By Austin Dickson
In its 30th year, the East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) has worked tirelessly to bolster the quality of life for all East Atlantans. Notably, with the IRS’s determination of EACA as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization last year, revenue (all contributions fully tax-deductible) topped $100,000 this year with all funds going to support various local projects.
In 2011, EACA continued its commitment to local seniors by coordinating and funding Branan Bingo, a monthly, volunteer-led event for residents of Branan Towers. EACA also continued its Neighbor in Need initiative, which supported 11 emergency home repairs (valued at over $14,000) for East Atlanta seniors. Local churches, neighbors, and the East Atlanta Beer Festival have become regular supporters of this important work.
Other new EACA initiatives have also been busy in 2011. The Parents Network coordinated three playgroups, which brought out over 50 neighborhood families to connect with one another, while age-specific playgroups have been created for children up to five-years-old. Recycle EAV, a new EACA initiative, continued to advocate for and supply free, public recycling in the business district. Its efforts have recycled over 20 tons of glass from local bars and restaurants this year. The Arts & Culture Committee made sure that the community had publically accessible music and theater this year; an August 25th Creative Loafing article featured EACA’s sold-out arts benefit, Snow, Glass, Apple. The play’s setting was at the neighborhood’s very own farmer’s market, which was featured in local media and even The New York Times this year. Among other things, EACA helped the market–which averaged over 750 shoppers per week–raise $30,000 for its operations.
In addition to emphasizing recycling, and local, healthy food, EACA continued its efforts to improve Brownwood Park. By removing invasive plants from the park’s stream buffer last fall, EACA began restoration of the forest and stream in the south half of the park. That project continued this year, in addition to constructing trails, rebuilding a footbridge, and water quality sampling. Some early 2012 plans include new steps into the park from Portland Avenue at Joseph Avenue while reconfiguring a nearby sidewalk for wheelchair accessibility.
Beyond efforts at the park, EACA continued to preserve and enhance the beauty and desirability of East Atlanta. Over 60 volunteers planted flowers and shrubs five times this year; they also held regular community cleanup days. All of 2010, EACA worked to stop a wireless communications tower at 469 Metropolitan Place, and on February 18, 2011, a federal court upheld the community’s position and the city’s decision to deny construction of a tower. EACA also partnered with SAND and SouthStar CDC to successfully oppose the construction of a large gas station at Ormewood and Moreland Avenues this year.
A 30th anniversary is a special occasion, and we celebrate our community organization for all it has accomplished over the years, all of the leaders who have stepped up to guide it, and all of the neighbors who have volunteered to make a difference in such a great neighborhood.
EACA Celebrates Thirty Years of Community Work
By Austin Dickson