Dearborn Park Clean Up – Feb 14th

Park Pride and Dekalb Parks have engaged a community service group to help clean up Dearborn Park on February 14th from 10am -1pm. Please join the effort!

Our focus will be on removing invasive privet and ivy along Deerwood Drive and cleaning trash from the creek.

We’re expecting a large turnout, so apologies in advance for the cars and crowds on this normally quiet street!

Please let me know if you can help out! Bring clippers, loppers, gloves and energy!

See you then!
Rick Baggenstoss

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Support Avondale ES when shopping Krogers or Publix

Kroger Shoppers:  Please join in supporting Avondale Elementary School by registering your Kroger card for the Community Rewards program.
. Sign in to your Kroger account:
. In ribbon across top of page, select “Community.”
. In drop down menu, select “Community Rewards.”
. Enter email and address.
. Enter AES number 32768. (At this point, “Avondale” is misspelled, so use that number rather than searching)
Each time your Kroger card is scanned, AES will benefit.

Publix Shoppers:  Please join in supporting Avondale Elementary School by using a AES Publix Partner card. These are available at customer service at the Emory, Shamrock, & East Lake Publix. Each time you use your Publix Partner card, AES will benefit.

Thank you
Michael Hughes
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association

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Get Alarmed: Wed 4 Feb


To support the ongoing work to decrease the incidents of home burglaries in our neighborhoods, the Midway Woods Neighborhoods Association (MWNA) is announcing a home-security initiative.

Get Alarmed is one component of that initiative. Its purpose is to encourage neighbors who do not now have a home security system to consider installing one and to make significant discounts available for installation and monitoring of alarm systems. 

Neighbors are encouraged to diligently research the effectiveness of alarm systems in reducing home burglaries. In an article addressing that issue, the New York Times reported:

  • Researchers at Rutgers University found that security systems protect the particular homes in which they are installed and that the rate of residential break-ins decrease as the density of alarms in an area increases.
  • Researchers at UNC Charlotte interviewed 400+ convicted burglars about their decision making process when selecting targets. The researchers reported that 83% of the offenders said they take steps to determine if a targeted home had an alarm, and only 13% said they would continue the burglary attempt after discovering the home was protected by an alarm.
  • The Insurance Information Institute said the average discount from having a security system ranges from 15% to 20%.

Discounts will be available to Midway Woods & nearby neighborhoods.

Additional info and Q&A at Wed 4 Feb MWNA meeting.

Michael Hughes
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association

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MWNA Elections: Wed 6 May


Election of the leadership team of your Midway Woods Neighborhood Association will be held during the Wed 6 May, 2015 general meeting. Our community needs strong candidates for, and broad participation in the election of an effective and committed leadership team. So, please consider running for office, plan to attend the meeting, and help spread the word.

Seven roles comprise the leadership team: president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, public-safety chair, environmental chair, and community-engagement chair. The expectations for each role are included in the attached document, MWNA Leadership-Team Roles. MWNA Leadership Team Roles Final

In 2015, a president, secretary, and environmental chair will be elected to two-year terms. A vice-president, treasurer, and public-safety and community-engagement chairs will be elected to one-year terms. In 2016, a vice president, treasurer, and public-safety and community-engagement chairs will be elected to two-year terms.

Eligibility to vote and hold office is defined as those 18-years or older, living or owning property in the area bordered by Columbia Dr, Memorial Dr, Candler Rd, Midway Rd, Oldfield Rd, and Kirk Rd. All spurs roads within that boundary are also included (ex. McKinnon Rd off Oldfield Rd and Clarke Hill St off Midway Rd).

Michael Hughes
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association


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Jan MWNA meeting cancelled


There will be no MWNA general meeting in January. The next meeting will be on Wed 4 Feb.

Michael Hughes
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association

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A More Beautiful Midway Woods

One way our neighborhood can continue to improve is to encourage consistent enforcement of County Code when it comes to the storage of junk, abandoned cars, and tall grass. If you’re concerned about these issues, please reach out to the County or to me.

Below is a summary of the more common code violations:

– Grass and weeds must be maintained below 18 inches in height.

– Outside storage is prohibited. This includes such items as tires, appliances, auto parts, old furniture, trash, junk vehicles, and dead trees. All stored items must be kept in an area enclosed on all sides by walls and a roof.

– Junk vehicles (any vehicle which is inoperable or does not bear current tags) may not be park in residential zones.

– Parking of vehicles on unpaved, untreated surface (for example, on the grass) is prohibited.

