involved?
We are working with elementary school age kids. The Sustainable Seeds program teaches
sustainable organic agriculture to elementary aged youth. Kids from Dunbar volunteer in the
garden and their ages range from K to 5th grade. Youth through adults can get involved though. If
younger kids under kindergarten are interested, their parent or older sibling would need to
participate with them.

If someone wanted to support you, how could they do that?
Go to: or call Dedan Kimahi at: 678654.4353.

When you reap the harvest, what do you do with the produce?
The garden is volunteer-based so anyone who puts work in to the garden gets the food. We are
not set up for vending yet but they do have a business plan for that with larger piece of land.

When do you work in the garden?
We are out there on Saturday’s and try to get out there around 10am-1pm to avoid the heat.

                                  Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
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                                               August 7, 2008
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Do you do any work with seniors? Lots are interested in this.
That is one aspect that we are thinking about. It is geared more to youth so we have been dealing
more with youth. If anyone can help us make that happen, let me know.

Are there any land requirements in terms of the size of lot, etc?
Not really. You can go from small to huge. Habisha does container gardens for indoors too.

Sharon Collins and MCA work with the youth and they sell vegetables on Wednesday. Do you
work with them?
No, that is different program. They get theirs from the farmer’s market and sell it all day on
Wednesdays on RDA and at the Rosa Burney high-rise. They are great products.

Do you teach kids to garden inside?
The schools windows are too narrow and small to grow much inside but we want to promote

Tell us more about the trip to Ghana.
It is a Black to our Roots year round program with workshops that culminate in a trip to Ghana.
It has been a good experience in the past. We have established contacts with folks in Ghana and
the youth get to work on agriculture projects there.

What does Habisha mean?
It is an acronym for Helping Africa By Establishing Schools at Home and Abroad. It is also an
Amharic word in Ethiopia.


Question 1:
Group 1
   o Tennis programming
   o Music performances and programming, including performances by musicians in the
      community as well as outside performers.
   o Arts and crafts festivals where people can learn how to make crafts and sell them
   o Sports tournaments – basketball, tennis, etc.
   o Cooking, including BBQ’s, cooking competitions, cooking with food from the gardens,
      selling cookbooks with resident recipes, etc.
   o Community Yard Sale where residents can sell their products together. A donation truck
      could pick up all of the remaining items at the end of the day.
   o Board games, including a family/board game night and board game competitions
   o Movie night

Group 2
   o Riding toy/bike check out stations
   o Vending stations that could provide summer job opportunities for youth
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                                               August 7, 2008
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   o   Baby and toddler-friendly stations and equipment
   o   Adequate, clean bathrooms with changing stations
   o   Art activities in the green space, including movies, jazz music, etc.
   o   Basketball court with lower nets for younger kids
   o   Drought tolerant design so the park is useable at all times.

Group 3
   o Offer nontraditional sports programming such as lacrosse, golf, etc.
   o Awareness programs around martial arts, seniors, police on bikes, swimming lessons, etc.
   o Bikes! Bikes! Bikes!
   o Seasonal festivals
   o Hire a program coordinator to coordinate activities in the park. This would be an
      opportunity for resident employment.

Group 4 (no flip chart)
   o Whatever the activities or amenities are, there should be some comprehensive
      programming around them to complement them.
   o Make sure that the activities and spaces accommodate the various ages of the potential
      users. For example, seniors could have a senior day with programming or there could be
      a senior area.
   o Safety amenities. For example, PAL could come in and talk about their role in security.
      There could also be emergency phone stations and alert systems.
   o Include family centered types of activities such as a kickball day, etc. A lot of times
      programs are designed for just the kids and not for the kids and their parents.
   o Enlist Park Stewards. These could be volunteers who take responsibility for the park,
      patrol, watch for maintenance issues, partner with schools/court system to get folks in to
      clean up and repair, etc.
   o Ensure that people in community are involved in the design of the artistic fence. This will
      increase ownership in the community.
   o Ensure continuity between the art inside the building and the outdoor spaces.
   o Include programming targeting young men, ages teens through 30’s. There is a service
      gap for that group now. These men could be included as coaches, lifeguards and
   o Offer classic recreational activities such as horseshoes, tetherball, foursquare, skateboard
      park, etc.
   o Create an intercom system or something to allow for music playing outdoors and
      providing information about activities.

Group 5
   o Be intentional about having activities outdoors
   o Engage elderly in social and physical activities such as tai chi
   o Include team competitions such as water aerobics
   o Have a farmer’s market where people can sell products and gain revenue
   o Offer cooking classes
   o Conduct educational outreach and workshops on leadership, gardening, outreach, etc.

