Sandy Springs Reporter - April 2022

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Sandy Springs Rep rter APRIL 2022 • VOL. 16 — NO. 4 | @reporter_news

Nothing Compares.


The Sustainability Issue



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Contents APRIL 2022 Editor’s Note Buckhead


Remembering Sam Massell


Sandy Springs Lantern parade


Jan Paul to retire


Brookhaven City to appeal jury verdict


Dunwoody Dunwoody High’s aspirations


Police department legal issues 13 Commentary 26

Worth Knowing


Bearing Witness in Poland


Sustainability The next generation of green leaders


The forest bathing experience 22 Guide to farmers markets


Real Estate State of the housing market


Business ARC’s new leader Anna Roach 26 Head for the Hills | Section Two 18


Editorial Amy Wenk Editor, Reporter Newspapers Collin Kelley Editor, Atlanta Intown Joe Earle Editor at Large Staff Writers Dyana Bagby Bob Pepalis Sammie Purcell

Published By Springs Publishing Keith Pepper Publisher Neal Maziar Chief Revenue Officer Rico Figliolini Creative Director Steve Levene Publisher Emeritus

Advertising For information call (404) 917-2200 ext 1002 Deborah Davis Account Manager | Sales Operations Sr. Account Manager Jeff Kremer Sr. Account Manager Suzanne Purcell



Cathy Cobbs, Carol Niemi, Isadora Pennington, Eric M. Robbins, Maria Saporta, Charles Seabrook

58,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to businesses/retail locations.

As seen in Print Use this QR code to read extended versions of stories found in this issue.


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Weekend in Knoxville


Mountain retreat centers


Day trip to Toccoa


Olmsted 200


Summer camps


About the Covers Buckhead residents Sevil Paksoy (in the green jacket) and Yesim Ozbarlas shop produce from Jeff Anthony of Pinewood Springs Farm. Photographer Isadora Pennington captured this scene at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market in late March. On the Buckhead Reporter, we honor the legacy of former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, with an image courtesy of Georgia State University Magazine photographer Ben Rollins. Honored as a newspaper of General Excellence

2018 © 2022 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing. APRIL 2022 | 3


Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church INVITES THE COMMUNITY TO FRIENDS OF MUSIC CONCERT featuring the

Spivey Hall Children’s Choir conducted by Dr Martha Shaw, Artistic Director

Honoring an Atlanta visionary, emerging green leaders


This feels like a special edition of Reporter Newspapers. On page 6, we honor the life of Sam Massell, a former Atlanta mayor and Buckhead champion who

died in March. I first met Sam when I was a reporter at Atlanta Business Chronicle. He invited me to lunch at Chops Lobster Bar. I felt honored to meet with such an influential person. I was so shocked when he praised me. “You are doing such important work in the community,” he told me, even though my professional accomplishments certainly paled in comparison to his. But that was the thing about Sam, he had so much respect for other people. He was a true Southern gentleman with such love for his city. Whenever anything was going on in

120 voices strong | Choir founded 1994 Singers are 10-18 years of age

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Buckhead, the first call I would make was to Sam. And even in his late 80s, he would know exactly what was going on. I feel lucky for the times we got to speak, and my thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.

Sam Massell with his wife Sandy Gordy. (John Ruch) This month’s issue also features profiles on rising young professionals in the environmental movement (see page 16). It was amazing to talk with this group. I personally felt so inspired hearing about the work they are doing and the experiences that have shaped their careers. I hope you’ll take time to learn more about them and the organizations they serve. We also have an extra section in this month’s paper (starting on page 29), featuring a story by my colleague Collin Kelley about the 40th anniversary of The World’s Fair in Knoxville. I write about mountain retreat centers where you can seek spiritual and mental healing. And, veteran journalist Charles Seabrook shares about his recent trip to Toccoa. We also have a feature on the upcoming Olmsted 200 celebration, which commemorates the 200th birthday of Druid Hills designer Frederick Law Olmsted. In other news, we are very excited to welcome back Dyana Bagby as staff writer. Dyana will cover news and write features for both Reporter Newspapers and our sister publication Atlanta Intown. Her resume includes covering commercial real estate/economic development for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a previous stint as a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers, and editor of LGBTQ+ newspaper Georgia Voice. “I’m excited to return to Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown, and to the mission of responsible and reliable hyperlocal reporting,” Dyana said. I’d also like to acknowledge Amy Arno, a co-founder of Reporter Newspapers and its longtime advertising director. Amy left the paper recently to pursue a new job in the senior care industry. She will be greatly missed. Amy has an undeniable love for our local communities, and she made a lasting impact on this publication.


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Remembering Sam Massell, a tireless advocate for his beloved Buckhead


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Sam Massell. (Courtesy of Ben Rollins Photography)



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Former Atlanta mayor and one of Buckhead’s greatest champions, Sam Massell, died March 13. He was 94. Massell helmed the city from 1970 to 1974 and is credited with establishing MARTA. Not only did he get the state legislature to okay a sales tax referendum to fund the agency, but he worked to convince voters to pass the one-cent sales tax to pay for the transit system. “MARTA would not exist but for the dedication and persistence of Massell, who convinced the Georgia Legislature, and later voters, to approve the local option sales tax that continues to fund MARTA to this day,” the MARTA board said in a statement. “His political antics in the early days of the MARTA referendum are legendary, as are his grassroots efforts riding the bus to communities and explaining the sales tax on a chalkboard. MARTA was fortunate to have such an ardent support and we remain forever in his debt. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Sandra, his children, extended family, and his countless friends.” A native of Atlanta, Massell also had a successful career in real estate and as a travel agent, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in commercial science from the University of Georgia and a law degree from Atlanta Law School. But his love for the city – and especially the Buckhead community – led him to a life of advocacy and promotion. In 1988, he became the founding president of the Buckhead Coalition, a position he retired from in 2020. “Sam was a tireless advocate for both the Buckhead community and the city of Atlanta,” said Jim Durrett, president of the Buckhead Coalition and executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District. “As mayor of Atlanta in the early 1970s, he did truly meaningful work to diversify city government, appointing people of color and women to positions of significant responsibility.” Durrett added that after Andrew Young lost his first bid to U.S. Congress in 1970, Massell appointed him to a position in the

Atlanta government “that gave Andy the reputation and name recognition that led to his ultimate election to Congress.” Massell was widely regarded as the “Mayor of Buckhead” for his involvement in the community. He supported the extension of the Ga. 400 highway through Buckhead, as well as the creation of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, which funds transportation and public safety projects and programs.

Developer Tom Cousins and Massell break ground on the Omni Arena. (Courtesy of GSU Digital Collection/AJC) “Sam’s impact on our city was immeasurable,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “His time as mayor made history in so many ways. He was Atlanta’s first and only Jewish mayor, he laid the groundwork for MARTA—which connected neighborhoods and residents across our city—and he paved the way for better representation of women and minority participation in city government.” Anna Roach, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, called Massell a visionary leader who shaped the region. “He understood the importance of looking beyond the borders of his own jurisdiction to tackle big issues from a wider, regional lens, such as his critical support of regional mass transit that helped bring MARTA to life,” Roach said. “We are indebted to his life of service and sustained passion for the Atlanta region.”



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Get your lanterns ready for the upcoming parade

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Locals can start working on their lanterns for Sandy Springs’ annual Take it to the River Lantern Parade at Morgan Falls Overlook Park, scheduled for Saturday, April 30. Lantern kits will be available at Sandy Springs Ace Hardware and Steel Canyon Golf Club beginning on April 2. Residents can also get kits at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market on April 9 and 16.

“The city was fortunate last year that the Lantern Parade took place not only outside, but during the summer month of June,” city spokesperson Jason Fornicola said. “At that point, people were starting to feel more comfortable attending outdoor events and the attendance numbers reflected that. Despite a humid, stormy start to the event, there was record attendance and we expect to break that record this year.” Anyone who wants to improve their lantern-making skills can attend one of the city’s workshops at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market on April 9 and 16. Chantelle Rytter, an artist who helped the city design the parade, will be on hand for assistance. She will have kits available for sale. Free templates also are available on the City Springs website. This year’s parade will add more family-friendly activities, food trucks, and music. “The Lantern Parade is going to be bigger, brighter, and more magical than ever before,” Fornicola said. Participants will meet at the Steel Canyon Golf Club parking lot where they can enjoy music, food trucks and children’s activities prior to the parade. Then, everybody will stroll from the golf club to Morgan Falls Overlook Park. Parking and shuttle information is online at

Jan Paul to retire from Leadership Sandy Springs Jan Paul will retire as executive director of Leadership Sandy Springs (LSS) at the end of May after a decade of being involved with the organization. “I look forward to taking on a new role with LSS, that of being an alumna and committee volunteer and spending more time with my family and growing number of precious grandchildren,” Paul said in her resignation letter. A search committee is working to fill the executive director’s position. Paul, the wife of Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, said her decision to retire came with mixed feelings because of the passion she has for LSS and its accomplishments in the community. LSS is a nonprofit organization that develops, educates, and connects community leaders. “It’s been my honor to serve as executive director of Leadership Sandy Springs; truly the most fulfilling job I’ve had in my entire career. I’ve enjoyed working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most enthusiastic and resolute people I have ever met,” Paul said.

