I attended City of Decatur sponsorship of the Path Foundation meeting for their Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Master Plan. The plan included Dearborn Park Trail and was based on a 20-year old DeKalb plan. It is my understanding that DeKalb County was not contacted and even though the proposed trail goes through a large portion of unincorporated DeKalb. When I posed the question to Ed McBrayer, Executive Director, Path Foundation, that DeKalb residents outside of Decatur should have been allowed input, I was told by him that our input was made 17 years ago when DeKalb’s plan was proposed back in 1999.
Let me state I know this is a long-term project and I would like to be an advocate for it, however, I feel this part of the proposal should not be included in Decatur’s plan and a full cycle deferral should be granted to get input from DeKalb Parks & Rec and DeKalb citizens near the proposed trail.
A few of my concerns included, if and when the proposed path is built, there should be remediation of the surrounding area. When I spoke with Greta DeMayo, Principal Owner, Kaizen Collaborative, she could not confirm this would occur. The area around the pervious path that was built by City of Decatur in Dearborn has for the last 5 years left the surrounding area as a mosquito laden swamp. Friends of Dearborn Park volunteers have concentrated on the front of the park and the at the Catherine street entrance. City of Decatur nor DeKalb County have assisted in the maintenance of the area adjacent to the path
We need assurances that the wildlife that lives there now will not be harmed. There are 2 Blue Herons in the park along with several Owls, rabbits, amphibians and a couple of Snapping Turtles.
Lastly, we  concerned about the environmental effects of the area within the space between Chevelle and Catherine.  John Simmons, Urban Designer, Kaizen Collaborative did not tour nor walk this area so it’s of  an even greater concern that environmental effects of the area were not studied.
As a member of Park Pride our values include connectivity, inclusiveness, collaboration, passion, respect and stewardship.
I’m not sure as group what Friends of Dearborn Park can do and how this communication will influence the outcome, however, I do hope moving forward that you will  include all residents in your process and that someday the Dearborn Park Trail will be built with community involvement and include the values mentioned above.
I formally ask that DeKalb County Parks & Rec and the citizens of DeKalb County be included in all of the recommendations for the Dearborn Park Trail shown in the City of Decatur’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Master Plan.
The meeting included
Hugh Saxton, Assistant City Manger, City of Decatur
Ed McBrayer, Executive Director, Path Foundation
Greta DeMayo, Principal Owner, Kaizen Collaborative
John Simmons, Urban Designer, Kaizen Collaborative
Not invited or consulted:
Marvin Billups, Interim Director, DeKalb County Parks & Recreation
Unincorporated DeKalb residents
Midway Woods neighbors
Avondale Estates neighbors
 Path Foundation Sponsors
Cox Enterprises, Inc.
James M. Cox Foundation
A Friend of the PATH Foundation
Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
The Coca-Cola Company
M. Austin Davis Foundation, Inc.
R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation
Georgia-Pacific Foundation
Georgia Power Foundation
The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation
The John N. Goddard Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Hilliard
Holder Construction Company
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Holder
Mr. and Mrs. Warren Jobe
The Kendeda Fund
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Lafarge North America
Mr. and Mrs. E. Cody Laird, Jr.
Sartain Lanier Family Foundation
Blanche Lipscomb Foundation
Katherine John Murphy Foundation
NIKE, Inc.
Northside Hospital Foundation
Pittulloch Foundation
The Rich Foundation
O. Wayne Rollins Foundation
SunTrust Foundation and SunTrust Trusteed Foundations: Florence C. and Harry L. English Memorial Fund and Thomas Guy
Woolford Charitable Trust
Mr. L. Barry Teague
W. D. Trippe Trust
Tull Charitable Foundation
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Voya Financial
The Waterfall Foundation, Inc.
Wells Fargo Foundation
Mr. John A. Williams
Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
David, Helen and Marian Woodward Fund
 Path Foundation is also instrumental in securing funding for the Atlanta Beltline, Westside Trail Atlanta Beltline and Eastside Trail Atlanta Beltline.