MARIETTA, GA -- The Franklin Road neighborhood of the city of Marietta has been tentatively selected as an officially recognized Weed and Seed site by the United States Department of Justice pending a site visit to verify information provided in the city's application. The federal program helps communities with serious crime problems bring together people and resources to prevent and control crime and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.
Operation Weed and Seed is designed to reduce the impact of violent crime on communities, provide prevention, intervention and treatment services for substance abuse and other social problems, and revitalize communities through improved housing and economic development.
Official recognition is the first step in the Weed and Seed grant process and means that a fully detailed community crime prevention and restoration strategy has been through an intensive review process. The designation provides Marietta preference in receiving discretionary resources from participating federal agencies, priority for participating in federally sponsored training and assistance, eligibility to apply for Weed and Seed funds, and use of the official Weed and Seed logo.
The selection of the Franklin Road neighborhood is the result of a four-year effort by the city of Marietta to produce positive changes for the residents and business owners in the Franklin Road community. The effort began with the establishment of the Franklin Road Task Force and more recently the Marietta Weed and Seed committee.
Of 98 communities across the country seeking official recognition, 28 were chosen for this year. Marietta city manager and task force chairman Bill Bruton said the city's selection in the very competitive process is the result of years of hard work by many residents, business leaders and government employees.
"Special recognition should go to Bill Hanson and Angela Smith, who spent countless hours on the application," Bruton said. "We appreciate the support of United States Attorney David Nahmias, Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressman Phil Gingrey in gaining approval of the grant."
Mayor Bill Dunaway said being selected as a Weed and Seed community will be a major step in the city's efforts to revitalize Franklin Road, a goal city council established at its most recent retreat.
"The resources that will be made available to Marietta will enable us to improve safety, enhance the community and begin citizen-involved redevelopment in an area of the city that is in great need," Dunaway said. "We are very excited about the possibilities."
The Weed and Seed program stresses collaboration, coordination and community participation. The approach gives communities experiencing high crime and social and economic decay a comprehensive structure, critical planning tools, and access to a national network focused on crime prevention, citizen safety and neighborhood revitalization. The initiative allows communities using the Weed and Seed strategy to develop and undertake efforts tailored uniquely to the issues, needs and concerns of each neighborhood.
"The leadership of the city of Marietta deserves congratulations for its hard work in presenting a compelling case for Weed and Seed recognition of the Franklin Road community," said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. "Weed and Seed status will help Marietta weed out crime around Franklin Road and seed the community for renewed development. My office looks forward to working with the Marietta Weed and Seed committee to make this program a success."
The Weed and Seed program encourages coordination, leveraging of local resources, using benchmarks to evaluate progress and the ability to sustain the effort. The United States Department of Justice provides national leadership and management of the program.