Now in its twentieth year, the annual Kirkwood Spring Fling is being held this Saturday, May 13 at the Bessie Branham Park. The festival will include a 5K race, a tour of homes, an artist market with 150-plus vendors, food trucks and a kid’s play area. For further details about the spring fling, click here.

On to other news from around the city:

The Chalk Party starts at 1 p.m. on May 14.

Chalk on the Block in Midtown this Sunday

Peachtree Street is about to bloom! This Sunday, Atlantans will head to the Midtown thoroughfare to create a floral bouquet in chalk. The public art event, hosted by the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) will transform the sidewalk into a springtime wonderland.

Everyone is invited to participate and can click here to register for a sidewalk block. MODA will supply participants with a box of chalk but drawers are also encouraged to bring their own supplies.

Folks interested in some quick tips can join a demo at noon with Zach Herndon and Jessi Queen from the Georgia Chalk Artists Guild. The Chalk Party starts at 1 p.m. on May 14. There will also be food trucks, local vendors and a DJ at the MODA plaza. Click here for more information.

— Hannah E. Jones

DeKalb commissioner seeks court review of training center permit

District 6 DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry has filed a court appeal seeking to throw out the land disturbance permit for Atlanta’s public safety training center.

The enormously controversial training center is in a preliminary land-clearing phase at a City-owned site within unincorporated DeKalb County on Key and Constitution roads.

A fundamental environmental issue in the controversy is how much, if any, sediment is allowed to run off the site into the nearby Intrenchment Creek and its tributaries. The City, the County and the Atlanta Police Foundation – the facility’s private developer – say they are following all rules. Opponents argue the project violates a state-imposed cap on sediment runoff in the watershed. 

The County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on April 12 denied an appeal of the permit from Terry and two residents that cited the sediment runoff and other issues. 

On May 10, Terry filed a petition asking the DeKalb County Superior Court to accept his appeal of the ZBA’s decision for review. Terry’s complaint focuses on runoff issue and claims that County inspectors and the ZBA erred and acted arbitrarily in issuing and upholding the permit. 

 — John Ruch

So far, 780 students have received screening through this Kia-funded initiative.

Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation accepts donation to fund initiative with local students

The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation just received a $90,000 donation from Kia Motors America. The funds will go to the Foundation’s initiative to provide eye screening, exams and glasses for students at Title 1 Atlanta Public Schools and YMCA Summer Camps. Founded in 1949, the Foundation provides low-cost vision and hearing care for uninsured and underinsured Georgians.

On Monday, May 15, students at Heritage Academy Elementary School will be screened by an onsite licensed optometrist and the Foundation will fabricate glasses for free. These services are crucial, with 19.5 percent of Georgians living below the poverty line.

Additionally, with the Foundation’s involvement with APS so far, the team has found that close to 40 percent of youth need additional vision services after the initial screenings. 

“When a student’s vision is not clear, their educational and social development is impaired,” Executive Director Beth Ehrhardt wrote in a release. “This can lead to behavior problems in the classroom as well. Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation believes all children deserve access to affordable vision care. We bring improved sight to Georgians who need it most.” 

— Hannah E. Jones

The historic Oak Grove plantation. (Photos courtesy of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.)

Georgia Trust to permanently preserve historic Coweta County plantation

An 1830s plantation in Coweta County will be preserved permanently with the owner’s donation of a conservation easement to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

Oak Grove Plantation and Gardens, at 4537 N. US 29 outside Newnan, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, but that does not offer legal protections from changes. The conservation easement – announced this week – gives the Atlanta-based Georgia Trust review powers over the property’s condition and any demolition and alterations to the buildings and landscape.

The easement was donated by Elizabeth Tedder, who bought the property in 1983 with her late husband George. The couple restored the main house and tended gardens that are regularly opened to the public. 

“I’m so relieved that Oak Grove will be protected from development,” said Tedder in a press release.

Prior to the Civil War, plantations were agricultural estates where enslaved people were forced to do the labor. Scores of people were enslaved at Oak Grove, according to the National Register filing. 

Founded by the Arnold family, the plantation originally was 1,417.5 acres. The surviving part is 20 acres and features a well-preserved main house in the Greek Revival style. The property also includes outbuildings, a terraced agricultural field and the historic Arnold family cemetery, the restoration of which is underway.

To commemorate the easement, Tedder is opening the gardens to the public on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations for the cemetery restoration are welcome. 

— John Ruch

A piece in the new exhibit. (Photo courtesy of The College Football Hall of Fame.)

College Football Hall of Fame opens archives for exhibit with rarely-seen works

On Thursday, May 18, the College Football Hall of Fame is unveiling a temporary exhibit with rarely-seen artworks from its archive. Featuring 12 artists, the Art of College Football captures some of college football’s most memorable moments.

Most of the exhibit will be on display temporarily, but four paintings will remain on permanent display in the Andrea and James Clarke Family Gallery. Donated by the Clarke family through the Labor and Honor Foundation, the collection features four Arnold Friberg paintings commissioned in 1968 to celebrate The Centennial of College Football.

The exhibit also includes works from artists LeRoy Neiman, Mike Simpson, Joyce Ballantyne, Bill Williams, Terrence Fogarty, Herb Mott, Noel Sickles, Charles McVicker, Steve Skipper, Ken Modak and Jeff Joseph. For more information, click here.

— Hannah E. Jones

Blair Beasley.

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation welcomes new environmental leader

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation recently made an addition to its leadership team, with Blair Beasley joining as managing director, Environment. In this role, Beasley will lead the Foundation’s environmental efforts in the Southeast and Intermountain West, including strategy and execution for environmental-based giving.

She will assume the role on June 1. An Atlanta native, Beasley most recently served as the director of climate strategies at the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. 

“I am thrilled to join the team at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation,” said Beasley. “It’s an exciting and urgent time to be working to address climate change. The clean energy transition offers so many benefits and possibilities for communities. I can’t wait to get to work.”

President Fay Twersky added: “Blair will be an incredible asset to our team as we continue addressing environmental challenges in the Southeast and Intermountain West. Her experience in research and climate solutions will be invaluable to our efforts in this space, and I look forward to the expertise and innovation Blair will bring to the foundation within the climate space.”

— Hannah E. Jones

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Hannah E. Jones

Hannah Jones is a Georgia State University graduate, with a major in journalism and minor in public policy. She began studying journalism in high school and has since served as a reporter and editor for...

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