When you're young you feel like you can change the world. You listen to punk rock, okay — Don Henley — and National Public Radio and vow to always be proactive. Then you have kids, a job and laundry, you become your own charity case. A clean-room activist.
Sadly, I don't really have the time or energy to change anything but diapers. However after changing up our hangout spots, I hear that ol' familiar call to action.
Strolling through different parks in our area brought to my attention that the needles strewn about are not commonplace. The dead grass and falling gates are not to be expected at everyone’s neighborhood park.
Now I am on a mission to discover why other parks get so much more love. By love, I mean more money than the park in East Atlanta Village.
Now, I am overwhelmed by all the effort and time and money it takes to have green grass and stone sidewalks for a park.
A call to the parks department taught me to call somewhere else if you want to beautify the park. If you have maintenance issues, like broken sidewalks, you contact customer service at the Office of Parks: 404.546.6813. They will put in a work order and one day, perhaps it will get done.
There are 348 parks in the city of Atlanta. The Office of Parks currently maintains 226 of these parks, so it could take them a while to unclog the water fountain.
In 1989 some folks got tired of waiting for the Parks Department to show up so they started Park Pride. They are a grassroots effort, coordinating more than 60 "Friends of the Park" to make the work volunteers do matter.
They offer a few different kinds of grants and help to get people involved. They and getting other people to do something.
From what I can tell, Brownwood Park is trying to get some friends. Beautifying this park is going to take a lot of time and effort from the community. It has its share of pot-smoking teenagers and dozing homeless, but it's worth the effort.
Talking about getting involved and Googling what can be done are not substitutes for action. Maybe this time, with the follow-through I am learning as a parent, I will actually get involved.