Atlanta to allocate $4.5 million to improve Proctor Creek, build trails

By Maria Saporta

The City of Atlanta will allocate $3 million of a $4.5 million Proctor Creek  to build a seven-mile bicycle and pedestrian and bicycle trail, according to an announcement by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Stephanie Stuckey, the city’s chief resilience officer at a Climate & Health meeting being held at the Carter Center Thursday, said the additional $1.5 million will be invested in a study to improve water quality in the Proctor Creek Corridor.

The trail  funding will come out of the City of Atlanta’s TSPLOST revenue, and it will build the first segment of the Proctor Creek Greenway, spanning from Maddox Park to the Chattahoochee River.

“Today’s financial commitment is yet another example of our dedication to revitalize the communities close to Proctor Creek and the future greenway,” Reed said in the announcement. “My Administration is committed to enhancing quality of life by creating and expanding greenspace which will allow all City of Atlanta residents to be in walking distance of a park. The mobilization of this natural asset will get us closer to this goal and serve as a catalyst for growth and economic opportunity for years to come.”

Proctor Creek

This beaver dam across Proctor Creek, at a site downstream of the bridge at James Jackson Parkway, exemplifies the type of habitat to be restored File/Credit: Alan Cressler via Flickr

The Proctor Creek Greenway will result in 50 acres of linear park and 400 acres of greenspace to Atlanta’s Westside.

In addition, the greenway will offer connectivity to the Bankhead MARTA Station and the BeltLine Westside Trail. The PATH Foundation is scheduled to complete the Master Plan for the trail in April 2017.

The first segment of the trail, running from Bankhead MARTA Station to the existing West Highlands Trail, is scheduled to be completed in the next year.

In addition, Mayor Reed committed to fast tracking the City’s $300,000 annual funding pledge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental feasibility study of the Proctor Creek Watershed to ensure the study will be completed in a timely matter.

“I’m proud to renew our commitment to Brigadier General Turner and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore the ecological habitat and water quality of Proctor Creek. Today marks a critical milestone for the City to move forward with our Proctor Creek initiatives,” Reed added.

Proctor Creek watershed

Proctor Creek watershed (Special)

In November of 2015, Mayor Kasim Reed signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorizing a three-year environmental feasibility study to address the water quality, flood risks, ecological habitat restoration and stream bank remediation of the Proctor Creek Watershed.

Other federal partners who have agreed to share resources to restore the environmental and economic quality of the creek include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Proctor Creek Greenway is a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Department of Watershed Management, Department of Parks and Recreation, PATH Foundation, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the Emerald Corridor Foundation.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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