D Cafe Brunch

Brunch at D Cafe

The “First Saturday Mimosas & Brunch” event at D Cafe combines two great things – food with neighbors and giving for a good cause. Brunchers had the choice of a hearty mixed breakfast platter or regular menu items while socializing with fellow neighbors. In the meantime the “keep the change” jar allowed patrons to leave their change to go towards purchasing the Westview Community Garden.

Westview Community Garden

Neighbors Rally to Save Community Garden

The idea of the Westview Community Garden first came to fruition in December 2009 when neighbors were presented with an opportunity to turn a wide vacant lot on South Gordon Street into a community garden. After the Westview Community Organization signed a 3-year lease with the owner plans were started for the 2010 growing season.

The original concept of the garden was for community members to purchase a plot for the year, allowing each plot owner to be in charge of their own area and what was grown. A separate area was designated for shared land so that crops that would perform better in groups, such as corn, could be grown for everyone. The participating gardeners held work days to till the land and build raised beds, and additional work days were held throughout the year to work on keeping the common areas clean.

Over time an emphasis was placed on needing to work with neighborhood youth to teach them where food comes from, how to garden, and providing a sense of pride for their accomplishments when vegetables and fruits were ready to be harvested. In turn the garden took a shift from the individual plot concept to a shared community garden concept where everyone would work in the garden and could enjoy the crops.

The gardeners additionally worked to receive grants to build a garden shed and a chicken coop (it should be noted the plans never materialized to the point of chickens being at the garden), hosted various volunteer groups for garden maintenance, a rain barrel workshop, and were featured in the BeltLine newsletter and as a stop on bicycles tours of Atlanta-area gardens.

While the community garden continued to function, a series of unfortunate background events occurred that would lead to the sudden and surprising end of the garden in March 2015. The owner with whom the community had signed the lease passed away in 2012. After the lease expired at the end of 2013 the community unsuccessfully attempted to contact the heir to renew the lease, and hence the community continued to garden on the land as “tenants at sufferance” (i.e. continuing to occupy the space with an expired lease but without being asked to leave by the owner). Unbeknownst to the gardeners the property fell into foreclosure in April 2014 and was taken over by Capitol City Bank. Capitol City Bank would collapse in February 2015, leaving the FDIC to take over the bank’s assets, including the Westview Community Garden. Community members became aware of the situation when a “No Trespassing” signed appeared in the garden at the beginning of March, followed by a bulldozer at the end of March.

Thanks to the swift action of alert neighbors, members were able to rally and jump into action and salvage the majority of the garden shed. A vote was taken at the April Westview Community Organization meeting to raise the funds for the community to officially acquire the land. The community is currently in negotiations with the FDIC to buy the land. If successful, a fundraiser will be held to raise the money to pay for the land, officially making the garden a community owned asset.

We hope our next article about the garden will be a positive one with a happy ending. In the meanwhile you can read the thorough Creative Loafing article, “Westview Community Garden demolished, but not the neighborhood’s dreams,” as well as take a trip down memory lane with pictures of the garden from our archive:

BeltLine at Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd.

$5 Million Private Donation Towards BeltLine Westside Trail

The $43 million Westside BeltLine Trail project is one step closer to its private funding goal thanks to the generous commitment of a $5 million donation from the philanthropic James M. Cox Foundation. The Atlanta BeltLine’s fundraising arm, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, has a goal of receiving commitments of $10 million in private funds by July 2014. It is in large counting on donations from Atlanta’s business community, and as such the James M. Cox Foundation is setting the precedent for other philanthropic groups.

To learn more about this story read the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s article “Business leaders launch new $10 million fundraising campaign for Beltline.”

The Atlanta BeltLine is turning in its trail application to the Georgia Department of Transportation in June 2014, in July 2014 a contractor will be selected, and construction of the trail is scheduled to start around September 2014 with a completion timeframe, set by the federal government, of 2016. The Westview portion of the trail marks the middle of the path, with one end of the trail being marked by Washington Park and the other end of the trail being marked by Adair Park.

Westview Summer Solstice Celebration Festival

2014 Dues Drive

The Westview Community Organization is having it’s annual dues drive to raise money for projects this year. The dues have been reduced to $20 per household. Even if you don’t attend meetings your donation would be greatly appreciated as it goes to support community sponsored projects, events, etc. You can pay online via PayPal, so it’s really quick and easy. The goal is to have a minimum of 50 paid members this year, so please ask your neighbors that aren’t online to help out. Thanks in advance!

About Westview Community Organization Activities

Your Westview Community Organization Executive Committee and neighbors are actively involved in maintaining the neighborhood garden, sponsoring clean up days, representing the neighborhood at NPU-T meetings and having a voice at city hall. Your membership in the Westview Community Organization helps sponsor ongoing community efforts including:

Westview Community Organization members can pay annual dues in person (cash or check) at meetings or online (credit card). The annual fee per household is $20.00.

You can also mail your check payable to “Westview Community Organization” to:
Westview Community Organization
1540 Rogers Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30310