Thank You, Tom Since January 2011, Tom Mahaffey has helped grow the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber from 191 members as a part-time staff representative, to a total of over 2,200 members, including businesses of all sizes and industries that are planting roots in Sandy Springs.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and every member of the Chamber, we wish Tom all the best in his retirement! Thank you for all you have done for our community, and we wish you the best as you embark on this new journey – you’ve earned it! 1000 Abernathy Road, Suite L-10, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

“Leading the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber has been the opportunity of a lifetime and a perfect fit for me. I wish this outstanding organization and the business community nothing but the best!” Tom Mahaffey



APRIL 2022 | 9


City to appeal verdict that could cost millions

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Drawings of the townhomes Ardent Companies was proposing to build on Bramblewood Drive off Buford Highway. (City of Brookhaven) BY SAMMIE PURCELL

on behalf of the city within “established policies, procedures, or guidelines,” and was not acting for their own personal gain. “We shouldn’t be in this position,” Jones said. “But now that we are, it is our responsibility to protect those who have dedicated so much to their public service.” Other council members also said they thought the Ardent verdict was incorrect and defended the actions of Ernst and Sigman. “I stand in support of my colleagues,

Brookhaven will appeal a jury decision that would have the city and city officials pay over $6 million in damages. “The city believes that the actions taken by the city in the Ardent development matter in recent litigation were proper and in the city’s best interest,” Brookhaven City Councilmember Linley Jones said at a March 22 meeting. “Thus, the city disagrees with the verdict and supports its officials and employees. Ardent did not and does not have the right to make any city sell it a street. The city is appealing and otherwise challenging this verdict.” On March 7, a jury found that the city purposefully obstructed the progress of a redevelopment project from Atlanta-based real estate firm Ardent Companies along Buford Highway. The company had been planning a buyout of a neighborhood on Bramblewood Drive where they planned to build a gated townhome community, but alleged From left, City Manager Christian Sigman and the city purposefully tried to kill Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. the project. At the March 22 meeting, the city past members of this board, and our emcouncil also approved a resolution adoptployees who faithfully perform their obing a policy for the indemnification and ligations and duties,” said Councilmemdefense of elected officials, appointed ofber John Funny. “I, along with my fellow ficials, and city employees. City Attorney council members, disagree with the verChris Balch said the introduction of this dict and welcome the appeal of the verpolicy was not due to the Ardent verdict. dict.” However, the jury also ordered BrookhavA press release from the city of en Mayor John Ernst and City Manager Brookhaven said that comments on the Christian Sigman to pay $200,000 each case would be limited while the litigain punitive damages. Ernst and Sigman tion is pending. In an emailed statement, were not present at the meeting, which a lawyer for Ardent Companies said they Balch said he advised to “avoid any apwere confident the court would uphold pearance of impropriety.” the verdict. “The policy will provide for indemni“Judge Barrie was thoughtful and defication and defense for any amount of a liberate in all of her rulings throughout claim or a claim that is not itself covered the trial, and the jury’s verdict is wellby insurance,” Balch said. supported by the overwhelming evidence According to the resolution, the poliof the City’s wrongdoing, orchestratcy will apply to any employee who at the ed and assisted by Mr. Sigman and Mr. time of the alleged actions was working Ernst,” said attorney Shannan Oliver.

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On its 50th anniversary, Dunwoody High strives to be a destination school At left, during the March 17 event, Dunwoody High School’s 50th anniversary banner was unveiled. Posing with the feeder school mascots are, from left to right, Dunwoody High School Principal Tom Bass, Region One Superintendent Melanie Pearch, Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch and DeKalb County School Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris.

BY CATHY COBBS Tom Bass had a vision – that Dunwoody High School would be the destination school for students who move into the district.

Bass, a longtime baseball coach and recently appointed principal at DHS, said he knew that people looking to purchase homes or rent apartments in the Dunwoody area were attracted to the elementary school in a neighborhood, but not

necessarily the cluster’s high school. Historically, many realtors and apartment managers in the area list as one of the amenities the elementary school that the children of a potential renter or homeowner would attend. The Dunwoody cluster contains some of the state’s top performing elementary schools, including Vanderlyn and Austin. However, the lone high school in the cluster, Dunwoody High School, is not mentioned as often as a draw for residents with school-age children. Statistics reveal, however, that DHS is one of the state’s highest rated schools. According to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, Dunwoody High

it to become the reality.” The intersection of vision and reality came to fruition on the afternoon of March 17, when the high school became the venue for a celebration called “All Roads Lead to Dunwoody,” which more than 700 students, parents, teachers and residents attended. The event, which featured kickball games between students and teachers, concessions and t-shirts for sale, a live band and Dunwoody High School’s annual powder puff game, officially launched a year-long celebration of the high school’s 50th anniversary, according to organizers. Attendees included Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch, city council members and DeKalb School administrators, including Region One Superintendent Melanie Pearch, and Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris. Harris said she was impressed that Bass executed the community event so soon after being appointed principal. “His team carried this out in year one,

Brunch & Learn Above, Tom Bass, Cheryl Watson-Harris and Melanie Pearch. (Cathy Cobbs)

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School’s overall performance is higher than “76% of schools in the state and is higher than its district.” In addition, according to the website, Dunwoody’s four-year graduation rate is 89%, which is better than 54% of high schools in the state and higher than other schools in its district. Bass said he wants to change the community perception of his school. “We want Dunwoody (High School) to be where everyone’s final goal is,” Bass said. “That was the vision, and we wanted

which is really amazing,” Watson-Harris said. “This event is something he talked about during his interview for the job at Dunwoody, and he pulled it off. That’s why he’s here.” Bass credited parent volunteers from the feeder schools for making the event a success, including Meagan Galle, Lisa Martin, Linda McJunkin, Monica Dean, Sandra Myddelton, Lauren Middlebrooks, Ann Hanlon, Leigh Anne Collins, Fran Bartel, and Nina Arnold. “They made the vision a reality,” he said.

Dunwoody Preservation Trust names new leader Dunwoody native Noelle Ross will serve as the new executive director for the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, an organization dedicated to saving and sharing Dunwoody’s history. Former Executive Director Suzanne Huff left the trust last fall, and Ross will replace Cowen Harter, who has served as interim director since Huff’s departure. “We’re growing and changing fast and felt that Noelle’s experience as a team builder in a variety of environments made her a great fit for this newly expanded position,” said Board President David Long. Ross has held leadership and human resources management positions for the past


and is a composer and a classical singer who performs with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

City spends $400K on police department legal issues

16 years, and she has worked as a teacher and director of children’s choral groups. She graduated from the Marist School, holds a B.A. in music from Oberlin College,

The city of Dunwoody has spent more than $400,000 on legal services related to employment matters within the Dunwoody Police Department, according to invoices obtained by Reporter Newspapers. In October of 2020, the Dunwoody City Council approved a contract with the law firm Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp, & Wilson to provide legal assistance with a lawsuit and complaint related to issues with former Dunwoody Police Department Lt. Fidel Es-

pinoza. Earlier in 2020, multiple officers accused Espinoza of sexual harassment, including claims that he demanded sexual favors for work benefits and solicited nude photos. According to city spokesperson Jennifer Boettcher, as of Feb. 10, 2022, the city had paid Elarbee $422,417 since May 2020, but not all of that cost is related to lawsuits or complaints involving Espinoza. A records request of the invoices from May 2020 to Feb. 11, 2022 revealed that the city has paid the law firm $408,706.25 for employment-related matters with the Dunwoody Police Department. Most of the invoices were heavily redacted and did not specify if they pertained to a case or issue related to Espinoza. Read the full story at — SAMMIE PURCELL

APRIL 2022 | 13


Pat Hillman on 100 years of positivity | 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody GA 30338 | 678.382.6700

LEMONADE DAYS APRIL 20-24 1-17 2-3 3 7 9

April Highlights

“Circle Mirror Transformation” Comedy Stage Door Theatre

Backyard Campout

Dunwoody Nature Center

Herbalist Workshop

Dunwoody Nature Center

Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Dunwoody City Hall 6 p.m.

Saturday Volunteer Day Dunwoody Nature Center

Free Master Gardener Talk “Diagnosing Garden Problems” Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard


18-24 20-24 25 30

via Zoom 8 a.m.

Earth Week Eco-Reporters Interactive Walk Dunwoody Nature Center

Lemonade Days Brook Run Park

Dunwoody City Council Meeting Dunwoody City Hall 6 p.m.

Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Event Dunwoody City Hall 9 a.m- 1 p.m.

Edge City 2.0 POP-UP

10 City Council 11 Dunwoody Meeting

48 Perimeter Center East 10 a.m. - noon

Plein Art Class

Dunwoody Nature Center


Sustainability Committee Meeting

Dunwoody City Hall 6 p.m.

Planning Commission Meeting City Hall 6 p.m.


Brook Run Park | 9 a.m. - noon *no Market April 23


presented by the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee and the City of Dunwoody Community Development Department

SATURDAY APRIL 30 Accepted Items

POP-UP event EDGE CITY 2.0

Saturday, April 30 48 Perimeter Center East POP In 10 a.m. - noon King of POPS giveaways!

A community visualization project



According vivacious and poised, with sparkly eyes, to the U.S. Cena sincere smile and a quick wit. Nothing sus Bureau, frail about this centenarian! Wanting to in 2020 there understand how she does it, I spoke to two were 90,000 of her friends. Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line centenarians in “She’s wonderful. I adore her,” said writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at worthknowingnow@gmai the U.S., makPam McTigue, a bridge partner for the ing them alpast five years. most 3% of the According to tennis teammate Carole population, Watson, the team had tried to keep her with their numfrom retiring from the game. ber expected to “She’s such a fabulous tennis player reach 130,000 we all wanted to be her partner,” she said. BY CAROL NIEMI by 2030. But “She can put the ball anywhere on the how many of court with spin. You can’t beat her.” us actually know one? Seeing her in a room filled with smilAccording to ing friends, yet Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoodynumerous studknowing the varSandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire ies, the one charious adversities others. Contact her at acteristic they all she has faced, I reshare is a positive alized that her seoutlook on life. cret was to live in I was able to see the moment rathfor myself recenter than dwell on ly when I attended the past or what the 100th birthday might have been. party of Sandy She was born Springs resident into a comfortPat Hillman. a forable family in mer senior tennis Trenton, New Jerchampion. sey. Her father Before her parowned a Ford ty, I had several dealership but phone calls with lost everything her and her son during the DeMark. I already pression. During knew she didn’t World War II, she Pat Hillman with her Senior Games medals. fit the stereotype attended college, (Photos by Mark Hillman) of “old.” She’d been majored in physia competitive tencal education and nis player till age 96, lives independentworked during the summers in an aircraft ly, regularly plays the mentally challengfactory. She married Henry Hillman, a ing game of bridge, still drives her 2001 PT Naval aviator, in 1944, then had four chilCruiser, manages its maintenance and is a dren, occasionally subbed as a PE teacher self-professed “sweetaholic.” and kept the family together during multiI also knew she had experienced much ple corporate transfers for Henry’s career loss but had gone on to live a rewarding in the steel industry. After one of those life thanks to her resilience and sense of moves, she picked up a tennis racket for humor. After hearing her life’s story, I was the first time in her life. really looking forward to meeting her in “I needed to do something besides person. But nothing prepared me for the change diapers,” she said. person I would soon meet. After moving to Georgia, she became Her birthday party was in the sunny serious about tennis, though she never dining room of her Sandy Springs aparthad a lesson. According to Mark, during ment complex. It was a white tablecloth her 90s, she was annually ranked in Georseated luncheon with streamers, balloons, gia and the Southeast between #1 and #5 flowers, live entertainment and table afin both singles and doubles in the 75-andter table of her friends and supporters, up category, thus beating much youngincluding a table reserved for her tennis er people. Shelves in her dining room are team. At a large round table, surrounded filled with her trophies. by her family was Pat, the guest of honor. Along the way, she faced three great As I approached her table, she recoglosses — the loss of her 20-year-old son nized me and welcomed me with both in an auto accident, the loss of her daugharms. Looking closer to 70 than 100, she’s ter to cancer, and the loss of her husband


Cute as a Cottontail

when she was 70. She also fought breast cancer and chose a radical mastectomy. “I didn’t want to be bothered by it,” she said. She was playing tennis again in six weeks. She was devastated by the death of her son, but said, “You try not to think about it.” She’s lived alone for the past 30 years. Her only regret is that she’s not still playing tennis. “I wasn’t fast enough anymore,” she said. “But I’m happy. I have a lot of friends.” When asked what advice she would give others, she said, “Be nice to each other. Look forward to the next day. Read a lot. Play bridge. Just get along with people. Try to be a friend. Look up and be happy.” Then she added: “Just do who you are.”

purchase of $25 or more Sandy Springs 5975 Roswell Rd Suite A-103 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 (404) 236-2114 Expires 4/30/2022. Limit one (1) coupon per guest. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Valid only at the Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery(ies) listed. Valid only on baked goods; not valid on retail items. Must be claimed in bakery during normal business hours. Not valid for online orders. Not valid with any other offer. Discounts applied before tax. Coupon may not be reproduced, transferred or sold. For Bakery Internet distribution strictly Use Only prohibited. No cash value.

