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13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Regional Commission recently awarded $34 million in grants to help 13 Metro Atlanta communities build innovative transportation projects.

Each project includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements to encourage residents to find "greener" ways of getting from place to place, and to make these neighborhoods more livable and supportive of transit.

The money was given through the ARC's Livable Center Initiative, which is funded with federal transportation dollars.

"LCI has helped communities across Metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more plans that attract residents and businesses alike," said Doug Hooker, executive director of ARC. "This program is a model for others around the country and has helped to create or finalize many of our region's most innovative and livable communities."

Eco-Fabulous Explored on Beltline Tour

Eco-Fabulous Explored on Beltline Tour

The Atlanta Beltline project is a diverse 2.8 billion project to renovate neighborhoods, parks and commercial space for an area of the city that will be connected by town-car (incorporating old railroad tracks).  The project incorporates nature and neighborhood's existing materials to create a neighborhood that's "eco-fabulous", as our tour guide called it. Brian Leary, the brain behind this project was a college student who was inspired by a similar plan in Paris.

Every Friday and Saturday at 9:30AM, the Atlanta Beltline hosts a free three hour tour along this beltline that highlights the circle that the town cars will transit. Currently, this Beltline tour is reserved for the next year but I was lucky enough to find a seat, due to a cancellation.

I didn't know what to expect on these tours. When I signed up I had never imagined the tour would take three hours out of my Saturday.

Drought spreads into North Georgia

Drought spreads into North Georgia

ATLANTA -- Georgia's state climatologist says extreme drought conditions have now spread into North Georgia and cover most of the state south of the mountains.

Climatologist David Stooksbury says all of Georgia's counties are now classified as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought.

In his most recent reports on the drought, Stooksbury said the outlook for relief in the short-term is not promising. Unless Georgia sees some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

Without tropical rain, Georgia's soil is expected to continue to dry out. Stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are expected to continue to drop, and wildfire potentials are expected to remain high to extreme.

City of Atlanta Initiates First Comprehensive Downtown "Street Tree" Inventory

City of Atlanta Initiates First Comprehensive Downtown "Street Tree" Inventory

The City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development and the Office of Parks has conducted the first comprehensive inventory of the city’s publicly-owned downtown trees.  The inventory included an assessment of the trees along streets, boulevards, parks, and public spaces in the downtown area.  The tree inventory will provide information about the species, size, quality, and condition of public trees in downtown Atlanta. 

Information from the inventory will help establish management priorities by:

  • identifying trees that need to be pruned or removed,
  • revealing any systemic problems with pests or disease,
  • identifying the distribution of tree species with size, height, and other characteristics, and
  • providing an up-to-date report on the overall condition of the trees. 

The inventory identified locations with sufficient space for planting trees, aiding in future planting efforts. 

Whole Kids Foundation and FoodCorps is offering grants to schools who wants 2 launch a school garden

Whole Kids Foundation and FoodCorps is offering grants to schools who wants 2 launch a school garden

Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with FoodCorps, is now accepting online grant applications for its first major initiative, the School Garden Grant Program. It will be funded by a six-week, in-store donation drive at all Whole Foods Market stores, including the one in Johns Creek. Donations will also be accepted online at wholekidsfoundation.org from Aug. 17 to Sept. 30.

 

In addition, the Whole Kids School Garden Grant Program, the Foundation and partner FoodCorps will offer $2,000 grants, along with curriculum, resources and mentorship, to 1,000 schools.  FoodCorps’ expertise in gardening and its ongoing support will help schools build and sustain their gardens to ensure long-term success. All schools and garden-related nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for grants to support the launch or expansion of school gardens.

 

Droughts signals bad news for peanut butter lovers

Droughts signals bad news for peanut butter lovers

ATLANTA -- It's been 30 years since so few acres of peanuts were planted in Georgia.

The shortage and ongoing drought are bringing higher prices for peanuts and their favorite cousin -- peanut butter.

The acreage is down because farmers chose to plant cotton, which was commanding higher prices. It was thought plenty of peanuts would still be available, but many of the plants have not come out of the ground due to drought.

The situation has peanut butter manufacturers bracing for tighter supplies, according to Don Koehler with the Georgia Peanut Commission.

Georgia is the nation's largest producer of peanuts, producing 46 percent of U.S. peanuts.

City Utilities Committee to meet about proposed rainwater ordinance

City Utilities Committee to meet about proposed rainwater ordinance

ATLANTA – On July 21, the Atlanta City Council’s City Utilities Committee will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. The committee will talk about the proposed 11-O-0740 ordinance which establishes a “fee structure for the usage of rainwater catchment systems in the City of Atlanta”.

Among other things, the ordinance talks about guidelines contractors should follow to ensure water safety. The ordnance can be viewed here.

The meeting will be held at 55 Trinity Avenue in Downtown Atlanta.