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Year of Boulevard: 2012 in Review

A year has gone since Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall launched his Year of Boulevard initiative.

OLD FOURTH WARD — Last January, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall launched his  Year of Boulevard initiative. Focused on the with the goals of enhancing public safety, increasing summer camp opportunities for Boulevard kids and youth and connecting families with existing city and county services.

Hall announced on Thursday several new programs and new partnerships for 2013 to continue to build on the initiatives started last year.

The councilman, whose district includes Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park, sat down with East Atlanta Patch to look at 2012, what worked and what didn't.

Here is the outline of the 2012 year and major accomplishments:

March:

  • TEDx Atlanta awards Hall and Year of Boulevard its first-ever “TEDx Atlanta Wish” to support Year of Boulevard “Summer of Possibility” summer camps.

April:

  • Beacon of Hope leases former Sylvester Baptist Church building to Operation P.E.A.C.E. seven years after a dramatic fire destroyed its youth center, P.E.A.C.E. gets a permanent home for its afterschool and summer camp programs.
  • Wingate Apartment Homes installs trash cans along Boulevard; recruits Old Fourth Ward contractors for apartment and grounds improvements.
  • Atlanta Magazine prints four-page story on Year of Boulevard. Throughout year, Rebecca Burns blogs about the initiative at atlantamagazine.com
  • Atlanta Police Department opens new Boulevard mini-precinct at Atlanta Medical Center.

May:

  • 300 volunteers turn out for a spring community cleanup. Community leaders present checks totaling $50,000 to support Year of Boulevard summer camps.

June-July:

  • 450 kids and youth attend 4 Boulevard corridor summer camps: Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School (MLK Recreation Center); Central Park Recreation Center basketball camp; Operation P.E.A.C.E.; Truly Living Well Urban Farm Summer Camp. (In 2011, there were only 2 summer camps for 200 kids and youth to attend.)

June:

  • Ribbon cutting for community resource center, in Bedford Pines apartment donated by Wingate management.

July:

  • Hall and Fulton County Commissioner Joan P. Garner close Boulevard to host Back-to-School Block Party. Nine hundred residents connect with city and county agencies.

August:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport opens art exhibition from Hope-Hill Elementary School’s AfterSchool CLASSE program.

September:

  • to renovate all Central Park basketball courts.

October:

  • 200 volunteers turn out for fall community cleanup.
  • Atlanta Hawks dedicate newly renovated basketball courts in Central Park.

December:

  • Hall and Garner host holiday parties for seniors in Boulevard corridor highrises and nursing homes, including Wheat Street, Bethel Towers, Maggie Russell, Parkview Manor, and Cosby Spear.
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation recognizes Year of Boulevard initiative.

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