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Congratulations Tom! The Brookhaven Chamber salutes Tom Mahaffey on his retirement!

Please Join Us for the

Signature Luncheon: Police Chiefs Panel Discussion on Current Trends in Law Enforcement Gary Yandura of Brookhaven, Kenneth DeSimone of Sandy Springs, and Billy Grogan of Dunwoody will discuss current trends in Law Enforcement

Register at or by scanning

April 21, 2022 | 11:30AM - 1:00PM 16 APRIL 2022 | REPORTER NEWSPAPERS

Eric M. Robbins just returned from Poland with Jewish leaders from 10 US cities. This is his personal account. Seeing the Ghosts of Our Grandparents

and JDC have received significant financial support from us. This support, along with a collective of Federations around the world, has allowed them to build a robust infrastructure that builds the Jewish communities of Ukraine and supports basic needs.

It’s a seven-hour drive from Warsaw to the Ukraine border crossing at Medyka where thousands of people are seekReturning to Warsaw After ing safety and refuge in Po20 Years land. This is day two of my This is not my first time pilgrimage to Poland with in Warsaw, Poland. Twenty Jewish leaders from ten U.S. years ago, I came here to visit cities. We are all here to bear the small village, now part of witness to the modern-day Lithuania, where my grandrefugee crisis that has disfather was born. On this unplaced millions of Ukraiexpectedly warm and bright nians in a matter of weeks. day, Warsaw impressed me We are all here to do whatever we can to fund and sup- ERIC M. ROBBINS with its combination of modern and historic architecture. port the massive humanitar- President and CEO of There was a surprising ian effort underway to save the Jewish Federation calmness to the city, and Ukrainian Jews and other of Greater Atlanta strangely, it recalled the vidisplaced Ukrainians. brant Squirrel Hill Jewish We are committed to recommunity of Pittsburgh turning home and telling where I had the privilege of growing up. American Jews a story we never imagMy Pittsburgh Jewish community was ined would happen again. created by Jews who fled Poland and othIronically, we are driving through er parts of Eastern Europe. Still, it is eerie our grandparents’ Poland — once to be in this modern city where parts of home to the largest, most vibrant Jewthe walls of the Warsaw Ghetto still exist. ish community in the world and the inThe reality is that American Jews like tellectual birthplace of countless Jewish me were born in the very best place, at thought leaders, rabbis, and artists. As the absolute best time in world histoour bus continues eastward, it is hauntry. How stunning to now be a 21st cening to pass through towns with names tury American visiting a country that is like Lublin and Chelm, made famous absorbing millions of refugees, most of in the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer whom were living quite modern lives just and Sholom Aleichem. It is even more a month ago. That so many of them are haunting to see signs for Polish towns Jewish feels like an old nightmare. like Oswiecim, Majdanek, Sobibor, and In Warsaw, I was nearly hit by a biTreblinka — the places where our peocycle while absent mindedly walking in ple were herded like cattle, tortured and the bike lane. I later met the individual gassed. who nearly ran me over in a nearby cofOnly 10,000 Jews remain in Poland. fee shop and we had coffee together. He But today, millions of refugees, Jewish let me interview him and I recorded it on and non-Jewish, are pouring into Pomy phone. He was a Pole who was hostland seeking safety and shelter from ing refugees in his flat and had many the destruction, and brutality of Rusfriends doing the same. He was not sursia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine. This prised by the war in Ukraine and said time, we are here for them. that he knew it was brewing for years. The current situation reminded him of Our Partners on the Ground the world’s response to World War II and My fly-in to Poland and the Ukraine how long it took the world to wake up to border was organized by Jewish Federwhat was happening. He said it was easy ations of North America (JFNA) which to imagine that we were like two peocoordinates the heroic on-the-ground ple having coffee in Paris in 1939, talkwork of our overseas partners, the ing about what was happening in GermaAmerican Joint Distribution Commitny. It underscored the unpredictability tee (JDC), and the Jewish Agency for Isof this war and all the possible scenarios rael (JAFI). that could play out. These two organizations are doing As I walked the streets of Warsaw and lifesaving work to protect and support neared the central train station, I saw refJewish and non-Jewish refugees. Both ugees everywhere. Families without fahave been deeply engaged with Jews in thers were camped out on blow-up beds, Ukraine for more than 75 years. Both resting on benches, eating meals, and have established a strong infrastrucgetting supplies from temporary tents. ture as they work in coordination with Some were passing through and some each other and with other NGOs in eastwere trying to settle in Warsaw. ern Europe. The scale of it was heartbreaking. For as long as there has been an annual Community Campaign in Atlanta, JAFI

The Hope of Making Aliyah On my first evening in Warsaw, I visited a Jewish Agency for Israel processing center set up at a local hotel. Anyone Jewish or related to someone in Israel could come in and learn the required steps to emigrate to Israel. Families of all shapes and sizes were getting the assistance they needed. Thousands had already landed in Israel. It was moving to see the State of Israel living out its mission to be a safe home for all Jews whenever they should need it. At the JAFI center, I heard stories of Holocaust survivors and righteous Gentiles choosing a future in Israel, and stories of people who left in such a hurry they had no documents at all. Here it did not matter. All who wanted to leave for Israel were helped. It was heartwarming to meet the many physicians and trauma counselors, so familiar with the wounds

ished speaking, she asked Sophia to talk about some drawings she had made. I will never forget how Sophia ran to get one of them and explained how they depicted her emotions and fears, and her dreams and aspirations for peace. The border felt sacred in unexpected ways. Seeing the JDC and JAFI professionals in uniform alongside the other NGOs, I knew we were doing what we do best. A steady stream of families was coming across the border pushing strollers, pulling suitcases, and looking exhausted. It seemed utterly inhuman to me that all these people, no different than me, had been displaced. Some of them were in wheelchairs or were holding the hands of traumatized children with noticeable special needs. At the same time, I witnessed incredible gemilut chasadim (human kindness) in a way I had never seen before. Our part-

At the Ukraine border crossing at Medyka. (Photo courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta) of war and displacement, who had come to help Jews and non-Jews find comfort, safety, and optimism. At the Ukraine Border Arriving at the Medyka border crossing was the emotional crescendo of my trip, where the enormity of this crisis became real. We stopped along the way at another processing center staffed by the JDC and JAFI where we donated more than one ton of relief supplies collected at home. We met many families. Perhaps because I am the father of an adolescent girl, I was most impacted by a mom and her 15-year-old daughter who left their home in Kyiv. Their story, like all the others, was horrendous. They lived in a bomb shelter for weeks and left Kyiv with the little they could carry and their pets. The young girl, Sophia, was withdrawn and distraught and her mom spoke between tears. When the mom fin-


ners were there to accept and embrace traumatized and brave people as they poured across the border. It was a scene I will never forget. The scope of the refugee crisis is immense. And there are literally millions who have chosen to stay or cannot leave Ukraine. What will happen to them? Like Sophia, I do not and never will understand war. Nobody wins in a war and any life lost is one too many. History teaches us repeatedly that power, ego, and evil are destructive forces. Echoing the words of Anne Frank, I do believe that most people are good. Somehow, we need to fight the Amaleks who appear every generation, who are dedicated to darkness and destruction. I am thankful to be part of a community and a profession that is trying to do whatever it can to help people so terribly impacted by this unnecessary war. I will return to Atlanta from this brief fly-in and commit myself more deeply to do everything I can to help.

APRIL 2022 | 17


The next generation of green leaders BY AMY WENK

Reporter Newspapers is proud to recognize a group of young professionals who are working on critical environmental issues, from cleaning up water to improving community greenspaces. While some on this list have local ties, we decided to broaden our scope and highlight people making an impact across metro Atlanta.

Rachel Maher, 36 Director of communications and policy, Park Pride Rachel Maher has spent nine years at Park Pride, a nonprofit that helps communities improve their parks. She was just named director of communications and policy, in part due to her efforts with the Greenspace Advisory Council, which will help guide Atlanta’s policy on parks and greenspace. It’s an effort that began back in 2017, Maher said. Park Pride brought together 13 nonprofits aimed at making greenspace a critical issue to the mayoral campaign. The group came back together for the 2021 mayoral election, putting together a list of collective priorities for the candidates. About a month after Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens took office, he announced those 13 nonprofits would form a “green cabinet,” becoming his trusted advisors on parks, greenspace and recreation. The groups include the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Trees Atlanta, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Eco-Action, among others. Michael Halicki, executive director of Park Pride, called Maher the glue that held the group together, crediting her for coordinating with the 13 nonprofits and keeping the effort going. Maher said she’s excited for what they can accomplish. They are already meeting on Activate ATL, the city’s 10-year master plan for parks and recreation. “I am very hopeful,” Maher said. “There hasn’t been a time in my last nine years at Park Pride where this many nonprofits have come together for a shared purpose.” Maher is a native of Buffalo, New York, and grew up on Lake Erie. “Being in nature was always front and center,” she said. Maher double majored in communications and biology at the University of Richmond. After college, she spent time in Morocco as an environmental and community development volunteer with the Peace Corps. Outside of work, Maher is an avid gardener, and her home garden in Edgewood is certified as a wildlife sanctuary through Georgia Audubon. She’s currently in a graduate program at Georgia State University, studying urban planning and economic development.