                                  Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                      Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                               August 7, 2008
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   o Be intentional about engaging infants and toddlers. For example, there could be a splash
     pad day for young kids.
   o Have activities coordinated and visually displayed on a jumbo-tron, website, and/or
     newsletter to inform folks of what is going on.
   o Have a weeklong kick off and grand opening
   o Make sure there is intentional connection to the Dunbar Center
   o Have Park Ambassadors
   o Have a Boot Camp to promote fitness
   o Hire someone to administer and coordinate everything
   o In 1996, Hands On Atlanta did a service learning project at King Middle School where
     they went to the senior home on Hill Avenue to develop a cook book. We don’t need to
     reinvent the wheel; we could learn from and replicate that.

Question 2:
Group 1
   o Establish/Strengthen a Friends of the Park Program. There is already a Rosa Burney Park
      Friends program but we should support and enhance it. MCA and the Friends should be
      separate organizations so the Friends can focus just on the park.
   o Increase the school investment in the Park through organized activities.
   o Engage and involve the local faith community in park activities
   o Enlist the support of all of the local professional sporting leagues.
   o Create garden clubs to support Urban Gardens and healthy lifestyles
   o Organize walking clubs

Group 2
   o Have a storyteller in the park like Deb Strayhorn. Enlist the support of the Children’s
      Museum to bring tap dancer storytellers, Imaginators, etc.
   o Enlist TCWFI to host a Job Fair now to connect residents with jobs in the redevelopment
      and later to connect them to other jobs through employer and job placement partners.
   o Organize senior outings
   o Plan course competitions where apartment buildings, teachers in area schools, classes,
      etc. could compete to complete the walking trail.
   o Get churches involved in the park by organizing gospel fests and ministering in the park
   o Organize visioning groups. If we involve the people who we hope will use the park in the
      same visioning process we are doing, they will use it. If they envision it, they will use.

Group 3
   o Involve historical societies to promote the history of the community in the park.
   o Conduct habitat scans so that people can learn about the landscape and plants while
      visiting the park
   o Implement Born Learning trails with activities on the trail for little kids to do.
   o Organize traveling art fairs
   o Plan intergenerational activities so that kids can learn from the seniors. For example have
      garden beds that are raised so that seniors can reach them easily.
   o Have a strong calendar with lots of activities all year.

                                  Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                      Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                               August 7, 2008
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Group 4
   o Engage the seniors from the McDaniel Glenn high rise to ensure that they are
      knowledgeable about the parks and what we are planning.
   o Organize additional 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. The leader of the Plaza Constituency
      coordinated one. These men are heavy users of the park and we need to have
      conversations about our plans with them.
   o Engage the homeless population. There are homeless people in the community and they
      are using the park. They will continue to use the space so we should create opportunities
      for them to be a part of the process and to experience the park while other people are in
      the park.

Group 5
   o Don’t reinvent the wheel! For educational activities, we should engage APS. Rely on
      available resources.
   o Engage a volunteer organization like Hands On Atlanta to bring human capital in.

Questions 3:
Group 1
   o Support the Friends in fundraising
   o Create an ongoing and regularly updated wish list. What needs does the park have and
      what can people give?
   o Have a “Buy a yellow brick road brick” fundraising effort.
   o Have concession stands
   o Have vendor stands
   o Organize a farmer’s market
   o We need to generate funds that stay with the park to ensure needs are always maintained
      and sustained!

Group 2
   o Find the best Friends of Park programs and look at where they get their funding from
   o Do Asset Mapping. When people talk about needs they think about funding and overlook
      other assets. Sometimes the gap is in the coordination of resources.
   o Coordinating existing services
   o When seeking funding support, don’t ask for funds for things that already exist. Research
      and be aware of what is already available.
   o Avoid hodge-podge programming and services. Make sure all services are coordinated.
   o Avoid egos! Don’t insist upon owning it if someone else can bring it to us.

Group 3
   o Seek monetary and sweat equity donations with a range of options, including buying a
      brick a park bench or getting to put your palm print on a community wall for being
      involved in volunteer activities, plantings, etc. This will increase community ownership.
   o Get Kaboom to donate a playground
   o Get the Braves to support the park. They could be involved in community games and

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                                      Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                               August 7, 2008
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   o Get money from developers. Those who are indicating an interest in being involved in
     UNAVE should kick in now.
   o Enlist Ted Turner’s support to pilot conservation strategies in the park such as solar
     panels, green roof, etc. He can help us be green and energy efficient.
   o Get Coke (Dasani) to fund misting machines and water fountains.
   o Establish a Park Transit program to help this be the center of the whole community – not
     just Mechanicsville. A trolley could pick kids up and bring them to the pool, etc.

