Find out more about the organizations helping to keep East Atlanta great.
The Battle of Atlanta Commemoration Organization – popularly known as BATL – is a unique entity whose mission is to preserve history by retelling it, maintaining historic sites and educating community members about the significant events that transformed the South – literally in their backyards. Few realize that the Battle of Atlanta of the Civil War was fought right here in East Atlanta. BATL is a nonprofit comprised of representatives from the East Lake, Kirkwood, Edgewood, Reynoldstown and East Atlanta neighborhoods of Atlanta.
Opened in 1973, Branan Towers is a retirement community serving persons 62 years and older with low and moderate income. Branan Towers is an 11-storey building offering one-bedroom, independent living apartments. Each year residents participate in the East Atlanta Strut’s parade. EACA not only holds its Monthly Meeting at the Towers, but it also sponsors a monthly Bingo night for residents. EACA and Wesley Woods Senior Living, Inc. — the Towers’ nonprofit management — have a long-standing, multi-dimensional partnership.
East Atlanta Beer Festival
Started in 2003 and now an Atlanta institution, EABF is an annual event that, besides providing the most fun Saturday in Atlanta, raises money for the community. Beginning in 2010, the Festival moved to Brownwood Park. Local East Atlanta restaurants always serve food, and EACA volunteers flip burgers for the hungry crowd. EABF funds approximately $40,000 in community projects through an annual grant cycle.
East Atlanta Kids Club
East Atlanta Kids Club is a nonprofit, out-of-school-time mentoring and enrichment program for under-resourced girls and boys ages seven to 17. Formed in 1998 by East Atlanta residents, the program began with a dozen youth and a handful of volunteers. It now offers a rich variety of educational and recreational activities as well as mentoring opportunities to more than 100 youth each year, free of charge. The Kids Club and EACA have a formal partnership – as expressed in the Brownwood Recreation Center Community Committee – that decides on the events and programming of the Center.
East Atlanta Security Patrol
The East Atlanta Security Patrol (EASP) is a local effort to enhance safety in East Atlanta. Specifically, off-duty Zone Six Police Officers are hired to perform additional patrols within Beat 610 – which is the police designation for the East Atlanta community – beyond those presently being performed by the police. To learn more about the East Atlanta Security Patrol, view updated news and notes or to enroll, visit the EASP website. There is a 50% discount for long-time residents (must have lived at the same address for 20 years) and those 65+. There is also a 20% discount for members of an APD-sanctioned Neighborhood Watch. Please contact EASP if you’re interested in setting up a Neighborhood Watch on your street. If you have additional questions, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Myron Polster at 404-954-1568.
Started in 1997, the East Atlanta Strut is a community organized, one-day, family-friendly, arts-music-food festival. The Strut also sponsors a 5K run/walk and a famous parade, led by the Queen of the Strut. The Strut raises approximately $30,000 for community projects through an annual grant cycle. An EACA member always serves on the Strut’s board of directors.
East Atlanta Village Farmers Market
The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market is one of Georgia’s most innovative. Vendors, celebrity chefs, musicians, foodies and curious neighbors looking for farm-fresh bargains descend on the Village every Thursday, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, April through December. The EAV Farmers Market is the first in Georgia to accept EBT and WIC vouchers. It’s also a participant in a program, sponsored by Wholesome Wave, which doubles the value of EBT and WIC, so, for instance, a $25 purchase will actually be $50. This program is just one innovative way to bring healthy produce to more people. Check its website for weekly events and specials.
Grant Park Neighborhood Association
Originally called the Association to Revive Grant Park in 1973, the now-named Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) brings together residents of Grant Park who are interested in promoting, protecting and strengthening the neighborhood. The Association annually sponsors the Grant Park Tour of Homes and the Moth Ball, which are both in late September. The GPNA holds a general meeting each month and has partnerships with the Grant Park Pool and the Grant Park Conservancy. EACA and GPNA work together on NPU-related concerns as well as support each organization’s programming.
Friends of the East Atlanta Library
Begun as an initiative of EACA, the Friends mission was originally to shepherd the design and construction process of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library’s East Atlanta Branch. Now that it’s built (constructed in 2005), the Friends mission is to raise supplementary funds for the library as well as awareness of the diverse programming on offer at the Library. The East Atlanta Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library is one of only two branches in DeKalb County.
Neighbor in Need
An all-volunteer, nonprofit organization based in Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood, the mission of Neighbor in Need is to help low income, elderly homeowners make emergency home repairs. Its vision is to increase home value and, more importantly, help neighbors keep their homes. Since 2010, EACA has maintained a formal partnership with Neighbor in Need and implements its model in the entire East Atlanta community. More information about this program is under the Initiatives tab on this website.
South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development (SAND)
Formed in 1974, SAND is a neighborhood organization consisting of six Atlanta neighborhoods: Benteen, Boulevard Heights, Custer-McDonough-Guice, North Ormewood Park, Ormewood Park and Woodland Hills. SAND is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and solely volunteer-driven. Its monthly meetings are held at Beulah Heights University’s Student Center.
SouthStar Community Development Corporation
Founded in 1998 by EABA, EACA and SAND, SouthStar has been involved in a wide range of community projects including land use planning, commercial development, and other community development efforts rather than only on residential housing, the traditional focus of community development corporations. One of SouthStar’s biggest accomplishments to-date is the South Moreland Avenue Livable Centers Initiative, a comprehensive document, approved by the Atlanta City Council, which has been the primary blueprint for improvements to the East Atlanta area.
Historic Sylvester Cemetery Foundation
Historic Sylvester Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in DeKalb County; the first burials took place in the 1830s. The resting place of more than 1,400 persons, the cemetery was originally a family burial plot for the Terry family who owned and operated two mills in what is now East Atlanta. In 1872, Sylvester Terry, the 16-year-old son of Mary Thurman Terry, died and was buried there. Sylvester Church, a Methodist congregation, was built and named in his honor; the cemetery is named for the church, which is no longer in existence. Veterans of the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI and WWII, the Korean and
Vietnam Wars are all buried there. The most well known figure buried there is Fiddlin’ John Carson, who is widely considered to be the Father of Country and Western Music. He was the first to record a country music album, first to have his own radio program (1923) and the first to travel widely giving country music performances. He was elected to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1984.
The efforts to cleanup the cemetery began in 2002, after many years of neglect and misuse. The Historic Sylvester Cemetery Foundation, incorporated in 2003, was formed by neighbors of the cemetery, the families of those buried there and residents eager to reclaim an important part of Georgia history. The Foundation began hosting tours and events in 2006.
The Porch Press
Collectively founded by EACA, SAND, and GPNA in 1989, The Porch Press publishes a free newspaper and delivers it to approximately 6,000 households in NPU-W. The paper promotes neighborhood organizations, provides news for and about the neighborhoods, and offers a space where neighborhood residents can voice their concerns. Three representatives from each of three neighborhood organizations comprise the board of directors. A complete archive, including early editions of the paper, are on file at the Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia. EACA has a committee of volunteers that meets each month to put out the paper.