Brionté McCorkle, 29 Executive director, Georgia Conservation Voters Brionté McCorkle is on a mission to tackle both environmental and social justice issues. Early in her career, she was really struck by the lack of diversity in the field. “Some of the strongest and most passionate people who care the most about the environment are people of color, who are largely excluded,” said McCorkle, who studied public policy at Georgia State University. “That narrows our thinking. It stunts the solutions that we’re coming up with and promoting, because we don’t have all that perspective.” McCorkle currently serves as executive director of the Georgia Conservation Voters, where she is working to elect pro-environment candidates and hold elected officials accountable. The organization also educates voters and lobbies for environmental and social justice issues. One of her proudest accomplishments is raising awareness about the Public Service Commission and clean energy issues across the state. Among her efforts, McCorkle is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that challenges how Georgia elects its utility regulators, claiming the Public Service Commission’s statewide at-large districts dilute the voting power of Black residents. It’s set for a hearing in federal court in June. “We spent a lot of time working on that voting rights lawsuit to try to secure more representation on the Public Service Commission, which we hope will lead to more clean energy,” she said. McCorkle’s impressive resume includes past roles with the Atlanta Regional Commission and Southface Institute. She also previously served as assistant director for the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, where she led its involvement in the successful effort to expand MARTA to Clayton County. McCorkle said she learned a valuable lesson from that experience – how to best approach communities about environmental issues. “When you connect it with their immediate concerns, which are usually economic in nature, they will be more receptive to the environmental message,” she said. She also ran for Atlanta City Council District 11 in 2017, almost making it to the runoff by a difference of 166 votes. “I was just overwhelmed by the amount of support,” she said, noting she’s open to running for office in the future. “It really taught me that every relationship matters.”



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April Lipscomb, 38 Senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center As a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), April Lipscomb gives a voice to organizations and citizens affected by pollution and mismanagement of environmental resources. “My practice area focuses on clean water and environmental justice,” said Lipscomb, a DeKalb County resident who earned her law degree from the University of Denver. “I work closely with other environmental groups and community groups that want to protect our water resources or clean up polluted waterways.” For example, she has represented Riverkeeper organizations in lawsuits against industrial and municipal wastewater dischargers to enforce the Clean Water Act, and she has helped negotiate settlements to reduce the amount of pollution in wastewater going into rivers and streams. For her work with river groups across the state, in 2018, the Georgia River Network awarded Lipscomb as its River Conservationist of the Year. That honor also recognized Lipscomb’s role in securing Georgia’s first bill governing fracking, which better protects local communities and drinking water. She’s currently representing the Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment, a citizen activist group concerned about a Metro Green Recycling plant built directly next to Black neighborhoods in the city of Stonecrest. The citizen activist group and the city sued Metro Green and the director of the state Environmental Protection Division, claiming the company improperly got authorization for the solid waste handling and recycling plant, which could expose people to pollution as well as excessive noise, dust, and heavy dump truck traffic. Last September, a DeKalb County judge granted Lipscomb’s request to enjoin Metro Green’s operation while the case is pending. “We intervened to protect that community and to make sure that their voices were heard,” Lipscomb said. “The neighbors had no idea this facility had been approved to crush concrete and handle solid waste in their backyards, and we’re doing everything we can to reverse this environmental injustice.”


Matt Josey, 28 Park planner, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Matt Josey came to appreciate the natural world as a kid in Boy Scouts, especially time he spent at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, backpacking in the Rocky Mountains. “It really left me with this passion to leverage my professional career … to protect these special places so that future generations can enjoy them,” said Josey, an Eagle Scout. He landed an internship with the National Park Service (NPS) his last semester at Georgia Tech, where he’s worked​permanently since 2015. In that time, he has honed his skills in strategic planning and building community partnerships. Some standout moments include working on the 100th anniversary of the NPS in

Gina Webber, 28 Deputy director, Sierra Club Georgia Chapter Before coming to the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Gina Webber spent several years fundraising for local and state Democratic campaigns. They served as deputy finance director for Cathy Woolard during her 2017 Atlanta mayoral campaign. Webber then worked as finance director for Lindy Miller when she ran unsuccessfully for Georgia Public Service Commission in 2018. That experience opened their eyes to environmental justice issues. The Public Service Commission regulates the state’s utility companies. “I heard so many stories on the campaign trail about people who have been affected by bad energy policy, by toxic coal ash, by high energy bills,” said Webber, a native of Dunwoody who earned

Gabbie Atsepoyi, 27 Community activist Gabbie Atsepoyi is passionate about improving her community. The resident of Belvedere Park is working to create park space in her neighborhood, a part of DeKalb County severely lacking in access to greenspace. She felt inspired while walking her young daughter around the neighborhood during the start of the pandemic. “We couldn’t walk to a park,” said Atsepoyi, a second-generation Nigerian American who grew up (Photo by Suzanne Girdner) in Denver – two places that greatly shaped her appreciation for nature. So, Atsepoyi decided to act, seeing the potential for a community schoolyard at Columbia Elementary School. “I just started sending emails,” said Atsepoyi, who earned a degree in environmental studies from Spelman College. “There’s a lot of opportunity at Columbia to do a lot of things right. Give kids a place

2016, along with helping manage a fund source called the Centennial Challenge, which leveraged funding from Congress and matching donations from partner organizations to fund priority infrastructure projects, such as​the rehabilitation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home. Now, he is a park planner with the Sandy Springs-based Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA), which is a National Park Unit that spans 48 r​ iver miles along the Chattahoochee. It includes 15 ​land units, such as the Palisades. Josey is actively involved in the CRNRA’s very first trails management plan, which will provide direction for improving trail conditions within the park’s more than 5,200 acres. A fi ​ nal draft plan is being released for public comment in ​early April. “This is pretty huge for us, and we’re going to look at how we can improve our existing trail systems, increase our trail mileage​, and improve the visitor experience on park trails,” Josey said. He also serves as the park representative for the​Chattahoochee RiverLands working group, a regional vision to build a 125-mile multimodal trail running from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park. While it is not a NPS project, it would involve greenway construction on NPS land and requires coordination with the CRNRA. Outside of work, Josey is proud to have served on the ​master plan advisory committee for​Westside Park, Atlanta’s largest park.

a political science degree from Georgia College. “It really made me realize how much of an economic issue it is and a people issue.” In that role, Webber helped raise voter awareness around the Public Service Commission, which is always last on the statewide ballot. “Seeing over the past five years, the general public understand more what the Public Service Commission is and the decisions they make … I feel like I’ve had a small part and I feel extremely proud of that,” they said. Now, as deputy director of the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Webber is charged with fundraising, grant writing, political strategy, and programming. One key issue the Sierra Club is working on is protecting the Okefenokee Swamp from mining. Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals is seeking permits from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to mine titanium dioxide at a site near the swamp. At this year’s Georgia General Assembly, the Sierra Club advocated for a bill that would have protected the Okefenokee from mining, but it didn’t pass. Now, the Sierra Club is waiting for the EPD to open up public comment on the mining permits. “We are really, really working hard to try and protect Okefenokee Swamp from this mining proposal,” Webber said. “Once they open up that public comment period about the permits, we are going to media storm, education storm, advocacy storm all over Georgia and try and get as many comments opposing it as we can.” to explore, to give kids a place to learn, to get them outside to teach them science in a way that is engaging and fun.” Through her persistence, Atsepoyi was able to get support from the principal and school district. She secured grants from Park Pride and the Children and Nature Network to get a park designed and fund outreach for the “Greening Columbia” project. Now, the park project is waiting for funding. Michael Halicki, executive director of Park Pride, praised Atsepoyi’s grassroots efforts, saying she’s “saving the world in her free time.” But that’s not all. Last year, Atsepoyi started a farmers market near Columbia Drive called Sun Market. It was her family’s way of bringing more fresh food options to their community, as well as an effort to support and help connect Black farmers to market opportunities. Atsepoyi was able to secure a grant through Georgia Organics to start the market. Sun Market will return May 14 and runs the second and fourth Saturdays through September 10. The market offers 50% off produce purchased through EBT. Atsepoyi hopes to further its impact. “I want to expand Sun Market to not just be in south DeKalb, but also in other communities,” she said. “It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than all of us. My goal for Sun Market is for it to be like a corner store with produce that is intentional about partnering with Black farmers and supporting all local Georgia farmers.” APRIL 2022 | 19

Laura Buckmaster, 29 Social media manager, Trout Unlimited


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Laura Buckmaster believes people need to get outdoors to feel inspired to protect the environment. “I’m super passionate about making big environmental issues fun and approachable for people,” said Buckmaster, an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys canoeing and fly fishing. “If you don’t have a connection to some of these places, it’s hard to stand up when they are threatened.” Buckmaster spent a lot of time on the Chattahoochee River as a kid. “My parents put me in a canoe when I was six months old,” she said with a laugh. “It’s so funny, before I was even born, they had one little life jacket from REI hanging in the closet.” Buckmaster studied environmental issues and psychology at the University of Oregon, learning how to rally people around advocacy issues. After college, she worked as the stewardship trips and outreach director with the Georgia Conservancy, where she would take 2,000 people annually on nature trips around the state. Another career highlight was working as a trail restoration fellow on Georgia’s Cumberland Island, leading a volunteer program to restore 50 miles of trail on the barrier island. “We made the first GIS map of the island,” she said. “We wanted to break down those barriers of accessibility … We just wanted to get people out exploring.” Now, Buckmaster is the first-ever social media manager for Trout Unlimited, a national nonprofit dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. Her job is telling great stories to engage people and support the organization’s work. “This is my absolute dream career,” she said. Buckmaster also recently joined the board of the Southeastern Trust for Parks & Land, an organization that works to preserve land for conservation, research, education and recreation. “Their mission really resonated with me to protect these places, but to protect them for recreation access as well, because recreation is such an important component of cultivating stewardship and advocacy,” she said.

