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English Avenue

Alison Guillory / WABE

Proctor Creek has been a problem for residents of 35 northwest Atlanta neighborhoods for a long time. It’s polluted. It floods.

That’s changing, though. 

Billions of dollars' worth of upgrades to the city's sewer system and plans for a series of parks address the long-running issues with the creek. 

New Community House Opens In English Avenue

Mar 31, 2017
The Mattie Freeland Community House is officially open in English Avenue.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

It was a clear, warm day as English Avenue residents came together on Friday to honor a longtime member of the neighborhood. A red ribbon draped across the porch of a little home with purple pillars and a yellow door.

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The Mattie Freeland Community House was officially open.

A raised flower bed in Mattie Freeland Park, with the words 'We Are Better Together' painted on the side.
Molly Samuel / WABE

The Atlanta neighborhood of English Avenue doesn't have many parks, but there's one that a community got together and built themselves in honor of a local resident who was like a grandmother to her neighbors.

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Mattie Freeland was the kind of woman who always shared her food and checked in on people, say people who knew her. They called her "Miss Mattie." She passed away several years ago, but the park that’s grown next door to her house was sort of her idea.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Some fish that live in one of Atlanta's creeks, a tributary to the Chattahoochee River, have elevated levels of chemicals in their bodies, including pesticides that went out of use in the 1980s.

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Proctor Creek, on Atlanta’s Westside, has had issues with e. coli and fecal coliform bacteria caused by sewer overflows, but a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents man-made toxic chemicals in fish caught at a fishing spot in Bankhead, near Maddox Park.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Atlanta officials and business leaders broke ground on a new youth center on the city's Westside Wednesday. The site chosen for redevelopment sat in an area of English Avenue filled with gutted homes.

"In the hills of all the blight that you see here,” said outgoing Atlanta Police Chief George Turner in his remarks, “there are still men and women that have a desire to raise their family and make a difference in their lives.”

Boarded-up houses and kudzo covered houses are a common sight in the English Ave and Vine City communities
Alison Guillory / WABE

 A new research paper is sounding the alarm over rising rents on Atlanta’s west side, where the BeltLine is slated for paving.

Dan Immergluck, professor of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech, wrote the paper. Its bottom line: Affordable housing on Atlanta’s west side should be established now, before land values and property taxes rise any higher.

Construction cranes over the new Falcons Stadium: precursors to a changing neighborhood?
Kate Sweeney / WABE

  The Atlanta BeltLine has led to a lot of rapid development on Atlanta’s east side, and that development has led to soaring property values.

That’s something some Westside residents have watched with apprehension — and one grassroots group has quietly spent the past six years, getting ready, with a unique strategy.

Third-Generation Vine City

Keizers via Wikimedia Commons

Some neighborhoods on Atlanta’s Westside could see an economic boost thanks to a new designation from the Obama Administration.

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro announced today that an area including English Avenue, Vine City, West End and Ashview Heights has been chosen as a "promise zone."

U.S. Attorney for the North District of Georgia, John Horn, said Mexican cartels are distributing heroin using its established drug distribution networks in the city of Atlanta, North Fulton and increasingly northern counties of Georgia.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

A new report finds that heroin-related overdoses and deaths are rising dramatically in Fulton County.

Atlanta police, politicians and community leaders gathered Friday at Lindsay Street Baptist Church in the neighborhood long known as "the Bluff," at what they say is the epicenter of an emerging heroin epidemic.

In 2010, four people died from heroin overdoses in Fulton County. In 2015, 82 people died. 

Candace Wheeler / WABE

 Lindsay Street Park has opened in Atlanta.

It is the first park in the city's troubled English Avenue neighborhood.

"We have a mission to expand green space throughout the city of Atlanta and to place a park as close to all of the citizens of Atlanta as we can," said Mayor Kasim Reed.

Perhaps no other place in the region is plagued with more blight than west Atlanta’s English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods.

Frustrated homeowners hope a new proposal could be a solution.

Far from improving, English Avenue resident Emily Hayden is seeing the neighborhood fall further into disrepair.

“It’s getting increasingly violent. We’ve actually had a bullet come through the wall of our home. I have two young children and I run a daycare here.”

City of Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed wants the community benefits process related to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium wrapped up by the end of the year, despite protests from neighborhood leaders and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.   

Since July, the city and the neighborhoods have worked on a formal plan to revitalize the west Atlanta area. The plan must be complete before $200 million in city funds can go to help build the new stadium.

Reed wants the plan done so his staff can move on and construction can begin on time.

Tensions Erupt At Falcons Stadium Impact Meeting

Nov 20, 2013

Simmering tensions exploded Wednesday night between Atlanta city officials and representatives of the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed new Atlanta Falcons stadium.

For months, the two parties have worked to develop a plan to divvy up millions in community redevelopment money. The process must be completed before $200 million in city funds can be channeled to the team to help build the new stadium.