The Chosen View: Beautifying Augusta

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

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godogs 12/05/07 - 09:36 am
I hope when beautification is

I hope when beautification is done that South Augusta (Hwy 25, Hwy 1) and middle Augusta (Gordon Hwy) are not left out of the projects. If one rides down the Bobby Jones Expressway the off and on ramps at all entrances and exits are overgrown garbage that also encompas millions of cigarette butts. This is a major thoroughfare through Augusta and all parts of it should be kept. If one was from out of town riding just those exits alone portray what is below, a dump and no life area.

SargentMidTown 02/03/08 - 12:14 am
The neighborhood between the

The neighborhood between the 15th street Kroger and Mercy Ministry located on Crawford and Fenwick would be a lot cleaner if Mercy Ministry was not located there. The able bodied men who go from the Salvation army to Mercy Ministry litter and loiter. I have seen them walk past litter on the street a hundred times and I have seen them throw litter on the street a thousand times. Mircy Ministry has trashed our neighborhood in more ways than one. The drug dealers have come into our community to sell to the drifters who flock to Mercy Ministry. This place must go! The place should not be located in any residential neighborhood. The local resident safety issues are at stake.

atwitsend 03/02/08 - 11:47 am
The "beautification project"

The "beautification project" in Augusta is an admirable undertaking.

However, why not start small? Even the up-scale 'Summerville' neighborhood has pockets of shame that need careful scrutiny. To the chagrin of neighbors, the City of Augusta has looked the other way as a slumlord has allowed two abandoned houses on Walton Way ( a small brick house near the intersection of Milledge Road & Walton Way - behind Gould's Corner), and a larger abandoned house one door down ( formerly Daniels Gifts in the 1970's) to go un-tended. The squalor is shocking! Trash, squatters, broken windows, peeling paint, underbrush, untended yards, oh....and did I mention RATS?

Why is this wealthy owner not held accountable? Both properties are in deporable condition and have been allowed to remain so for 20 plus years! Since both of these "derelict houses" are located at the 'gateway' to an historic neighborhood, why is this owner not held to the same standard as everyone else who resides there?

One wonders how this disgraceful situation can continue decade after decade.

If people are serious about "cleaning up Augusta", why not start THERE?!

Marco02 03/30/08 - 08:30 am
So, can somebody tell me what

So, can somebody tell me what happened with the proposed mall that was supposed to be in the making on River Watch Parkway? I still see the signs promoting a Dillard's and what not there. Why did that piece of this project fall through?

dadgethiskids 05/15/08 - 02:10 pm
To clean up Augusta. Here is

To clean up Augusta. Here is a suggestion: Have Comcast/AT&T/Georgia Power bury the cable/telephone and the powerlines and stop hacking up the large oaks. Just think, beautiful trees and no power poles.
Hey it is a start.

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