Friday, December 31, 2010

WAWA Year-In-Review 2010

As we reflect on this past year, we are proud of our accomplishments, but are also convinced that WAWA’s work of protecting, preserving, and restoring our community’s natural resources will be more critical to the health and well-being of West Atlanta communities and the City of Atlanta than ever before.  

In 2010, WAWA achieved a number of important milestones including the following:

·     Engaged over 600 volunteers in monthly environmental service learning community workdays at the 26-acre Outdoor Activity Center (OAC), the 135-acre Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, the 200 acre Hampton-Beecher Park, and Proctor and Utoy Creeks---logging in nearly 80,000 hours of service and connecting mixed audiences of youth and adults to nature and hands-on land and watershed stewardship;
·     Added a part-time Environmental Educator to increase our capacity to connect kids of all ages to nature at the Outdoor Activity Center;
·    Completed over $20K of renovations at the Outdoor Activity Center;
·    Kicked off the Outdoor Activity Center Park Visioning Process; a nine-month community engagement process to develop a new 20+ year Master Plan for the OAC greenspace;
·    Co-hosted the First-Ever Proctor Creek Community Day at Grove Park in Partnership with the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper;
·    Trained 35 new Proctor Creek Watershed Monitors in the Chemical, Biological, and Bacteria Adopt-A-Stream Monitoring Program modules;
·    Served as a strong community partner for the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Neighborhood Water Watch Program by conducting weekly monitoring of locations along Proctor Creek for analysis for fecal coliform bacteria including E.coli;
·    Collaborated with Park Pride to convene a successful Park Visioning Process for the English Avenue/Vine City Communities;
·    Cleaned up over 5,000 pounds of trash and debris from Proctor Creek in Northwest Atlanta;
·    Facilitated the clean-up of over 10,000 illegally-dumped scrap tires and dozens of illegally-dumped hazardous waste drums from Northwest Atlanta neighborhoods;
·    Collaborated with a host of partner organizations to facilitate needed environmental education programming for over 3,000 local youth, at the OAC and Cascade Spring Nature Preserve, including a Junior Naturalist Program for kids from the City of Atlanta Recreation Centers, interpretive urban forest nature hikes, summer camp field trips, urban forestry field study programs for teens, and a Nature in Your Neighborhood field trip program for students from West Atlanta elementary and middle schools; and
·    WAWA was highlighted in the City of Atlanta’s Sustainablity Plan in its section on “5 Ways to Help us Make  Atlanta More Sustainable.”

West Atlanta has a number of environmental challenges as well as many environmental success stories and extraordinary and incomparable greenspaces, such as the Lionel Hampton-Beecher Hills Park, Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, and the Outdoor Activity Center.  You can help ensure that the challenges are addressed, the success stories are multiplied, and that the aforementioned green jewels remain maintained and accessible for all to enjoy by making a tax-deductible, year-end contribution to WAWA.

Please click here to make a secure donation, or mail your donation payable to West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, P.O. Box 50043, Atlanta, Georgia, 30302.

Happy New Year, and we look forward to working with you in 2011 for a cleaner, greener, and healthier future for West Atlanta!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WAWA Joins Do Good Get Rewards to Recognize Volunteers

WAWA has just linked up with the Do Good Get Rewards Program to celebrate our awesome volunteers! Because we rely on volunteers to support our mission, we want to show our appreciation to those who give countless hours of hard work to advance our work. To that end, we are now participating in an online volunteer rewards program so that our volunteers can receive valuable rewards for the hours they contribute to WAWA. All current and new volunteers can sign up at Volunteers can receive points for up to 10 volunteer hours per week and redeem them for valuable rewards such as, vacations, hotel and restaurant certificates, gift cards, spa services and entertainment.
We hope that our volunteers will find this program to be of value and accept it as a symbol of our gratitude for sharing valuable time and energy with us! To learn more about volunteering with WAWA, click here

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WAWA Annual Meeting/OAC Open House to be Held on 12/16/10

               Happy Holidays!