Group 4
   o Child care centers could be encouraged to use the park and aid in funding.
   o United Way
   o Park Pride for community grants
   o Youth soccer league to pay for use of the field
   o Have strong website coordination to encourage and showcase sweat equity and donations.
      Show how much you get for each donation. Partner with retail businesses to donate.
   o Offer neighborhood memberships to the park
   o As the neighborhood becomes more mixed income, we could charge people who have
      money for some of the services.
   o Employ experts to design portions of park as part of classes, etc.

Group 5
   o Seek corporate sponsorships from Delta, UPS, Coke, etc.
   o Seek support from financial institutions in the area, including the credit union, WAMU,
   o Seek a wide array of partnerships to support programming. There is a lot in existence that
      needs to be integrated into the park plans.
   o Create a membership group that could make contributions to park
   o Organize campaigns and marathons for community based fundraising
   o Enlist the support of AHA
   o Make sure there is an ongoing effort to recruit labor from the community

Thank you to Jody! He has paid great attention to detail and has been a skillful negotiator with
all of these partners. He brings quiet effective leadership to this project.

Thank you to Deborah! She has taken these ACS partner meetings to another level. They really
advance our agenda now. She has been our right hand person on many fronts and has found us a
great director of operations in Sylvia Williams who will continue take us to the next level.

Deborah will stay with us in a specific role; she will be the point person in helping us attract
more state and federal funding partners. We have good state funding partners but we want more!
We want a deep partnership with the Department of Corrections. With the passage of The
Second Chance Act, we see great opportunity. We hope Karen Rogers can help us figure out that
world so we can make NPU-V a Second Chance Act demonstration program. Many residents
leave the community for criminal justice system and return later with records.
                                   Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                       Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                August 7, 2008
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We also want to create a deeper partnership with the Department of Labor. We have not been
able to do that to date. We have had lots of conversations but it has not resulted in anything.

We also want to deepen our relationship and partnership with the Department of Human
Resources. We have begun a great pilot with CPPC and DFCS and we want that to grow with
the new Fulton County director, BJ Walker. She has already provided us with support around
child care subsidies. We want to be an incubator for all of their good ideas.

Please let us know about other opportunities with other facets of state and federal government.

Other Announcements
    Three year old classroom at Cook was approved for licensing yesterday! It will be
      available for 40 kids rather than just 36. It is a great space. We had to temporarily move
      from Dunbar to Cook during construction at Dunbar.
    We are thrilled that we now have an East Point coordinator for CPPC. Polly has been
      doing that for the past year and a half and will now be able to focus more time in NPU-V.
    Neighborhood Transformation is in the midst of community engagement work in
      UNAVE. They kicked off the Study Circle meetings in July. Visit the ACS website
      ( to learn more or to sign up. They will be doing calling
      campaigns next week and will be recruiting ACS partners for engagement in the Study
    Ropheka will have a graduation in October. Nine people will be getting their GED!
    TCWFI has two new initiatives. It will be implementing a foreclosure program for NPU-
      V residents, including workout sessions and legal advocacy. ACS partners are
      encouraged to let families who may be at risk know about this new resource.
    The second new TCWFI initiative is regularly scheduled sessions on financial issues,
      employment, etc. On the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month TCWFI will host
      these sessions from6-8 pm. CCCS will be staffing the financial sessions. TCWFI has had
      over 40 attend so far. Other topics include dealing with difficult boss, concrete credit
      challenges, etc. People need to understand the value of credit and how to address credit
    On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, TCWFI has extended its hours so people who have a job
      can work with us to get a better job.
    QCC is looking for an executive assistant
    TCWFI recently added a Moving to Entrepreneurship pathway and just received a DHHS
      Assets for Independence grant of $250,000 to offer Micro-Enterprise IDA’s. TCWFI
      should be able to match those 2 to 1 but hope to get up to a 4 to 1 match. It wants to
      support starting micro businesses in NPU-V and will try to connect with current and
      potential child care family providers.
    Semira got married! Congratulations!
    Deb’s daughter is going to college this weekend!
    The next ACS Partners meeting will be scheduled in November or December.

                                   Atlanta Civic Site Partners Group Meeting
                                       Rosa Burney Park Redevelopment
                                                August 7, 2008
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