THE AKA – WAWA – CSNC Collaboration

In the spring of 2021, members of the Pi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., were challenged by the chapter president, Brianca Martin, to strengthen, enhance, and increase the chapter’s footprint in the Atlanta community by joining forces with community partners. Chapter member, Marilyn Arrington, stepped up to serve as lead for creating sustainable partnerships with community leaders and sought out relevant community organizations which address global challenges.  One such challenge is protecting and restoring our ecosystem. To address this challenge, sorority members are excited and are currently taking on the task of developing a watershed restoration project at the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve with the intent to create awareness, advocate, educate, and protect our ecosystem for generations to come.

Watershed restoration is part of CSNC’s mission to protect and restore the stream and riparian habitats in the preserve.   The repair of the spring hosue by the waterfall had previously been identified by CSNC leadership and the community as a high priority restoration project.   CSNC developed a project team including  Marilyn Arrington and Dr. Na’Taki Jelks Osborne of West Atlanta Watershed Alliance to create a project plan.

This meeting of the minds resulted in commitments to fund a watershed restoration project. The project’s goal is to help educate the community on why it is essential to keep our water sources clean and free of pollution and contamination.

The restoration project involved the repair of an existing spring house at The Preserve.  There are three natural springs at The Preserve.  Two have spring houses, and the other is a frog pond.  One of the spring houses had collapsed and was covered in overgrowth.  This project scope is to remove the overgrowth and restore the functionality of the spring house.  The project was initiated in 2021 and is currently underway.  The project plan is shown below, along with photographs of the progress so far.

Landscape architect Patrick Hand with Integrated Land Design describes the spring house repair process.