Belvedere Park, Decatur, GA- Partners in Action for Healthy Living (PAHL), Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization working to improve the quality of life in South DeKalb County, is hosting a community beautification event in the Belvedere Park neighborhood, Show Us Your Curb, Belvedere!, on Saturday, July 11th, 2015 from 8:30am to noon. Residents and volunteers will meet at 8:30am at Knollwood Elementary School, 3039 Santa Monica Drive, Decatur, 30032. Everyone is invited to participate in this unique event!
Show Us Your Curb, Belvedere! Brings residents and volunteers together to conduct a mass curb clearing project in the Belvedere Park neighborhood of Decatur in unincorporated South DeKalb County. The beautiful granite curbs along the neighborhood’s 17 entrances (off of Memorial Drive, Columbia Drive, Line Street and Glenwood Road) are mostly hidden by overgrown vegetation and trash. It is unsightly and unfitting in a community where so many residents put great effort into making their homes attractive. Some of the streets are noticeably narrowed by excessive vegetation. After this event, the entrances will be clear and inviting, and speak of a community that says “We Care”.
There couldn’t be a more important statement for a neighborhood to make when it comes to preventing crime. Beautification efforts like Show Us Your Curb, Belvedere! benefit the community by improving aesthetics, instilling community pride and creating a sense of care in the neighborhood. While that sounds simply nice, there is a deeper statement being made when a neighborhood comes together to take charge, clean up and beautify. The current state of Belvedere Park, despite the efforts of many residents, gives a general sense of neglect that can feed dumping, littering and criminal activity. “Broken Window Theory”, a theory developed in the early 1980’s, states that general disrepair in a neighborhood (trash, overgrown vegetation, unboarded broken windows and other signs of neglect) attracts not only vandalism and petty crime, but also major crime like murder. It states that crime prevention results from keeping the neighborhood in good repair and in dealing swiftly with petty crimes. Several major U.S. cities have had success putting the theory into practice. Crime rates in New York and Boston declined sharply after police departments implemented efforts based on the Broken Windows Theory.
Partners in Action for Healthy Living (PAHL), Inc. encourages residents outside of Belvedere Park to come lend a hand in this effort. The intention and hope is that other South DeKalb communities will want to conduct their own “Show Us Your Curb” event. For more information on this event or how to coordinate one in your neighborhood, please contact PAHL at info@PAHLGA.org or call (404) 996.6324.
This event is being conducted with support from Keep DeKalb Beautiful, The Atlanta Community ToolBank and a grant from The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.
Diatomaceous Earth is a very popular organic insect control that is extremely safe for human. It is generally effective against many garden pest and provides good control from slugs. It is also effective on a variety of indoor pests such as fleas and bedbugs. It is the only organic method that I have seen be effective against fire ants. Sprinkle the tops of the ant mounds several times to gain control. Avoid sprinkling your flowers as it can kill bees.
At the PAHL’s HBCG, a metal cheese shaker is used to lightly sprinkle this safe insect control on your plants. A little goes a long way so sprinkle lightly. Repeated applications are more effective than one single application. A common misconception is that the insects exoskeleton is cut by the Diatomaceous Earth. Actually the diatomaceous earth absorbs the waxy protective layer of the insects exoskeleton and the insects shrivel up and die.
Safety for humans
While diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and considered very safe, it is important to be careful and not breath the dust in. Any dust is harmful to your lungs and respiratory system and should be avoided.
Like most community gardens, PAHL’s HBCG has big problems controlling nutsedge and Bermuda grass. These two weeds thrive in the moist, tilled soils of the garden. And while cardboard and mulch is a great way to provide beautiful walkways in the garden, this management style nurtures Bermuda grass (and fire ants). Nutsedge thrives in any moist environment Once these take hold in an organic garden, it can be extremely difficult to control without herbicides. Maintenance is not too bad though, once these weeds are under control. Use the tips here to get your garden and walkways weed-free and fabulous.
Nutsedge: Nutsedge is the easier of the two to control if you are vigilant about pulling it out. The best way to control nutsedge is to not let it get established in the first place. It is often introduced to the garden through contaminated topsoil or other soil amendments or materials.
Once you see patches of nutsedge growing in your garden, the sooner you take action, the better. Nutsedge survival is dependent on the underground tubers that store energy for the plant (shown below). Pull those tubers up!
For effective control: Remove small nutsedge plants before they have 5 to 6 leaves. This limits tuber production and in summer this is about every 2 to 3 weeks. Removing as much of the plant as possible will force the tuber to produce a new plant, drawing its energy reserves to produce new leaves. Repeated pulling of the nutsedge is important because the tubers become weakened over time. Once the tubers are weakened, other mechanical methods of control such as cardboard and mulch become much more effective.
Bermuda Grass: Karen Contreras (San Diego) effectively removes Bermuda grass by simply digging it out. Well, digging it out is not so simple. She digs down 4 to 6 inches when the soil is moist and turns over the soil to remove the plant and entire root.
The entire plant above and below ground needs to be removed because Bermuda grass spreads through underground rhizomes. Digging out Bermuda grass is time consuming and labor intensive but very effective. If you are removing it from a raised bed, be sure to remove as much as possible from seams in the bed, where the grass can hide.