Lately, a long-neglected, badly polluted little creek just west of downtown Atlanta has gained national attention. Proctor Creek, a 10,600-acre urban watershed that acts as a chute for human waste and harmful chemicals, funnels directly into the Chattahoochee River, accounting for nearly half of the city's river pollution. It wends from Interstate 20, near Marietta Boulevard and around Bellwood Quarry — that massive crater envisioned as a huge Beltline park — before connecting with the river near I-285 and Smyrna. So why's the creek matter now? Because with new federal backing, as Creative Loafing reports, it appears the beleaguered creek could be transformed into a 400-acre linear park that would allow Atlantans not only a new connection to the Beltline, but to the river itself.
As CL reports, last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the creek to a list of only 11 waterways slated for a federal cleanup program. Launched by President Barrack Obama, the program aims to restore waterways in urban areas, and though it doesn't entail funding, it includes powerful orders from the top for all sorts of departments to cooperate. The vision: a seven-mile trail and stream system will snake from downtown to the 'Hooche and help revitalize neighborhoods along the way.
A developer hopes to break ground on the project next year. The first of two phases could be wrapped in a couple of years, but the entire process could span a decade, CL reports. And while short segments of the Beltline have seen progress in that general area of late, all has largely been quiet on the Bellwood Quarry front. When/if the quarry and surrounding confines are transformed into a park and massive reservoir, it'll be bigger than Piedmont Park, and both would be linked by the Beltline.
· Proctor Creek's second chance [Creative Loafing]
· Project would clean up Proctor Creek, add trail linking Atlanta's BeltLine to Chattahoochee [The Republic]
· Mobile Workshop: How to Restore an Impaired Watershed [Brownfield Conference]