Many circumstances came together beginning in 1997 when a group of residents & churches came together (using the S. DeKalb county boundaries of 2 nd Ave (west), Glenwood Ave (north), Candler Rd (east) & McAfee Rd (south) and eventually formed EastEnd Neighbors (EEN) “Promoting Communication & Collaboration” that included neighborhoods: Columbia Village, Martin Heights (formerly Delphine-Barberrie), East Lake Commons, East Lake Gardens, East Lake Terrace, Garden Valley, Olmsted, Terry Mill & Villages of East Lake. From EEN came Glenwood Pedestrian Safety Initiative (GPSI) that transformed State Hwy 260 Glenwood Ave. off I-20 east towards Candler Rd. which had been a 4-lane killing machine. GPSI with the help of GDOT, District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson & DeKalb funding, residents were able to reduced Glenwood Ave. to 3 lanes with left-hand turn lanes, bike lanes, streetscapes, more lights, crosswalks, sidewalks, refuge islands, new mailboxes & new signage. East Lake Foundation & the CF Foundation contributed to our community efforts in the beginning years.
When EEN disbanded around 2014, the same residents put their focus on supporting East Lake Terrace Neighborhood Association (ELTNA) with basically similar boundaries with a few exceptions. ELTNA as an entity began in 2002 when concerned residents began a safety patrol due to rampant crime from drug dealers who had lived in the area for over 20 years (due largely to HUD Housing @ East Lake Meadows @ East Lake Blvd that Eva Davis, who died 6/5/12, helped transform into Villages of East Lake with the support of Atlanta Housing Authority & developer Tom Cousins). With the dedication of South Precinct Police & Sheila O’Rear, who was helping residents form Neighborhood Watch, regular meetings were established at different locations & 501(c)(3) secured.
Since that time, new residents have continued to move into the area because of affordable housing mixed with long time residents who have lived in ELTNA since the 1950’s when the land was a dairy farm converted to housing for returning WWII vets. ELTNA is a melting pot mix which requires specialized support for seniors, shut-ins, disabled, children, youth, adults & those not on email or social media. ELTNA wants to reactivate the telephone calling post which was successful but discontinued due to funding @ 15 cents a call.
Since 2007, the neighborhood published a Newsletter (request sample) that was distributed to over 1,500 resident which in turn produced a large turnout @ quarterly meetings (Feb. May. Aug. Nov.) with committees on (1) Beautification & Code Compliance (2) Development & The Built Environment (3) Education & Youth (4) Hazard Plan (5) Neighborhood Watch/Court Watch (6) Pedestrian & Traffic Safety (7) Social Justice & Diversity (8) Newsletter & Website (9) Welcoming New Neighbors (10) Meeting planning.
Through the years of taking back our neighborhood from drug dealers, we participated in “Heart of S. Annual Festival” @ S. DeKalb Mall (see flyer); National Night Out; Voter Registration; Street Fairs; Ice Cream Socials; Christmas for Kids; Thanksgiving Food Drive; Litter Pick-up; Homeless Outreach; Yard Sales; Earth Day celebrations planting curb gardens & dedicating 9 Peace Poles, nearby with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” (see photo); Children’s Summer Camp; Installing speed bumps; Crime Prevention workshop with Dr. Cedric Alexander (see photo) & a workshop sponsored by Mt. Welcome Baptist Church (see handout); Beautifying former Buena Vista Park on McAfee Rd. in 2008 into Barker/Bryant Park to honor Officers Eric Barker & Ricky Bryant, killed in the line of duty. ELTNA has a Community Garden on Hillside Dr. near Rosemont & an active “Friends of Scott Candler Library”. For residents on Nextdoor, email & McNair Cluster Group, we keep abreast of what’s happening around us like “Neighbors Against Greenhaven” (NAG) cityhood; proposed Atlanta annexation & the Georgia Legislature.
ELTNA works closely with S. Precinct (which includes 55 square miles & only 133 officers) for Coffee with Cops,” Biking with Police (see photo), Walking with Police, going on “Ride Alongs,” doing Court Watch & having Police Appreciation events (see photo). Plagued by multi-jurisdictions issues with Atlanta Zone 6, many residents have joined East Lake Security Patrol (ELSP) for added safety. We attend S. Precinct’s quarterly Safety Meetings.
We have had active outreach to businesses like: Goodwill Industries, Publix, Wells Fargo Bank, Walmart, Walgreen’s, Whole Foods, “My Coffee Shop,” East Lake YMCA, Shaw Industries in Dalton, Burke’s Jewelers EAV, many churches (Mt. Welcome Baptist, Bethel Baptist, Greater Piney Grove), restaurants like SABA in Oakhurst – Arden’s Garden in Kirkwood – East Atlanta Village Farmer’s Market, “Hands On Atlanta,” FCS Urban Ministries, McNair Discovery Learning Academy & Drew Charter School.
2015 ELTNA received a “Certificate of Appreciation” from S. DeKalb Precinct Police. It was the 2 nd . (available upon request). An active resident also received the “Lou Walker Citizenship Award” in 2007 from Commissioner Larry Johnson. Through him, we have participated in (1) Annual “President’s Meeting” for all the Presidents of neighborhood associations in S. DeKalb (2) Conference 11-6- 15 Renaissance 2.0: Breaking Through How We See Our Community @ Porter Sanford Center on Rainbow Dr. which addressed the Candler Corridor improvements (see photo) (3) District 3 Bus Tours to see how our community is changing for the better (4) Senior Center on Candler Rd. (5) new Scott Candler library (6) Bringing retail business like McDonald’s @ Candler & McAfee (7) Helping get sidewalks in on Second Ave to Flat Shoals & improving the intersection by Walmart on Gresham.
A fun fact about ELTNA is that Glen Theater used to be @ Glenwood Ave & Candler Rd. (see photo) It opened September 1952. The owner/operator was William Greene who also was owner/operator of Palmetto Theater in Palmetto, GA. The photo shows the movie “The Men” with Marlon Brando was playing. There was a Krystal across the street, a drug store down the corner to the right, lots of parking out front. It was sold & started showing porno flicks like “Deep Throat” & “Behind the Green Door.” Recently it became “Builder’s Equipment” & now it is a pawnshop with the facade still showing. Look close.
As more & more residents agree to participate, ELTNA continues to prosper & make a difference in S. DeKalb county, District 3 in metro Atlanta.