ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today the launch of the Proctor Creek Trash Free Waters Community Workforce Program. This community-driven job creation and environmental cleanup program is designed to promote the long-term redevelopment of the Vine City and English Avenue communities. During a launch event last week, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, the Community Improvement Association Inc. and other partners identified plans to hire 20 residents from the local community to help clean the Proctor Creek watershed and stream corridor of litter, debris and illegal dumping.
A 12-week pilot program, the Proctor Creek Trash Free Waters Community Workforce Program will also focus on removing litter from the Northwest Atlanta and Atlanta University Center communities. Residents will be paid $12 an hour.
“We are proud to work with our partners today to launch this program,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “The program is based on a simple idea: hire workers from the local community to help clean up Proctor Creek and the surrounding communities. We are certain that the City of Atlanta will establish best practices that communities nationwide can adapt for cleaning waterways and promoting job creation opportunities with this program.”
The program is a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, the Keep Atlanta Beautiful Commission, the Community Improvement Association’s Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, Georgia Stand-Up/Trade-UP/Build-Up Program and EPA Region IV’s Trash Free Waters Program.
“EPA’s Trash-Free Waters program is a wonderful tool to help the Proctor Creek community reduce trash in their waterways,” said EPA Regional Water Division Director Jim Giattina. “EPA is proud to be able to assist local efforts to transform degraded, forgotten waterways into community centerpieces that revitalize the surrounding neighborhoods.”
The Proctor Creek Trash Free Waters Community Workforce Program represents another step in Mayor Kasim Reed’s commitment to Proctor Creek. The City of Atlanta is one of 11 communities selected for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters Project, a designation being used to foster a number of remediation and restoration projects along the creek. Plans include adding 400 acres of new greenspace and a trail that connects the Atlanta BeltLine to the Chattahoochee River. In total, the City will restore nine miles of natural waterway to reduce flooding, create trails for recreation and spur economic development.