Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Greenspace planning: Scott Circle

Remember to send your ideas for the Scott Circle vacant lots to scottlots2015@gmail.com by this Friday 5/29! A meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thur 6/18 to present the results and have further discussions on next steps. Thanks in advance for your help to improve our neighborhood greenspace!

For the last update on this greenspace project, see http://www.medlockpark.org/2015/04/

Monday, April 27, 2015

Behold: the dog stinkhorn

Ah, the mushrooms of Medlock. Often there are many in late summer and early fall.

But it's spring, and like puppies after a long winter, the dog stinkhorns have come out to play. Behold Mutinus elegans!

At first, the stinkhorn is pretty nondescript and button-like.
And then it's Martha, hide the children, for things are getting weird!
Another view, from pod to emerging stinkhorn to one that probably got kicked over, showing the hollow, spongy inner works. An engineering feat, without a doubt.
In a post titled "Nastiest. Mushroom. Ever." the Brooklyn Botanical Garden explains that "After sprouting from an egglike bulb, the orange or red stalks produce a slimy, carrion-scented spore coating near the tip. Flies are attracted to the scent, and after feeding on it, they fly off and dispense the spores wherever they land."

If these pictures are not enough, Cornell University has a time-lapse video of the full horror, from emergence to the inevitable keeling over. As a group, these stinkhorns seem to have very distinctive shapes...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Greenspace planning for Scott Circle lots

FEMA floodplain buy-outs by DeKalb County have created an opportunity to develop greenspace on Scott Circle, along the Medlock Park boundary. As many have noticed, a number of houses (seven, to be precise) have been demolished over the last few years. What should happen to these spaces? What are our options going forward? As discussed in our Spring 2015 newsletter, MANA and Druid Hills Youth Sports have contributed funds to gather neighborhood feedback. Casey Boudreau, MANA Parks and Greenspace chair, has some updates for us.
- - -
Dear Medlock Park neighbors and users:

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend the meeting Thursday night about the vacant lots on Scott Circle which will become part of Medlock Park.  Attached are the presentation done by representatives from Kaizen Collaborative (the landscape architecture firm hired by MANA and DHYS to help us with plans for the new space), feedback that was captured during the meeting, and a meeting summary.

Feedback offered during the meeting.

If you missed the meeting there is still opportunity for you to provide input to the process!  Please send an email to scottlots2015@gmail.com with your top 3 ideas of what to do with some or all of the spaces.  You can either pick from the list developed by the group or suggest new items as well as provide any additional comments.  Please note this email will not be monitored regularly, so you may not receive a response but please note we will include all input in the final analysis.  

The deadline to provide input is Fri May 22.  Another meeting to present the results and have further discussions on  next steps will be held in early June - announcements will be sent out in mid May with the date and time.

Thank you in advance for your help to improve our neighborhood greenspace!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Galling beauty

The wool sower gall grows on oak trees. A white pom pom with magenta spots, it's hard to miss, and harder to file under "parasitic wasp hatchery" because wait, it's kind of beautiful.

I'm just a little oak with my pom poms on. Let me root root root for the home team...
Wait. Now it's looking like a snowman murder mystery...
According to this source, these fluffy confections are nurseries for a parasitic wasp (Callirhytis seminator). The wasp lays her eggs on the host tree, the larvae hatch and secrete some wondrous stuff that creates a colorful cover that shelters their development. For more photos, go here.

There's always some neat surprise waiting to be discovered in the 'hood!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hail, yes.

That was some scary weather this evening! Sheets of rain that made it look like mist outside, and such winds. We have some trees and power lines down.

Some parts of Medlock are still in the dark but others have power again. Our thanks to GA Power for working to get everyone powered up asap.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fran Millar wastes everyone's time; Medlock appeals to House to rectify La Vista Hills boundary

MANA President Lynn Ganim sent the following letter to Representative  Rex Brockaway.
Dear Representative Brockway, 
Recently, Senator Fran Millar showed his contempt for the House by ignoring the agreed-upon northern border of LaVista Hills with Tucker.  Yesterday he showed his complete disregard for openly and fairly-agreed-upon changes in the southern border of LaVista Hills.  I was part of a group representing the Medlock and Mason Mill neighborhoods of DeKalb who met with a representative of LaVista Hills and staff for Senator Elena Parent and Representative May Margaret Oliver.  We were told that Senator Millar would incorporate our requests to have parts of our neighborhoods removed from the LVH map if the LVH representative agreed. These areas had never been on the LVH map before, and LVH does not even want them. As a result, we spent several hours with the map and amicably agreed on relatively minor changes which would have restored the wholeness of our neighborhoods and would, we thought, satisfy Senator Millar’s requirements. 
However, he changed his requirements and proceeded to run roughshod over our agreement for no understandable reason. This dishonorable behavior reinforces the public cynicism and distrust of government.  It’s as if he were a cat playing with a mouse, and we are outraged. There is no acceptable excuse for his actions.
Please defeat the Senate version of the LaVista Hills map, which reaches into Medlock and Mason Mill, and return to the original map agreed upon by your Governmental Affairs sub-committee or the map recently sent to you by Senator Parent. Doing so would be to take one small step towards restoring integrity to this process and the faith of citizens in their elected representatives. 
Thank you.