WAWA invites you to celebrate our 2010 accomplishments, learn about upcoming events, and fellowship with neighbors, WAWA volunteers, and other friends of the Outdoor Activity Center (OAC) at the:

2010 WAWA/OAC Holiday Open House

WHEN:      Thursday, December 16, 2010
                  6:30 – 9:00 pm

WHERE:    Atlanta Outdoor Activity Center (1442 Richland rd. S.W., Atlanta)

RSVP Requested

For More information or to RSVP, call 404-752-5385 or send an e-mail to

Thursday, December 9, 2010

WAWA to be Featured on WRFG Radio - 12/9/10

WAWA's Director of Environmental Education, Darryl Haddock will be interviewed by Kali-Ahset on WRFG Radio on Thursday, December 9th at 6:00 pm during a one hour show that will focus on "Black Environmentalism." Specifically, the topics to be covered include environmental stewardship and activism in the black community, honoring indigenous knowledge about the laws of Mother Earth and her preservation, and urban environmental challenges and opportunities in Atlanta.

Darryl leads WAWA's efforts to revitalize Northwest Atlanta's Proctor Creek Watershed and manages the environmental education programs that WAWA delivers at the Outdoor Activity Center, Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, and the Hampton-Beecher Park.

Tune into the broadcast by clicking here at 6:00 pm or turn your radio dial to 89.3 FM in Atlanta.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

WAWA Community Initiative Highlighted on Fox 5 Atlanta

WAWA's work with English Avenue residents to identify and eliminate environmental hazards in the Proctor Creek Watershed were highlighted on Fox 5 Atlanta after U.S. EPA and Department of Justice officials were led on an environmental justice tour of environmentally impacted neighborhoods in West Atlanta by members of WAWA and the Community Improvement Association.

Tony Torrence, President of the Community Improvement Association and Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, Chair of the WAWA Board were interviewed by Fox 5 Atlanta's Aungelique Proctor about the problems of illegal dumping, flooding, community concerns about the restoration of Proctor Creek, and creation of more parks and greenspace in Northwest Atlanta. The video clip with Tony Torrence is featured below.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Top EPA and Department of Justice Officials to Visit West Atlanta Neighborhoods

Top officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC will visit West Atlanta neighborhoods as a part of an Environmental Justice tour this Friday, December 3rd. Tour leaders include WAWA's Director of Environmental Education, Darryl Haddock, WAWA Board Chair, Na'Taki Osborne Jelks,  and Tony Torrence, President of the Community Improvement Association. The tour will highlight environmental justice issues in the English Avenue/Vine City communities as well as other environmental stressors in Northwest Atlanta's  Proctor Creek Watershed.

While in Atlanta, the officials will also discuss environmental health concerns in NPU-V with Dr. Yomi Noibi, Executive Director of Eco-Action, an EPA CARE grant recipient and food deserts and environmental justice with Rev. Richard Bright, Pastor of the Atlanta Good Shepherd Community Church in West End. The visit  will end her with a Department of Justice Listening Session at the Clark Atlanta University Science Research Building Auditorium from 3:00 pm -5:00 pm. The listening session will be hosted by the CAU Environmental Justice Resource Center.  Community advocates with environmental justice concerns in Metropolitan Atlanta are invited to attend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WAWA Joins Community Partners to Co-Host EnvisonATL

WAWA is joining an A-list crowd of  other community-based organizations and non-profit partners to co-host EnvisionATL on Tuesday, December 7th. EnvisionATL is open to anyone interested in helping build an aspirational and shared vision for a more sustainable Atlanta. Based on the World CafĂ© conversation model, EnvisionATL will be formatted to promote conversations from diverse constituents in order to build consensus around Atlanta’s sustainability future. Discussions at this second EnvisionATL forum will center around community vitality, energy, transportation, and food. The event is presented by Sustainable Atlanta in conjunction with Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta. EnvisionATL will be held from 3:00 - 5:30 pm at the Historic City Council Chambers at City Hall (55 Trinity Ave. SW). Registration is now open. For more information or to register for the event, click here.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

WAWA Highlighted in 2010 City of Atlanta Sustainability Plan

Atlanta Mayor Kasim and the City of Atlanta Division of Sustainability recently released the 2010 City of Atlanta Sustainability Plan to chart a course for efforts to make Atlanta one of the top 10 sustainable cities in the United States. The plan lists sustainability goals in the following areas: transportation, fleet fuels, climate change, water conservation, water quality, air quality, waste, greenspace, energy, and local food systems. Also included in the plan are a 2010 Atlanta Sustainability Inventory, current sustainability rankings, highlights of best practices research from peer cities, and an action plan to move Atlanta to the top tier of U.S. Cities. To read the plan, click here.  See WAWA's mention on page 28 under the heading: "5 Ways to Help us Make Atlanta More Sustainable".

