The Atlanta Regional Commission recognized Marietta for its efforts to improve the Franklin Road community at a ceremony December 7 at the Cobb Galleria.
The Create Community Award recognizes local governments that demonstrate innovation and creativity through various community-building and civic involvement programs, projects and initiatives.
A neighborhood is chosen out of ten counties that epitomizes what can be done when a community comes together, Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton said. "Franklin Road has been chosen as the area that best exhibits the characteristics expected to receive this award."
How the community improved
Crime on Franklin Road in Marietta was getting out of hand in the early 2000s, businesses were shuttered and previously well-kept apartments were showing their age. Residents banded together and formed the Franklin Road Community Association in 2002 to address the crime and instability and to attract businesses back to the area.
The Marietta Police Department established a crime free housing program and Police Athletic League. Special attention was paid to reaching out to the younger members of the multi-cultural community. Leaders launched the Franklin Road Youth Association and the Franklin Road Soccer in the Streets program.
Five years later, violent crime is down 12 percent and more than 100 children are active in the two locations at the Franklin Road Boys and Girls Club. The association's efforts were boosted significantly last year when the federal government provided the area with a $175,000 "Weed and Seed" grant to combat crime and build community at the grassroots level.
What the ARC does
The Atlanta Regional Commission is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 62 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
Marietta to be featured in media
The Atlanta Business Chronicle will profile the Franklin Road area's achievements in an article titled "Best Practices for Communities to Follow." The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports the latest business news from the region and news of 46 industries from around the nation. The paper has a total circulation of 42,200, and its readers have an average household income of $271,000.
For more information, call Marietta's Weed and Seed Coordinator Daneea Badio at 770-794-5640.