Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's a Thorny Situation

The update on the Basilica/Dunwoody Gardens at Loring Crossings is long past due. After more than a year of neighborhood activists, local business people and other members of the community attempting to work with the City to arrive at a solution to cleaning up this area, a representative from a City Councilperson's office hosted a meeting of all interested parties and progress seemed to be in the works. While individuals were not going to be allowed to participate legally with the clean-up, businesses or non-profit organizations that would sign a liability insurance waiver could make agreements with the City and organize teams to do the clean-up and install new landscapes.

Unfortunately, this happy plan is falling apart. Apparently, signing an insurance waiver is no longer sufficient. The participating businesses must purchase an encroachment permit and add a rider for $500,000 in coverage naming the City as additional insured. Further, it seems that at least one participating business was being 'encouraged' to hire the landscape architect firm of the City's choosing. The City also declines to pay for the water to maintain any installations. The water bills would be the responsibility of the participating businesses. So far there are no businesses or organizations that can afford or are willing to take on all of these requirements.

Some neighbors are concerned that, not only is a lot of trash being trapped in the brush, but that as it becomes tinder dry, it is a fire hazard. Bonfire anyone?

The immediate goal isn't to relandscape this area, but to clean out the dead roses. The challenge right now is debris removal. There will be alot, and there will be a cost to hauling it away responsibly. Coordination efforts to manage that are now in the works on a guerrilla level. We'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, Saturday May 1 is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day. At 10:00 am on that day you can go to this location and get some sunflower seeds to plant in support of gg efforts around the world to fight the filth with forks and flowers.

See you at the garden.

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