Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Notes from Friends of Medlock Park meeting [2/13/16]

notes prepared by Casey Bordeaux, MANA Greenspace Coordinator

Notes from Friends of Medlock Park meeting, 13 Feb 2016:

Review of action points from January meeting (updates in italics):

1.     Identify landscape architect/designer/playground designer to help figure out what can do

a.     Set up working group to provide input (Lisa will coordinate):  Lisa is organizing work group with Jen Raby and Katie Curtis.  Will send information out via existing channels and try to recruit parents with kids who use the playground to provide input.

b.    County is supposed to maintain playground, including replacing mulch on regular basis but inconsistent.  Parks Department budget has been cut in half in recent years and causes inability to provide a lot of necessary maintenance.  County should still respond to actual safety issues. 

c.     Working group will collect list of safety issues with photos and send to Parks Department:  Paige Singer (Supervisor of Maintenance), Revonda Cosby (County liaison to Park Pride), copy Roy Wilson (Director of Parks & Rec), as well as Commissioner Jeff Rader.

2.     Identify and review grant opportunities:  below is link to Park Pride website

a.     http://www.parkpride.org/ home page

i.       According to Dave Butler, we could potentially apply for 2 types of grants with Park Pride.  Small grants (up to $2,500) which are awarded throughout the year as well as the large community grants (up to $50k) which are only awarded once per year with deadline in the fall for applications

c.     Create list of items for smaller grant or donation options, like benches or message board to place near playground to display notices of interest to Park users.  MANA could potentially help raise funds for these types of small projects.  Identify possible Eagle Scout projects.  Notify Revonda of any such projects.

3.     Organize cleanup of floodplain lots (debris; undesirable plantings; etc.) – tentatively in Mar 2016 (prior to significant Spring growing season):  possible dates 3/26 or 4/2

a.     Action point:  Casey to contact Dave Butler for assistance:  Dave has agreed to help.  Dave to confirm whether or not 3/26 will work for him.  Consider having monthly events to increase opportunities for neighborhood and user involvement, such as create "Medlock Park Rangers" group

b.    Identify and review grant opportunities:  Casey made contact with Trees Atlanta, need to follow up but could be possible.  Casey sent email requests to Trees Atlanta 2/13.  Further research needed to determine if should apply for grants through Park Pride.

4.     Lots of mud & sand get washed out during rain, hard to clean up (may be coming from Horse Park);  Dave has pursued working on mitigating these issues with the horse park for a number of years without significant progress

a.     Tex to contact Paige at Parks & Rec:  County is supposed to come out next week to power wash PATH (paved area) and other areas to remove mud

5.     Better maintain creekside trail

a.     Action point:  Lisa to contact South Fork Conservancy & Keep DeKalb Beautiful for help  KDB needs 5 day lead time to provide supplies for event.  No response yet from SFC – Dave B is currently working with SFC, which has no Exec Dir.  Suggest plan for fall event (creek usually lower in the Fall), coordinate with Rivers Alive program

b.     Action point:  Identify landscape architect with appropriate expertise who can assist with project.  Table for now.

c.     Action point: Organize cleanup (potentially piggyback with Scott lots clean-up in March 2016) - Suggest change of plan to have fall event instead of Spring (creek usually lower in the Fall), coordinate with Rivers Alive program; Dave Butler has experience organizing creek cleanups (and has relationship with South Fork Conservancy) and he will help in Fall.

i.       More plantings (trees help soak up water)

Dave Butler:  on Parks Community Advisory Board (CAB).  Fuqua (and Selig) owe trees to DeKalb county tree bank due to development.  Tex:  has been informed by Paige that Medlock Park is on the list to get trees but no timeline. Type and size of trees depends on request and location.  He has a plan for the park proper (by PATH and along field in back), will send to Paige and Steve Strickland, County Arborist.  Casey will review with MANA to ensure tree request is on radar for both Selig and Fuqua.  There are no good options to plant trees (for shade) or bushes (to soak up water) near playground.

Consider involving other groups such as trail runners to assist with maintaining creek side trails.  Lisa has Intown Ace gift certificates that could be used as incentives, rewards. 


Update on capital campaign?  Not yet started, still in planning phase of multi year proposal.  There will be a field work day next Sat, 2/20 from 9 am – 1 pm.  Focus is mainly on ball fields and immediate areas, including culvert area near playground and playground itself.  Chris and Tex will be present to organize volunteers, there will be a sign in table and some equipment provided.  Lisa will send out notice of clean-up to Friends of Medlock Park Facebook group and main Medlock Park Neighbors Facebook group to try to get residents to volunteer.

Inquiry about land survey few months ago: DHYS commissioned to mark boundaries for proposed plan to increase compliance with ADA and assist with potential future drainage work.  Lingering plastic ties will be removed during cleanup day, anyone can also remove – please just ensure proper disposal!


Update on bids for 979 Scott Circle – vacant white house:  Email from Brian Shoun, DeKalb Flood Management on 2/11:  Still working on it and the demolition date is not set.

Continue to followup with Brian on 979 Scott.  Also discussed flood plain lots on Hunting Valley – KDB is supposed to maintain but inconsistent and inadequate response.  Consider cleanup day, either linked to Scott lots one or other day.  Hanging wires near the community garden are likely phone lines that neither the demolition companies nor the utilities will remove.  As they are not electric, can be removed or at least trimmed during a cleanup day.

Emails from Medlock residents:  

Lights in ball fields:  Are on timer, max is 12 hours which means sometimes could accidentally be on past 11 pm cut off time.  DHYS tries to ensure lights are off before departing, and will investigate replacing some timers to ease manual shut off.  DHYS will provide an after-hours phone number on main light box to report problems, this number will also be shared on MANA web page when made public.

Hazards in the park:  Report any safety issues to FOMP group, DHYS or MANA

Inquiry about dog park:  as previously reported, a dog park is NOT possible in the current MP footprint nor in the Scott lots greenspace due to being in floodplain and close proximity to stream or ditch – law requires 200 foot buffer.  DHYS requested reminder that dogs are NEVER allowed on fields, and both MANA and DHYS remind dog owners to comply with state laws to keep dogs on leash (if caught, ticket can be $200+) and to pick up and properly dispose of poop.

To Stay Informed:

People can find updates relating to the park at:

Friends of Medlock Park Facebook Group -

can subscribe to for the Friends of Medlock Park email list at:

Updates are also posted on the MANA web site:

Next Friends of Medlock Park meeting:

Saturday, March 12 at 9:00a at the Clubhouse meeting room in the park