Call the County Code Enforcement Office at (770) 724-7940, to report any code violations. They will ask you for your name, but you do not have to provide it, in order for your complaint to be processed.

Their address is: 1950 West Exchange Place (3rd Floor), Tucker, GA 30084

Leave a message, but BE BRIEF. Give the address (speak clearly and slowly) and your complaint. Do not expect to be called back. Expect a month for any results…always follow up.

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County Park Director Predicts Disaster in Dearborn Park

Most folks are familiar with Dearborn Park’s upper section — the area with the pavilion, basketball court and playground. Most are less familiar with the two lower sections of Dearborn Park — areas that follow Shoal Creek to Oldfield.

This week I walked the lower area with Dave Butler to share with neighbors had done to make this area more accessible. Dave has been involved with our Park for over a decade. He was remembering early visionaries for the Park including Jeremy Rhett and Sarah Michelson who blazed some of the early trails and pushed for expansion into these lower sections.

However, he said we have a natural disaster on our hands. Hundreds of trees in the lower section of the park are covered with ivy. These are mature trees 40+ years old, some more than 100 years old. English Ivy will eventually kill these trees and leave this area with scrub trees, if any.

Young tree growth is also inhibited by the thick privet – an invasive species which dominates the undergrowth limiting native species from growing.

Dekalb County has 100 parks in its system. Dearborn Park is THE WORST in terms of invasive species status. If you stay on the couple of trails cleared out in the last few years, you won’t realize the pending disaster.

Make your way down to the end of the Decatur Trail where it joins up with Chevelle. Instead of walking up to Chevelle turn East towards the creek and you’ll find a newly blazed trail.

The trail meanders through dense privet and reveals a deposit of three large boulders far from the stream. You’ll arrive at the stream and see a path to scurry down the steep embankment and up the other side. To the North of this crossing is where we hope to add a bridge so the trail can be safely enjoyed by more people.

Privet remains thick until you climb out then the ivy dominates the undergrowth. Almost nothing new is able to grow in this area. The ivy dominates. Most alarming is the extent to which the ivy has covered the trees.

Another result of the thick privet is poor visibility which causes safety concerns. When I’ve asked people how they use the park, they stay in the open areas. The more rustic trails are too unsafe. Inadvertently, the neglect of the park has made it less of a resource for the community and for some it’s a liability in its current state.

Is Dearborn too big for the community to maintain? Do we deserve to add more park and garner more park resources without full support to care for what we have? I think we can do a lot more.

2015 needs to be the year that we aggressively clear the privet and ivy. The good news is we now have access to this area and can begin to restore it to a more natural state. Concurrently, we need to make it safe for nervous and less steady walkers.

Please visit this new trail and send me your pictures. What are your thoughts on how to recover the area?

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Disc Golf, Anyone?

We’re working on formalizing a Disc Golf course in Dearborn Park – one of very few ITP. If you’re interested, come to Columbia Presbyterian, 7:30PM, Dec 3rd to discuss or you can let me know here via reply.

Friends of Dearborn Park are pulling together a committee to design and implement the course and to find a way to fold it into the Park’s natural state.


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Dec 3 MWNA Meeting


You are invited and encouraged to participate in the Wednesday 3 December Midway Woods Neighborhood Association meeting at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm at the Columbia Presbyterian Church.  The meeting will include a Dearborn Park update and a preview of MWNA plans for 2015.

Michael Hughes
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association

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Fall & Winter Clean Up

The following is from Kathie Gannon, DeKalb County Commissioner, Super District 6. The full announcement is attached.  11-17-14 Fall Winter Work Program

The Mowing and Herbicide group of Keep DeKalb Beautiful (KDB), along with the DeKalb County Roads and Drainage Department, announces its yearly Fall & Winter Work Program, to provide a number of additional maintenance services to DeKalb County residents. During the fall and winter seasons, when mowing requirements are minimal due to slower growth, DeKalb County performs additional maintenance county-wide, and solicits maintenance project suggestions from residents.

Projects for this program may include:
• Abandoned cemeteries;
• Curb bumping;
• Dead tree limb removal;
• Illegal dumping (tires, furniture, etc.);
• Litter pick up requests;
• Mowing requests;
• Tree trimming; and
• Other projects, subject to staffing and connection to KDB’s mission of beautification.

The Fall & Winter Work Program operates between October and March each year. DeKalb County residents are invited to use the online form to request the addition of projects for consideration.

Michael Hughes
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association

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