WAWA was also previously featured in the 2008-2009 Sustainability Report for Atlanta, Our Path to Sustainability, for its pioneering work to save over 400 acres of greenspace in Southwest Atlanta, its success in leading a citizen-centered process to develop SW Atlanta's Hampton-Beecher Park, and its efforts to educate youth and other West Atlanta residents about environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. To view this report, prepared by Sustainable Atlanta, click here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

OAC Park Visioning off to a Great Start!

WAWA and Park Pride kicked of the Outdoor Activity Center (OAC) Park Visioning process earlier this month. The eight-month process will include community engagement in monthly Steering Committee meetings, design workshops, and public Meetings to help develop a new Master Plan for the use of the OAC greenspace over the next 20 years.

There are still remaining spaces for community stakeholders to serve on the Steering Committee, and all interested persons are invited to join in on the process right away!  Service on the Steering Committee requires a monthly commitment for the duration of the Visioning Process to attend monthly Steering Committee meetings as well as any scheduled design workshops and public meetings. Community involvement and support will ensure that the best ideas are implemented and that all community voices are heard as the physical footprint of the OAC is enhanced to help the OAC better meet its intended purposes. 

For more information on the Park Visioning Process, click here. The next OAC Park Visioning Steering Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm at the Center (1442 Richland Rd. S.W., Atlanta, GA 30310).  For additional information on the OAC Visioning Process specifically, please call 404-752-5385.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Service Days Prepare Outdoor Activity Center for the Winter

WAWA and community volunteers completed a series of four "Hands on the OAC" Service Days to prepare the Outdoor Activity Center for the Winter. These days included: the fall kick-off (October 2), a primarily teen-focused project held in collaboration with Hands on Atlanta's 20th Anniversary and the National Wildlife Federation's Earth Tomorrow Program for Atlanta teens; a second community-wide service day on November 13; and two days of service learning and environmental education with one hundred and fifty students from Atlanta's KIPP Strive Academy in West End.

Each service day focused on ridding the 26-acre Outdoor Activity Center urban forest of invasive plants including English Ivy, repairing weathered foot bridges on the property, trail maintenance, and cleaning and organizational tasks inside of the educational building.

Individual community volunteers joined the aforementioned groups and members of the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church Earth Ministry, AMPS Atlanta Corps, the Clark Atlanta University CAUSE Project, and SEEED (Students Endeavoring for Enlightened Environmental Decisions) at Morehouse College to spruce up the OAC grounds. Project sponsors included Hands on Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Southeast Regional Center, and REI.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hands on the OAC Day of Service Coming Up - Saturday 11/13/10

Calling all community volunteers....On this Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 11am - 3pm, we will work to restore overgrown trails, clear away invasive plants, clean out the garden beds for the winter, repair areas on the boardwalk, and spruce up the building at our headquarters, the Outdoor Activity Center (OAC). There will be free food and drinks for all volunteers. Please wear warm clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. Gloves will be provided. Come light rain or shine! For more information, contact Darryl Haddock or Evonne Blythers at 404-752-5385.

The WAWA Story

What began as a community struggle for environmental justice evolved into an organization that also fosters environmental stewardship. The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) arose from community efforts to halt discriminatory waste water treatment practices in west Atlanta.

The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance is a community based, non-profit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the quality of life for the residents and environmental quality in the west Atlanta. WAWA is an advocate for preserving greenspace, protecting and improving water quality, and promoting good environmental health within the adopted watersheds of Proctor, Sandy and Utoy Creeks.

WAWA ABA - "Seed of the WAWA Tree" - Adinkra Symbol of hardiness, toughness, and perseverance

This West African symbol, WAWA ABA, is the "Seed of the WAWA Tree".  The seed of the WAWA tree is extremely hard. In the West African Akan culture, it is a symbol of someone who is strong and tough. It inspires the individual to persevere through hardship. 

Westside Story: Sites and Scenes from the West Atlanta Watershed