Jennifer Duenas, 24 Clean water associate, Environment Georgia At Environment Georgia, Jennifer Duenas is advocating for safe drinking water at schools across Georgia. “Lead is still an issue in the United States today,” said Duenas, who was born in Dunwoody and raised in Lawrenceville. “It leaches into our drinking water through lead pipes and corroded faucets. Lead is a neurotoxin that affects the development of a young child’s brain … It is very, very bad for our children’s brains and their success in school.” She added that about 20% of lead exposure comes from drinking water. Most schools have at least some lead in their pipes, plumbing or fixtures, according to Environment Georgia, which creates a risk of contamination. So, Duenas is working to educate school systems across Georgia on the dangers of lead and the state and federal funding available for testing, removing lead pipes and installing filtered hydration stations. “We have been advocating for all of these resources, because the solution is right in our hands,” Duenas said. “We are trying to get the word out about how dangerous lead is. It’s a crisis and our children matter.” Duenas said she had an early love for nature, inspired by summer trips to Asientos, a small town in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes, where her family is from. An AP environmental science class in high school really piqued her interest, leading her to study geosciences at Georgia State University. During college, she interned for the Georgia State Office of Sustainability. She was also on the executive board for the student environmental team, which secured funding to start an urban garden at Center Parc Stadium. Duenas said her long-term career ambitions include continuing to advocate for clean water and educating Hispanics on environmental issues. “I’m really proud of being a Hispanic, young woman rising up within this community,” Duenas said. “I feel proud that I can be a part of really trying to uplift different voices within the environmental movement.”

$100K grant to help fund new trail at Chastain Park

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BY AMY WENK The Chastain Park Conservancy received a $100,000 grant that will help fund a new nature trail at the popular Buckhead park. The money is from Park Pride as part of its recent $2.3 million grant cycle, the largest in its history. The new trail will come to the northern portion of Chastain Park, linking its playground (located north of Chastain Park Avenue) with Hamburger Pond. Spanning one mile, the trail will be made of crushed granite and reinforced with railroad ties and stone. It will be lined with a variety of native plantings. “This project re-activates an area of the park for passive recreation while honoring preservation of its historic structures,” Kayla Altland, manager of Park Pride’s grantmaking program, said in an announcement. Construction of the trail will take about 18 months, said Randee Kelly, communications director for the Chastain Park Conservancy. A groundbreaking date has not yet been set, she said. “This project represents a key initiative in the 2008 Chastain Park Master Plan, one that will reconnect park users


Proudly welcomes

with the park’s historic grills and pavilions and enhance the public’s access to natural areas,” said Carson Matthews, Chastain Park Conservancy board chair. “Park Pride has been a transformational supporter of Chastain Park and the Conservancy’s ability to implement its 20year master plan.”


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The forest bathing experience BY SAMMIE PURCELL 2016 was a difficult year for Robin Hancock. “I was going through a really, really rough time,” said the Atlanta native. “I had experienced some grief in my life, a couple of instances of pretty big grief.” In 2015, Hancock lost her mother to ovarian cancer, and that giant loss followed her into the next year. In an effort to heal, she took to the forest, hiking and immersing herself in nature as she went. Then, a friend sent her an article about Shinrin-Yoku. Shinrin-Yoku, or “forest bathing,” started in Japan in the 1980s as a way to combat burnout from the country’s rising tech boom. The practice is a form of ecotherapy that focuses on reconnecting with nature. “Literally instantly, I knew that’s what I needed to do,” Hancock said. In those last few weeks with her mom, she said, she began to view the preciousness of life through a different lens. She was a bit nervous about getting involved with this brand new world, but she didn’t want to regret anything. After talking to a few friends, she took the leap. Hancock started and completed her training to become a certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of

Nature and Forest Therapy in 2016. She now has her own company, called Renewal by Nature, and leads walks around the metro area, including at the Woodlands Garden in Decatur and the Dunwoody Nature Center. Faye Sullivan met Hancock a few years ago. “I’ve spent time in the woods with her probably a dozen times,” she said. Sullivan first came to Forest Bathing several years ago during a particularly difficult time in her life, and her first walk with Hancock was in the Fernbank Forest. “It was just a quiet, peaceful, meditative, connecting kind of experience,” Sullivan said. “It’s hard to describe, because it feels real ‘woo-woo.’ But it’s a very, very peaceful, centering kind of experience.” For Reporter Newspapers, Hancock walked through the particulars of what exactly happens during forest bathing, and what sort of positive effects it has had on her life and the people who join her. First Invitation: Pleasures of Presence According to Hancock, a forest walk will last around three hours and consists of five to six “invitations,” with a 30-minute tea ceremony at the end. The first in-

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vitation is called “Pleasures of Presence,” and begins with the group standing in a circle. Participants are asked to pay attention to how their surroundings feel. Whether that be considering how the air feels on their skin, or focusing on sounds of the forest, the important thing is getting in touch with their senses. Hancock ascribes to the theory of biophilia, or the idea that humans tend to seek connection with the natural world and that connection can improve our well-being. The first invitation opens up participants to that theory, and the rest of the walk builds from there. A recent report published in Yale Environment 360 – the online magazine of the Yale School of the Environment – cited numerous studies that found that being in nature can correlate to better mental and physical health. “No matter how hard we try to be relaxed in an indoor space, we really can’t be 100% relaxed,” Hancock said. “Our bodies just know better.” Second Invitation: What’s in Motion

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Hancock described the second invitation, called “What’s in Motion,” as a snail’s pace of a walk through the forest – only moving about one mile per hour. “Some people have trouble, like it feels hard for some people to actually go that slow,” Hancock said. “But the purpose of that is to notice little things that are going on around us as we walk along.” Hancock said the slow pace is meant to encourage people to notice aspects of the forest they might not have noticed before. On a regular hike, you might take in the beautiful view, or appreciate the swaying limbs of a tree. But this second invitation invites you to focus on a tiny bug on the ground, a spiderweb stretching across your path, or a small patch of moss on a rock.

Partnership Invitations Hancock said she always includes the first two invitations, but afterwards she begins what she calls “Partnership Invitations,” which can vary in design and number. Hancock said she usually performs about three or four of these invitations, some of which are individual, but can also require participants to pair up with one another, or to work as a group. “I have a library in my head,” she said. “Some I make up as I go. It might be based on something that somebody has said as we’ve gone along, but I have invitations that tend to work very well.” One invitation Hancock particularly likes is asking participants to have a conversation with a tree. She said she did this invitation during her training to become certified, and she initially thought people might find it too “edgy.” But, to her surprise, people seemed to love it. She couldn’t say for sure why, but she has a theory. “There’s no ego involved,” she said. “I’m not worried about what the tree might think if I tell it something, so I’m just going to be honest with it. And the more honest I am with the tree, the more honest I am with myself.” Forest Bathing Effects Hancock has been leading walks for over five years now, and she has experienced many different reactions to the practice. She said over the years, she has had people decide to end relationships, decide to buy or sell a house, or even come out as gay for the first time. “[People] just get so in touch with themselves on the walks that they’ll make big decisions,” Hancock said. “I think they just get tapped into themselves when they get connected. “There’s a wholeness involved with that, so when the mind and the body all are kind of experiencing the same thing, there’s no disconnect.”

Fresh Eats: A guide to local farmers markets

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Buckhead resident Matt Anderson and 5-year-old Hugh Anderson at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. (Isadora Pennington) BY SAMMIE PURCELL It’s finally spring, and a host of local farmers markets have reopened. If you are looking for fresh produce, artisan foods and handmade goods, check out our handy guide for where to go in your neighborhood. Peachtree Road Farmers Market Peachtree Road Farmers Market opened on March 5 and will be open on Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to noon until Dec. 17. Located at the Cathedral of St. Philip, the Peachtree Road market features organic farm produce and sustainable, ethicallysourced goods. Info: Sandy Springs Farmers Market

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The Sandy Springs Farmers Market is expected to open on April 9 and will run every Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to noon until Nov. 12. The market is located at 1 Galambos Way and features a unique selection of vendors with fresh produce and artisan foods. Info: Dunwoody Farmers Market The Dunwoody Farmers Market opened on March 5 and will remain open through the end of the year every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon at Brook Run Park. The market is sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and features organic coffee, fresh-baked bread, local vendors and more. Info: dunwoodyga. org/dunwoody-farmers-market.


Brookhaven Farmers Market Located at 1375 Fernwood Circle NE, the Brookhaven Farmers Market opened on March 19 and will run every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon through November. The market offers healthy, locally-produced choices to visitors. Info: @reporter_newspapers

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APRIL 2022 | 23


‘Home ownership is at risk’ due to high prices, low inventory

(Special/PhotoMIX Company)

BY AMY WENK Home prices continue to soar as housing inventory dwindles, according to new data from the Sandy Springs-based Atlanta Realtors Association. “Home ownership is at risk for a lot of our citizens,” Karen Hatcher, president of the association, said in a market brief. “And it’s not completely out of our hands. Real estate professionals, sellers, developers and local governments all have a role to play in fostering balance in the market.”

The average sales price in the 11-county metro Atlanta area was $445,000 in February 2022. That’s up 17.7% from a year ago and 1.8% higher than January 2022. The median sales price jumped to $380,000 in February 2022, up 21.4% in a year. Meanwhile, Atlanta-area housing inventory totaled 6,095 units in February 2022, down 15.2% from February 2021. There’s now less than a month (0.9) of supply in the metro area, according to the At-

lanta Realtors Association. “We’re heading toward two years of consistently recording decreases of 20% or more in our inventory levels for metro Atlanta,” Hatcher said. She added that prices have surged by double digits each year since August 2020. And as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease and the spring market heats up, “we’re unlikely to see the shift we’re looking for in these trends anytime soon,” she said.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently released a housing analysis that illustrates just how unaffordable certain areas of metro Atlanta are becoming, estimating you would have to earn well over $100,000 annually to buy a house in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody or Brookhaven. And in Atlanta’s most expensive ZIP code — 30327, which includes affluent areas of Buckhead and Sandy Springs — that yearly income would have to exceed $260,000 to afford a mortgage, according to the article.


