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Vine City

John Bazemore / Associated Press

 

Mercedes-Benz Stadium opens Saturday for its first Atlanta Falcons game. And there’s a lot of excitement around the new sports venue and its state-of-the-art design.

 

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But in the nearby neighborhoods, where Falcons owner Arthur Blank has promised to invest $22 million, the feelings are more mixed.

Melodii Peoples, for example, is a skeptic.

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. 

Alison Guillory / WABE

There’s a polluted waterway that runs from downtown Atlanta to the Chattahoochee River. It’s called Proctor Creek.

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For decades, it’s caused problems for people who live near it.  Now, there’s a lot more attention on the future of the creek, and neighborhoods on the Westside.

This is part of a continuing series about Proctor Creek that airs on "Morning Edition" with WABE host Denis O'Hayer.

Conceptual rendering by HDR, Inc. courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

Atlanta broke ground Friday on a big new park, just west of downtown. Cook Park, in Vine City, will have statues honoring Civil Rights leaders. It’s also being built to alleviate flooding on the Westside.

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the park will be a new Atlanta landmark.

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.

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