Lynn Ganim
Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA)


Mary Hinkel, President, Mason Mill Civic Association
maryhinkel at comcast
Lynn Ganim, President, Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA) lganim at bellsouth 404.735.2510

March 26, 2015


In spite of the fact that neighborhood leaders from Mason Mill and Medlock reached boundary agreements with LaVista Hills prior to the Senate's adoption of HB520 on March 25th, Senator Fran Millar (R-40th district) refused to delay action on the bill, thus splitting two neighborhoods in two for no apparent reason.
According to Mary Hinkel, President of the Mason Mill Civic Association: "We acted in good faith, following Senator Millar's instructions to Senator Parent on Monday, March 23rd, that he would make any changes LaVista Hills representative Steve Schultz agreed to.  We met the following morning and essentially agreed to the map that had already been approved in the House, with minor modifications.  The next step was to write the legal description of the boundary for inclusion in an amendment to be proposed by Senator Millar.  As it turns out, while we were meeting, Senator Millar was moving forward on his own.  I am shocked by his heavy-handed and cavalier approach."
While the Mason Mill and Medlock neighborhoods remained intact in the original House-drawn map, Senator Millar presented a new map to the Senate created by the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office.  The office relies on census-block mapping techniques, rather than more up-to-date geographic information software.  As a result, in order to draw the commercial areas of Toco Hills and North DeKalb mall into the new LaVista Hills map, the office also had to include the residential properties in the same census blocks, thus splitting the neighborhoods.  
Legislative Counsel for the House and Senate assured Senator Parent's staff on Monday that a map could be used that included a boundary described by "metes and bounds" and not census-block mapping.
"We want to keep our neighborhoods unified.  To be thwarted by an antiquated mapping technique is outrageous in a time when every smart phone can create a highly detailed map." says Lynn Ganim, President, Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA). "We ask the legislature to convene a conference committee to fix the southern borders as agreed, using metes and bounds."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hello spring! March and April plant sales

Beth Nathan is always out there fighting to make DeKalb better via the Civic Association Network, and apparently she's also making it greener! Thanks for this wonderful list, Beth!!

Below are some Plant Sales that local gardening enthusiasts might be interested in.Note:  3/28 is also CAN's Embrace Our Greenspace Race (fundraiser for local parks, 9:30-noon, Oak Grove UMC). Beth Nathan, (North Briarcliff past president; parks activist)

MARCH 28, 8-3.  FERNBANK PLANT SALE.  http://www.fernbank.edu/plantsale.htmFernbank Science Center (not museum), 156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta, GA 30307.
A wide variety of trees, shrubs, and flowering perennials.  Many of the plants are native species that are often difficult to find elsewhere.  Sample plant list.

APRIL 11,  8-4 (or until plants are gone).  AMERICAN RHODODENDRON SOCIETY (Azalea Chapter) Annual Plant Sale.http://www.azaleachapter.com/Oak Grove United Methodist Church, 1722 Oak Grove Rd, Decatur
Regionally grown native azaleas, evergreen azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, mt laurel, companion plants not typically found in local garden centers.
Rain or Shine – Cash/Checks/Credit Cards.  New Joining Members Receive 25% Discount
APRIL 18, 8-1.  TREES ATLANTA's 3rd

Annual Native Wildflower and Vine Sale  
Freedom Farmers’ Market at The Carter Center; 453 Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta 30307
More than 1,800 plants of native wildflowers and vines available for sale, as well as much more available parking.
All major credit cards, as well as checks, and cash will be accepted.   Plant List

APRIL 18, 10-1.  DEKALB MASTER GARDENERs' Spring Plant Sale.      
Oak Grove UMC parking lot: Corner of Oak Grove & Fairoaks, 1722 Oak Grove Rd, Decatur, Georgia  30033

APRIL 18, 10-2.  GEORGIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY Annual Spring Plant Sale. 
McFarlane Nature Park, 280 Farm Road SE, Marietta.  For GPS use: Atlanta Country Club Drive, Marietta 30067
Thousands of sun and shade loving native plants: trees, shrubs, perennials and ferns for all growing conditions and to help attract wildlife.  Over 600 native azaleas.
Cash, Credit Card or Check.  Bring Wagons or Carts.  Not Handicapped-Accessible

GA PERIMETER COLLEGE NATIVE PLANT BOTANICAL GARDEN.  Spring Plant Sales.  http://gpcnativegarden.org/salesonly15spring.html
3251 Panthersville Rd, Decatur, 678-891-2668.   ( Map & Directions)
Fridays:   March 27,  April 3, 10, 17, 24,  May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Saturdays:     March 28,  April 11, 25,  May 2, 16, 30
Sale Hours:    10:00 a.m. - 2 p.m.
We accept only cash or a check.