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ARC’s Anna Roach on metro Atlanta: ‘There’s something for everybody here’ BY MARIA SAPORTA For Anna Roach, being executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission is the job she dreamed of getting. When she was working at Fulton County — first as chief strategy officer and then as chief operating officer — her boss, Dick Anderson, asked her to name her dream job. “In 2016, I told Dick my dream job would be to run ARC,” Roach said in a recent twohour interview at the Peachtree Center space that houses ARC. “I could zoom out and look at how things should work and rethink how government and public entities can deliver better outcomes.” At Fulton County, so many issues she encountered didn’t stop at the county line — homelessness, housing, aging and youth, transportation and infrastructure. “It’s about looking at these issues across jurisdictional lines,” Roach said. “I knew

Anna Roach at the main entrance to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s offices. (Photo by Maria Saporta)

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there was a magic in being able to zoom out and take a look at social and infrastructure issues across the different jurisdictions.” ARC is a federally-designated metropolitan planning organization for the 20-county Atlanta region. It also is the state-designated regional commission for the 11-county Atlanta region. Anderson, Fulton’s county manager, remembered their conversation about her dream job. So, when Doug Hooker an-

nounced last year he would be retiring as executive director, Anderson encouraged Roach to go for it. “I have spent seven years working with Anna, and I have an enormous amount of respect for her,” Anderson said. “She has a great understanding of the issues facing metropolitan Atlanta. She also has the ability to make the complex simple. It’s a place where she can bring all her skills to bear.” In her first interview since taking the helm at ARC last month in a transition pe-

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riod with Hooker, Roach could not hide her excitement about the job. “I just saw it as a huge opportunity to be part of making a difference at a much higher level,” she said. Roach was born in Jamaica, where she lived until she was 13 years old. Then, her family moved to New York. Her father had been a firefighter in Jamaica, and he became a fire inspector in New York. Her mother started as a nurse’s aide, and then went on to become a nurse. “We were raised by a nurse and a firefighter,” she said. “It was a family of public servants who cared for those in harm’s way.” When she first started college, Roach thought she wanted to be a doctor but then changed her mind. “I fell in love with words. I like to debate and form arguments,” she said. “To my mother’s chagrin, I went from pre-med to pre-law.” Upon graduation, she ended up working for the public defender’s office in the criminal appeals bureau, but it was when she joined the Law Office of Bruce Barket as a private appellate attorney that she helped overturn the high-profile conviction of Martin Tankleff, who had been accused of murdering his parents but said he was innocent. “I wanted to change the world,” she said. One of her friends from college, Orpheus Heyward, had graduated with his divinity degree, and he came to Atlanta to be the understudy at the West End Church of Christ. In 2005, he was going to preach his first sermon, and Roach and her husband at the time decided to come for the event. The minute she landed at HartsfieldJackson International Airport, Roach had fallen in love with Atlanta. “It was like the city welcomed me with open arms,” Roach said. “We made the decision to move to Atlanta within a year.” At the time they moved to Atlanta, they had a son, Dwayne. Then Roach got a job teaching at the Greater Atlanta Christian Schools. Two years after giving birth to her daughter, Chelsea, her marriage ended. As a single mom, she decided she couldn’t live on a teacher’s salary. Her parents moved from New York City to South Fulton, to help her. “I had to figure out what direction my life was going to take,” Roach said. A friend from high school, Charles Tucker, had recently joined the administration of Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. “He wanted me to be assistant deputy general counsel.” So, Roach began commuting to D.C. every week, spending Tuesday through Thursday there and spending the rest of the time in Atlanta. “I met Mark Roach on one of my trips. He is the love of my life,” Roach said. “He became a support system for my mom and dad.” Then her mother got a rare form of cancer. “It started a long journey with her try@reporter_newspapers

ing to fight this disease,” Roach said. “When she was diagnosed, I dropped everything in D.C., and I came back to Atlanta to become my mother’s caretaker. She was diagnosed when she was 58, and she lived until her 62nd birthday.” Roach’s younger sister moved down from New York to help her, choosing to live in a high rise in Buckhead. “She loves it here as well,” Roach said. “There’s a place for everybody in the Atlanta region. That’s the beauty of it. My whole family found a way to relocate to Atlanta and live the life that made them happy. There’s something for everybody here.” Anna and Mark Roach got married before her mother died. They have a daughter, Ava, and Mark had a son from his first marriage, Cameron. That’s how she became a mother of four children ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old. Roach got back in government after meeting Dwight Ferrell when he was at MARTA, and she had a consulting contract with the transit agency. When Ferrell became Fulton’s county manager, he reached out to her to join his team. “That’s how I ended up at Fulton in 2013,” said Roach. “There was a lot of transition at Fulton, and then Dick Anderson became county manager. Under his leadership, we had an amazing team. We got so much accomplished.” As she sees it, the Atlanta region has an

opportunity to work together as never before. “There are new faces at the table,” Roach said. “We have a lot of opportunity to strengthen the connections to make us successful as a region.” When asked what success at ARC would look like in her mind, Roach quickly answered.

“I would like for ARC to be without question the highest performing regional agency in the country in terms of outcomes as a planning agency,” Roach said. “We are going to put a stake in the ground as a region, and we are going to measure progress against those commitments. To get things done, we have to think differently.”

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Talking It Out Page 36 | @reporter_news | @reporter_news



Be There Now

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of The World’s Fair with a weekend in Knoxville 1982


See story page 36 BY COLLIN KELLEY “You’ve Got To Be There!” If you lived in the southeast in 1982, that catch-phrase and jingle were inescapable on radio, television, and newspapers. Knoxville, Tennessee had – improbably – been chosen to host The World’s Fair. The Wall Street Journal deemed Knoxville a “scruffy little city” and questioned whether it was up to the task of hosting an event expected to attract millions of visitors from around the world. A former railroad yard along the Tennessee River on the edge of downtown was transformed into a 70-acre fairground full of futuristic exhibition halls, water features, an amphitheater, gondola ride, and its unmissable centerpiece – a 266-foot-tall golden lollipop called the Sunsphere. With a focus on technology and energy – the fair’s theme was “Energy Turns the World” – more than 11 million people poured into Knoxville for the seven-month run of the event. To see exhibits from China, Hungary, Brazil, Germany, and Japan meant standing in long lines for hours. The first computer touch screen and pay-at-the-pump technology was unveiled at the fair, along with Cherry Coke. Much like the Olympics did for Atlanta, the World’s Fair put an international spotlight on Knoxville and forever changed the city. If you were one of the millions who visited in 1982, you won’t recognize the World’s Fair site now. Only the Sunsphere, amphitheater, and man-made lake remain with the rest transformed into a city park popular for festivals, concerts, and weekend picnics. Knoxville will mark the 40th anniversary of the World’s Fair starting in May. The 1982 World’s Fair Anniversary Celebration kicks off Saturday, May 21, with international food offerings, technology exhibits, entertainment, history walks, and more. In conjunction, the 16th Annual Children’s Festival of Reading will also be happening that day in the park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with authors, illustrators, storytellers, arts & crafts, toddler town, and more. Authors scheduled to appear include Newbery Award winner Erin Entrada Kelly, Tad Hills, Jeffrey Brown, and Atlanta’s own Laurel Snyder. ‘You Should Have Been There: The World’s Fair Exhibition” continues through Oct. 9 with artifacts, ephemera, and a timeline of the city-changing event at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay St. The exhibit is open daily ($8Continued on page 30

HEAD FOR THE HILLS Continued from page 29

$10 tickets), but if you’re there on a weekend, admission is free on Sundays. Find out more at Of course, Knoxville has much more to offer than memories of the World’s Fair. Just a three-hour-and-change drive from Atlanta, it’s an excellent weekend getaway anytime. You can stay in the city or drive less than an hour and be in the Great Smoky Mountains Park, Dollywood, and Gatlinburg.

Eating & Drinking in Old City

Where to Stay If you want to be downtown near all the action – and pamper yourself a little – The Oliver Hotel ( at 407 Union Ave. is the perfect spot. Located inside a beautifully renovated 1876 building originally used as a bakery, the hotel has queen-sized beds in each room and there are also suites overlooking Market Square (which has a plethora of great shops and restaurants) with separate living rooms and other high-end amenities and features. The Oliver is part of the same boutique hotel group that operates Hotel Clermont in Atlanta. The hotel also has a great restaurant, Oliver Royale, serving up dinner and weekend brunch with a menu of American fare, while the ground floor Tupelo Honey Café serves up modern Southern for breakfast, lunch, and supper. And if you stay at The Oliver, you can park your car and leave it for the weekend. There are three trolley routes that serve the downtown and University of Tennessee area and can drop you at or near all the points of interest. Even better: the trolley is free.

Stroll over to the Old City district at the intersection of Central and Jackson avenues and you’ll find plenty of fun restaurants and breweries. You’ll definitely want to check out Pretentious Glass & Beer ( at 133 South Central, which is possibly the only brewery in the world that makes its own glassware. If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch, stop at Olibea ( at 211 South Central for a menu of Southern staples and Mexican specialties. Over on Jackson Avenue, the distillers at PostModern Spirits ( offer tours and have a tasting room for their straight malt whiskey, gin, and liqueurs at 205 West Jackson. Knox Whiskey Works ( at 516 West Jackson also offers tours and a tasting room for its varieties of vodka, gin, and whiskey.

Music & Shows Live music is on the streets, the square and stages of famous historic sites like the Tennessee Theatre and the Bijou Theatre. You’ll find performances taking place at these venues and a variety of locations all over town. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary season of Broadway shows, the Tennessee Theatre ( in Knoxville showcases six shows and a total of 32 performances from December to July. Upcoming shows include “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” (April 8-10), “Hairspray” (June 3-5), and “Anastasia” (July 15-17). The Bijou ( has upcoming concerts from Henry Rollins (April 11), Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer (April 26), Rodney Crowell (May 17), drag star Alyssa Edwards (May 26) Ricky Scaggs (May 27), and Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters (June 7).


Urban Hikes Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness ( is a spectacular series of connected outdoor areas where you can hike, bike, climb, paddle, or just wander in the woods – all within the heart of the city. Over 50 miles of trails and greenways connect you to a beautiful nature center, pristine lakes, historic sites, dramatic quarries, adventure playgrounds, five city parks, and a 500-acre wildlife area. The view of downtown and the Tennessee River is particularly gorgeous at the River Bluff Wildlife Area.


