Speed Tables

Speed Table Installations

Westview neighbors have been fighting for years to have speed humps installed and slow down speeding through-traffic. East Ontario Avenue residents initially attempted to collect signatures in 2003; South Gordon Street neighbors have made several attempts over the last few years to collect enough signatures to receive speed humps. The largest challenge has been to reach enough property owners to collect the signatures. 75% of property owners are required to approve the proposal to move forward. As Westview was hit hard with mortgage fraud in the early and mid 2000s, followed by the recession and foreclosures in mid to late 2000s, the number of abandoned vacant properties and absentee owners proved to be a major hurdle to reach the required signatures within the allotted 30-day time frame.

After the third attempt East Ontario Avenue neighbors managed to collect the necessary signatures in 2015 thanks, in part, to the fact that the street is short, and over the years enough of the vacant houses were filled with owner occupants and accessible landlords; however, the next hurdle was finding funding for the project.

In early 2016 the fate of Westview’s dead end speed humps would take a turn due to a heart wrenching accident where a car involved in a police chase hit a and killed a grandmother and her two grandchildren at the intersection of Rogers Avenue and South Gordon Street. Neighbors were in uproar at the February Westview Community Organization meeting and demanded action – and politicians listened. Thanks to Councilmembers C. T. Martin and Caesar Mitchell speed tables would be installed on East Ontario Avenue, South Gordon Street, Westwood Avenue, and Rogers Avenue.

Residents received notice in June that the project would be implemented in July. Indeed, in July crews and equipment arrived and have implemented a majority of the marked speed tables. Neighbors have already noted the success of slower traffic thanks to the speed tables.

Westview Community Garden Work Day

Westview Community Garden Work Day

The first official work day in the garden following the acquisition of the land took place on October 10th, with food and drink provided by Fresh2Health and LeLovebird.

Please feel free to join the Garden Committee every Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm at 1439 S Gordon Street.

To see photos of the work day view the photo gallery below.

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:

Westview Little Free Library

Westview Little Free Library

You’ve probably heard of them before – the “Little Free Library.” It is a movement that started in 2009 of little houses that are placed in front yards and neighborhood entry points throughout the country (even the world!). Neighbors can come and check out books for free with the concept “take a book, return a book.”

As of September a Westview neighbor started her very own “Westview Little Free Library” on South Gordon Street at the corner of Ontario Avenue. A whole spectrum of rotating books can be found at the little library, which is a replica of the owner’s house. The children’s books have been especially popular, so bring the kids to come check out a book. If they write down their thoughts in the “Book Blurbs” the book fairy will even write them a personal response!

The project has been such a success that other neighbors plan to place Little Free Libraries at their houses across the neighborhood.

Stay up-to-date about happenings at the Westview Little Free Library via the website: http://westviewlittlelibrary.tumblr.com

Kids Stop by Community Garden

Kids Stop by Community Garden

The neighborhood “garden babies” came to visit the community garden and check on and harvest the vegetables that they helped plant. It is a beautiful sight to see how much our children remember what we teach them!

To see photos of the children at the garden view the photo gallery below or visit the Westview Facebook page.

Youth STEAM Summer Camp Photos

The Youth Committee, in conjunction with the John Perdew Legacy Project, hosted a two week youth STEAM camp from July 21st through August 1st, 2014 to allow the children to develop real world skills through arts and science. As part of the STEAM camp (an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) the children worked with artist Ashley Dopson, listened to speakers talk about topics such as banking and finances, college and technical schools, music, tie tying, vegetable harvesting, and bicycle safety. At the end of the two week camp the children received free bicycles thanks to a generous donor.

To see photos of the Youth STEAM Camp view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.

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Westview Youth Summer Art Camp

Youth Summer Art Camp

Westview youth will be participating in an art summer camp through August 1st. A kick-off meet-and-greet for the kids and their families was hosted in the Westview Communal Garden on South Gordon Street with music, activities, and learning about growing and harvesting food.

To view photos of the meet-and-greet view the photo gallery below or visit the Westview Facebook page.

Westview Garden Harvest

Westview Garden Harvest

Westview neighbors were able to reap the Westview Community Garden’s first big harvest of the season – tomatoes, peppers, beans, okra, cucumbers, and fruit were picked.

Westview Pizza Café received all of the tomatoes, many of the peppers, some okra and a couple of cucumbers to incorporate into their menu. D Café used some cucumbers for their menu as well, and additional cucumbers were given away to a neighbor on South Gordon Street. Talk about truly local garden-to-table for our Westview restaurants!

Please join community members at the Westview Community Garden (1439 S. Gordon Street) every Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

To view photos of the Westview garden harvest view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.

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Park Pride Community Garden Tour

Park Pride Community Garden Tour Photos

On a hot summer day the Park Pride sponsored Community Garden Tour stopped by the Westview Community Garden on South Gordon Street to check out how Westview’s garden is set up. During the whirlwind half hour visit members of the community explained the history of the garden, and that the communal garden was started from seeds in thanks to a grant from Seed Savers Exchange. Before taking off tour members and community members were treated to King of Pop popsicles.

To view photos of the Park Pride Community Garden Tour view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.

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