The Chosen View: Beautifying Augusta

It's hard to say when Augusta devolved into the label many residents now use to describe their town: Disgusta. But that's how many of you see it, as beautification is one of four issues readers chose earlier this year for The Chronicle to look at.

In this series, we explore efforts to clean up and revitalize the Garden City.

Sunday

Turning away from 'Disgusta'
Experts say downtown revitalization is the engine that drives any real beautification efforts. To see if Augusta is on the right track, we looked at three midsize cities that have had successful revitalizations: Chattanooga, Tenn., Greenville, S.C., and Oklahoma City.

Timeline: 35 years of success, false starts
It's been 25 years since Augusta Tomorrow formed and helped produce the master plan that led to Riverwalk Augusta, and 35 years since the earliest efforts to redefine a city center struggling to compete with suburban sprawl.

Monday

Dig it and they will come: 'Big bang' can sometimes ignite growth
Commissioner Andy Cheek bases what he believes will happen with an Ellis Street canal on what he saw during a July visit to San Antonio: "I didn't spend any money at the Alamo, but I spent eight hours on River Walk and spent $800 there."

Lingering Litter: Many area residents help city in cleanup efforts
Augusta hasn't had a Keep America Beautiful affiliate since 2004. But some fervent residents are picking up where city workers and inmate crews leave off.

Volunteer maintains garden
It's one thing to plant a garden. It's something else entirely to keep it up - year after year after year.

Tuesday

Litter clouds overall allure of waterways
Easing down a dirt embankment toward the waters of the Augusta Canal - stepping over discarded chunks of scrap metal, shards of asphalt roofing and burger wrappers - Paul Harris started to fume.

Wednesday

Retired nurse fights to foster pride in city
Fran Stewart is determined to make Augusta live up to its nickname, the Garden City, whether that means planting crape myrtles at a Welcome to Augusta sign or showing city commissioners photos of blight at major intersections.

Thursday

Cleanup starts with own home
Neighborhood association president Sammie Sias is not going to let the Sand Ridge subdivision slip into decline, and he doesn't care whose feelings he hurts.

Friday

Restoration restores people
Phin Hitchcock, co-founder of Heritage Academy, and Fireside Ministries, believes beautification is about creating better citizens.

Saturday

Men construct ideas for model city
B. Kelley and Michael Teffeteller dream of a better Augusta when they build miniature models of imagined city streetscapes. Some of their ideas are getting attention from developers.