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APRIL 2022 | 31

Mountain retreat centers offer spiritual, mental healing

The reflection pond at Elohee Retreat Center. (Thu Tran/2TPHOTO)

Eve Cook, executive director of Elohee Retreat Center. (Courtesy of Elohee Retreat Center) BY AMY WENK In 2009, Eve Cook was battling an aggressive cancer. “It wasn’t going away, and doctors were telling me, ‘Get your affairs in order,’” Cook said. “We really had to decide what made us excited and motivated in the world.” The next year, her family would purchase more than 200 acres of land in the North Georgia mountains, not far from Helen, Ga. There, Cook took time to recover and heal, all the while dreaming of starting a retreat center. “I didn’t know if I was going to be alive … but, we just went for it,” said Cook, whose cancer has since gone into remission. That was the beginning of Elohee Retreat Center, which sits on roughly two dozen acres and hosts 80 to 90 retreats a year. A variety of facilitators and instructors rent the center, offering retreats from yoga to mediation and women’s self-empowerment getaways. The property features a 100-foot waterfall, walking trails and a reflection pond overlooking Yonah Mountain. “Being here on this land, surrounded by this beautiful energy and having something to live for by creating Elohee, is a huge blessing,” Cook said. “I can’t not


share it with people.” Perhaps more than ever, people are in need of healing. The World Health Organization (WHO) in March released a study that said the global prevalence of anxiety and depression jumped 25% in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is a wake-up call to all countries to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting their populations’ mental health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO diThe Center for Spiritual Awareness sits on about 10 acres near Lake Rabun. (Courtesy of the Center for Spiritual Awareness)

rector-general. While it’s well known that leisure travel can promote well-being, vacations that incorporate meditation or mindfulness techniques can have long-lasting results. “There are thousands of studies now showing how meditation benefits the mind, the nervous system,” said Ryan Strong, senior minister at the Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA). “It slows aging, decreases anxiety, decreases depression.” The CSA is in Lakemont, Ga., just past Tallulah Gorge, tucked away quietly on a roughly 10-acre wooded site along Lake Rabun. “You are up in the mountains, near a beautiful lake,” Strong said. “It’s very serene … There is something special about the land itself.” Founded in 1972 by Roy Eugene Davis, the CSA this April celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Lake Rabun location is the center’s international headquarters, although it has teachers and other centers across the globe. The CSA is nondenominational and teaches the principles of healthy living

and meditation. “Then beyond that, our main focus is to teach Kriya Yoga … the path of realizing, or becoming aware, becoming awake of our true nature, becoming more conscious of the truth of our reality,” Strong said. “Kriya Yoga is a path. It’s a path of awakening to our ultimate consciousness.” Davis taught Kriya Yoga for 68 years before his death in 2019. He had directly studied under Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian monk, yogi and guru who brought meditation to the U.S. and introduced millions to the teachings of Kriya Yoga. Starting April 18, the CSA will offer retreats every two weeks through early December. People are invited to come, rest and learn to meditate. Typically, a retreat day would include a morning and an afternoon mediation, along with optional classes. “Everything of course is optional, but we have afternoon classes on Ayurveda or Vedic astrology, or we will play a video of Roy’s seminars and talks,” Strong said. “But most people that come have a lot of time to just be in silence, to rest, relax, walk the grounds.” The property includes a library, learning center and two meditation temples. Cabins feature single beds with small kitchens for vegetarian cooking. It’s $60 a night to stay at the center. Another respite to consider is in Boone, N.C. The Art of Living Retreat Center is nestled in the mountains on 380 acres. It consists of dozens of buildings, including a meditation hall that can hold up to 3,700 guests. There’s also a

Shakti Hall at The Art of Living Retreat Center. (Courtesy of The Art of Living Retreat Center)

spa on the property, offering Ayurveda courses and treatments. “People are coming here, not for a quick fix,” said Kimberly Rossi, director of Ayurveda, wellness and business development at The Art of Living Retreat Center. “They are learning how to heal themselves to be happier, to be healthier, to be more whole.” Spiritual guide and humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded The Art of Living Foundation in 1981 and today it has centers in more than 156 countries. “In his words, he envisioned this re-

The Art of Living Retreat Center is nestled in the mountains on 380 acres.

treat center to be a place where people of various faiths, race, religion, philosophies and tendencies can all come together and find that common goal in every one of us to find the ultimate truth, to find the depths of humanism that we are all gifted with, and let this place be a chance for miracles in the lives of millions of people,” Rossi said. Each week, the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone hosts signature programs, based in breathing, mediation, yoga, Ayurveda, and wellness, she said. One of its most popular programs is the


happiness retreat, which teaches techniques to reduce anxiety and depression. Rossi said the pandemic has made the retreat center increasingly busy. “What I think COVID did for some people is put some pressure on them, where they were having subtle signs of being uncomfortable and COVID magnified those sensations,” Rossi said. “And then it became more of a matter of urgency … People, who were being too busy and sweeping it under the rug, had to face it.”

Contact Information Elohee Retreat Center Sautee Nacoochee, Ga. Center for Spiritual Awareness Lakemont, Ga. The Art of Living Retreat Center Boone, N.C.

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Exploration closer to home yields a Toccoa travelogue


Travels with Charlie Charles Seabrook

Veteran Georgia journalist Charles Seabrook has covered native wildlife and environmental issues for decades. For “Travels with Charlie,” he visits and photographs communities throughout the state. Skyrocketing gas prices have put a crimp in my travel budget. Even so, I can’t stand staying cooped up at home. I’ll still be taking daytrips to explore Georgia’s towns and countryside. But for right now, until fuel costs go back down (if they ever do) my trips will be to destinations closer to home — shorter jaunts that won’t break my wallet for gas. One such outing recently took me to the city of Toccoa in Stephens County, nestled in northeast Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. In my 2018 Toyota Tacoma pickup, I burned less than a half tank of gas driving from my Decatur home to Toccoa, where I spent an enjoyable day visiting a spectacular waterfall, a wonderful museum, a state historic site — and the delightful town itself. Just north of town I visited the stunning Toccoa Falls on the campus of scenic Toccoa Falls College. At 186 feet high, Toccoa Falls is one of the tallest (taller than Niagara Falls) freefalling waterfalls east of the Mississippi. After paying a small entrance fee, I walked to the falls along a short, paved trail besides a mountain stream. Then, around a curve, the waterfall suddenly




1 | Statue of Toccoa native son Paul Anderson, once known as “World’s Strongest Man” 2 | 186-foot tall Toccoa Falls, one of the highest Mississippi 3 and 4 | Travelers Rest State Historic Site inn and tavern built between 1816 and 1825 5 | Stephens County Courthouse, c. 1908, in Toccoa is on the National Register of Historic Places 6 | Toccoa’s old railroad depot now houses the Currahee Military Museum


Photos by Charles Seabrook

5 appeared; it took my breath away. I lingered on a bench at the base of the falls to marvel at the great natural beauty. Six miles north of Toccoa, I went to a place straight out of Georgia’s history: Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site. Its centerpiece is an early tavern and inn built between 1816 and 1825 on what was then Cherokee land. Enslaved people probably did much of the construction. Because of its architectural significance and role in the early history of the area, Traveler’s Rest was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. The state of Georgia beautifully maintains it, and visitors can see many of its original artifacts and furnishings.

6 In the heart of Toccoa, I explored one of Georgia’s best small museums, the Currahee Military Museum, housed in the town’s old railroad depot. The museum’s main focus is the Paratrooper Infantry Regiment that underwent exhaustive training just outside town in the early 1940s at Camp Toccoa and Currahee Mountain. Some 6,000 of the men became qualified paratroopers in World War II. Scores of books and articles have been written about them. One of the books, “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose, became an award-winning HBO mini-series, some of which was filmed around Toccoa. One of the museum’s exhibits

is a 1922 horse stable that was used as housing for soldiers during WWII in Aldbourne, England. The stable was dismantled and flown to the United States in 2004. In Toccoa, I stopped at the Paul Anderson Memorial Park to see the statue of Anderson, a Toccoa native and Olympian who held the title of “World’s Strongest Man.” Then I strolled through town. With its restored downtown, renovated Stephens County Court house, spiffed-up Ritz Theater and other historic buildings, it was obvious that Toccoans take great pride in their town.

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Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of landscape architecture, designed some of America’s most preeminent greenspaces: Central Park in New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Emerald Necklace in Boston, the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and the grounds of the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. In 1892, while finishing the Biltmore Estate, Olmsted was invited to Atlanta by developer Joel Hurt to design his latest planned community, Druid Hills. The centerpiece of the neighborhood would be a series of linear parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue. It would be Olmsted’s last commission before his death in 1903. As with all his designs, Olmsted’s main goal, no matter what and where he was working, was to attempt to change American society for the better. He used his landscape designs to promote harmony, health and social democracy and believed that parks and greenspace were a place for all people to come together, build community and connect on common ground. A group of neighborhood organizations has come together to represent Druid Hills as part of the National Birthday Celebration for Olmsted’s 200th Birthday. The group is comprised of representatives and volunteers from Olmsted Linear Park Alliance, Druid Hills Civic Association, Emory Village Alliance, Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, Druid Hills Golf Club, South Fork Conservancy, The Frazier Center, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, The Lullwater Garden Club, Fernbank, Emory University, and the schools and churches within Druid Hills. Olmsted’s 200th birthday will be celebrated at the spaces he designed across America this year. — Collin Kelley

EVENTS A series of events are planned in April to commemorate the 200th birthday of Druid Hills designer Frederick Law Olmsted. Mark your calendar for these and be sure to visit to find even more by partner organizations.

6:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is a mixed doubles event limited to 44 players each session, so register early to reserve your slot. Players will be partnered up by their USTA level unless specified otherwise. This is a fun, charitable event and each registrant will receive a swag bag. Food and drinks will also be available. Register at

Olmsted Linear Park Artists Market Head over to Dellwood Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 30 for great shopping from local artisans, kids’ activities and more.

Olmsted 200th Birthday Gala at Callanwolde Celebrate Olmsted’s birthday in style on April 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at this black-tie optional soiree at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road. The evening will featuring live jazz music from Joe Gransden and culinary treats by Zest, along with beer and wine options. The event will be both indoors and outdoors, with COVID-19 protocols in place. Tickets range from $125 to $500 and are available at

Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Painters will be setting up their easels around Intown from April 16 - 24 for the 8th annual Olmsted Plein Air Invitational. The painting extravaganza will offer a series of experiential and educational events for artists, collectors, and admirers. Painting sessions will be held in the invitational’s namesake, Olmsted Linear Park in Druid Hills. For more details, visit

Olmsted 200 Tennis Tournament

Outdoor Concert at Emory Village

Olmsted Linear Park Association is partnering with the Druid Hills Golf Club to host the Olmsted 200 Tennis Tournament to benefit the park and commemorate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday on April 25. The tournament will have two sessions: 5 to

Bring your friends and your blankets to Emory Village on April 30 at 6 p.m. to mix, mingle, and listen to a free concert headlined by Grammy-nominated musician Shawn Mullins.


The 52nd annual Historic Druid Hills Fairview, which comes with a scandalous 822 Lullwater Home & Garden Tour coincides perfecthistory. Eisterhold said C.S. Carnes, an acly with the Olmsted 200 celcountant for the Southern 1783 South Ponce ebration with a showcase Baptist Convention, bought of 12 of the neighborhood’s the home with embezzled most notable dwellings. funds that in today’s dollars According to tour orgawould amount to more than nizer Kit Eisterhold, a real $12 million. estate advisor with Engel & Eisterhold described the Volkers Atlanta, this year’s Tudor-style “estate home” tour has some of Druid Hills’ at 1741 S. Ponce, which facFor Tour & Ticket most beautiful homes, ines Olmsted Linear Park, as a information cluding the “Driving Miss “showstopper.” Daisy” house at 822 LullwaTour hours are 1 to 5 p.m. ter Road. on April 29; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 30; Now owned by Jim and Cyndy Roberts, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 1. Tickets are the Tudor-style home has been virtually $35 and available via Eventbrite. unchanged since it was built in 1920 and when it was used as the home of the title character in the Academy Award-winning film starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. The Olmsted 200 Planning Committee would like to thank our Eisterhold said another tour-stop not sponsors for their support in celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted to miss is the garden at 797 Springdale. Sr’s 200th birthday! “It’s famous in the neighborhood for havThis is a year-long celebration featuring an exciting line-up of ing tens-of-thousands of bulbs planted events that you do not want to miss. and Japanese maples. Golf legend Bobby Jones was married in that garden.” Famed architect Neel Reid designed T H A N K YO U TO O U R O L M S T E D 2 0 0 S P O N S O R S ! the French Manor home at 1348 Fairview, which Eisterhold calls “one of the finest in the neighborhood.” It was originally owned by an heir to Rich’s Department Store. Another noted architect, Arthur Neil Robinson, designed the Tudor at 1296


1348 Fairview


APRIL 2022| 37





Each camper chooses her own adventure in STEM, the arts, and more!

Rising grades 1-9 June 13-17 • June 20-24 $450 per one-week session after care available

register for a variety of camps for ages 4 - 12th grade Open to the public

sign up today!

Whitefield Academy, A Christ-Centered College Preparatory School 1 Whitefield Drive, Smyrna GA


SPREAD YOUR WINGS THIS SUMMER MAY 30-JULY 29 With 30 acres of greenspace located in the heart of Buckhead, Blue Heron Summer Camp is the perfect place for your camper to escape into nature! Campers will discover the wonders of the outdoors through handson learning, weekly focuses, and small group explorations. COVID safety protocols in place.




• Water Skiing • Wake Sports • Horseback Riding • Aerial Adventure • Zipline • So much more on land and water!

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Choose your adventure at Trinity School Summer Camp! Academic, specialty, and sports camps for children ages 4 to 13 June 6–July 1 Monday–Friday 7:30 AM–4 PM August 1–5 Limited offerings Several camps are waitlisted, so register today!

4301 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta • 404-231-8117 •



• Sports • Gymnastics • Science • Technology • Engineering • Math • Leisure • Arts & Crafts • Tennis




CAMPS THAT ENGAGE, ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE YOUR CHILD We offer a variety of quality summer day camps in Sandy Springs that encourage positive character development! Our staff are committed to providing a safe environment where campers can be challenged and achieve success. Learn more at




We’re ready for a lively, creative, art-filled Summer in VISUAL and PERFORMING ARTS for Creatives ages 3–18. Week-long programs May 23 through August 5 Visit for details. Located at the Dunwoody Cultural Arts Center 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30338

APRIL 2022| 39


He’s discovering

tHe magic of cHildHood



*Offer valid for the above locations only for childcare or Summer Camp programs. Must mention this advertisement and enroll by April 30, 2022 to receive your discount. Not valid with any other offer. The Goddard School are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Systems, Inc. Programs and ages may vary. Goddard Systems, Inc. program is Cognia accredited. © Goddard Systems Inc. 2022.

YOUR CHILD'S COLLEGE JOURNEY College? Careers? They’ll be here for your kids before you know it. Summer Academy at UGA offers specialty camps to support your teen or pre-teen’s passions and boost their skills. Recognized nationally as a strong career and college builder Camps offered in over 30 fun interest areas Established in 2001, Summer Academy has been providing summer fun for over two decades



Register your young artist for week-long art camps at the High! Camp sessions for rising first through eighth graders. Campers will explore the museum collections, experiment with a multitude of artistic media, create art projects in our themed workshops, and make new friends!

Registration is now open! Visit for details.

EMORY PRE-COLLEGE PROGRAM Choose from 60+ noncredit and credit courses. Live on campus, commute, or join a class online. College 101 sessions and student panels. Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities included.

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Color your summer with fun!

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MODA summer camps offer kids creative exploration


Helping today's young designers become the changemakers of the future

Summer camps for kids who want to change the world

Balancing live instruction with detailed self-guided activities

Choose from science, technology, engineering, art, and more! Register at From June 1st – July 29th!

BY BOB PEPALIS The Museum of Design Atlanta will offer its first in-person summer camps in two years, helping young designers explore their creative sides. The multi-day design camps will be held in June, July and August for campers ages 7-18. They will learn how to use design tools and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. Camps will be held at locations including Georgia Tech and The Galloway School, as well as online. “It’s summer, right? And so kids want to be together and have fun,” MODA Ex-

ecutive Director Laura Flusche said. “Let’s provide them with a way to do that in real life.” But, camp organizers are still prepared if COVID-19 cases rise again. “We have worked to plan those in such a way that, God forbid, there’s another variant or something, they can go virtual so that caregivers aren’t left without something for their children to do that week,” Flusche said. What appeals to caregivers and kids is that MODA camps teach designer mindsets, such as building empathy for other people as they try to solve a problem. Continued on page 42


2022 Summer Camp 2022 Decatur Business Hall of Fame Award


15% OFF if you register before May 1st


Camps are located at DeKalb Tennis Center: 1400 McConnell Drive, Decatur, GA 30033

To register, email: Call (404) 636-5628, or sign up online at


APRIL 2022| 41

Continued from page 41

The camp is full of opportunities for kids to explore STEM tools, but Flusche said they also need creative problem-solving skills to productively use those tools. “It’s all good to know how to code something, but if you can’t think of how to use that in a great way, that doesn’t do a lot,” Flusche said. Virtual camps include Minecraft, Lego or coding camps like Scratch where kids play and build together online. “Because we attracted a global audience for our camps over the past two years when they were virtual, we wanted to be able to keep offering things to people who might not be in Midtown Atlanta,” she said. MODA Education Coordinator Meg Williams said several camps are new, including a slow fashion camp. In this camp, kids will think about how the fashion industry contributes to climate change. The camp focuses on reusing or reviving old clothing, to make it something new, exciting and fun again. A design and entrepreneurship camp will attract kids who are looking to

change the world with ideas that they have. “We’re going to hopefully get the kids to meet with real life entrepreneurs in Atlanta who are working and building their businesses to get feedback on their ideas, their pitches, their prototypes for their designs or concepts or whatnot,” Wil-





liams said. Educators helping out MODA’s fulltime staff with the camps include Thomas Hayes. He has a degree in sustainable urban design, which he brings to the Minecraft camps where campers might collaborate on the design of a green city for the future. Brenna Valentine, a space enthusiast with experience at Colorado science museums who now works at Emory, runs the Scratch coding camps. Lakeem Winborne, who has taught in the arts and STEM for years in Atlanta, will lead robotic camps. And Christy Bardis Petterson, co-owner of the Indie Craft Experience, a craft and vintage market in Atlanta, will lead the slow fashion camp.

Some of the camps include: ■ Outta This World with LEGO (in-person; June 6-10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) ■ Scratch Escape Rooms (virtual; June 20-24, 2-4 p.m.) ■ Digital Art Studio (in-person; June 20-24, 1-5 p.m.) ■ Mic Drop! Podcasting 101 (inperson; July 11-15, 9 a.m.-noon) ■ Minecraft - Archaeological Adventures in Pompeii (virtual; July 25-29, 1-5 p.m.) ■ Minecraft Olympics! (virtual; Aug. 1-5, 1-5 p.m.) For more information on these and other camps and to register, visit www.

MARKETPLACE HELP WANTED Financial Services firm in Buckhead seeking full or part time Client Service Representative. This is an IN OFFICE position to start and requires 3 years of experience in the financial services industry. Please send resume to Linda. Qualified Bookkeeper wanted for our small Accounting and Financial Consulting office in Brookhaven. Flexible work hours possible. Send resume to INFANT TEACHER. ROSWELL, GA.Take care of children, energetic, patient, changing, feeding, teaching infants, general care for children. Entertain and educate infants by reading to, playing with and nurturing. Req. 2-year exp.(care for children) Min.40work/hours/ weekends. Bilingual is a plus. $10.42h/h. COUNTERTOP INSTALLER. Atlanta, GA. Installs granite, marble or quartz. Template, Drill faucet holes, make seams, cooktop cutouts, polish. Ability to lift heavy objects (50lbs+) Full time. Bilingual is a plus. $14/hr. jessica@

Age 55+ Condos in Sandy Springs

LAW CLERK IN ATLANTA, GA AND VICINITY. Sharma Yaskhi & Associates, LLP seeks Law Clerk. Must have Bachelor’s Degree in Law or related with 5 years’ Experience in Indian Legal Practices. Send resumes to: Senior Attorney, Sharma Yaskhi & Associates, LLP, 1126 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306. A Full Service Law Firm.

SERVICES AVAILABLE Matthew’s Handy Services - 7AM appointments available. Small jobs & chores are my specialties! Organizers, Carpentry, Drywall & Painting. Call 404-547-2079 or email Tranquil Waters Lawn Care Hauling of Debris, yard cleanup, aeration, lawn mowing and power washing. Commercial/Residential, free estimates, Senior/Veteran discount and No contract necessary. Call Mike 678-662-0767.

1 bed/1 bath 2,595 $

per month

2 bed/2 bath $2,995 per month




Includes ALL utilities, some meals, shuttle service, 24 hour front desk plus more. Stepless condos, grab bars in bathroom, intercom. Affordable 55+ independent living and great location

475 Mount Vernon Highway NE. Linda | 404-277-4246

Spanish Class putting a hurting on you?

Masters Level Spanish Tutor/ Instructor for Online Spanish courses


Contact Profesora at 912-322-5972 Other Spanish tutoring available.


404-263-2967 For classifieds or display ads call 404-917-2200 ext. 1003

Best Rate Painting - We beat all estimates!! Exterior and Interior specials. 25 years’ experience. Free estimates and No money down. 10% off with this ad. Contact: bestratepaint@ - www.bestratepainting. com or call 404-434-8941.

HOME SERVICES DIRECTORY Troy Holland 770.256.8940


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Kitchen Bathroom Basement

Showroom, Design, Build

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Electrical HVAC

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April 29-30, 2022

Julian Tablada I Watercolor

Kendall Boggs I Acrylic

Wendy King I Jewelry

Misty Kimbrough I Ceramics

Jacqueline Radford I Oil

Bringing Art and Community Together Please join us for the 24th Annual Wesleyan Artist Market, which features fine art, jewelry, and fine wares from over 75 professional artists from across the region. Friday, April 29, 2022: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. • Saturday, April 30, 2022: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Held at Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners, the Market is open to the public with free parking and admission.

Wesleyan School 5405 Spalding Drive Peachtree Corners, GA