Pedestrian safety is set to improve soon in a project in Brentwood-Darlington

DAVID F. ASHTON - Peter Jacobsen shows the layout for a new Annex to the Master Gardners Demonstration Garden at the Learning Gardens Laboratory, across the street from Lane Middle School. It was a busy evening during the monthly Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDBA) meeting on Thursday evening, February 2, as they announced a grant to provide new sidewalks where currently there are none, and confirmed the pending approval of a new garden nearby.

Before the General Meeting, BDNA Board Member Meg VanBuren told about a recent community gathering in the neighborhood.

"This showed our support for each other, because neighbors have been psychically, emotionally, and physically feeling unsafe and attacked in the neighborhood," VanBuren explained. "We're trying to show our solidarity for all of our neighbors, particularly for those who are marginalized and targeted by policies coming from the federal government. There is a big heart on our poster, because it's about a positive approach to supporting our neighbors."

New sidewalks for the neighborhood

BDNA Board Member Melissa Long told THE BEE that she was delayed coming in to the meeting because she was watching the Metro Regional Government proceedings on her cell phone, to confirm that a grant application had been accepted.

"The project is called 'Brentwood-Darlington: Where the Sidewalks End'," Long said. "We have been working for a grant to get all of Duke Street and Flavel Street sidewalks repaired, from 52nd to 82nd Avenue [of Roses]. And, just now, I've found out that our grant proposal was one of ten that chosen and approved by Metro – which means that, finally, our kids can walk to school on sidewalks!"

That proposal didn't quite "make the cut", Long remarked, until the neighborhood mobilized around the effort and directed 1,700 hand-signed petitions, postcards from kids, and letters, in support of the grant request.

The $2.2 million project, scheduled for 2019, may attract additional finding, Long announced. "We might get a PBOT match for putting in a Greenway on Ogden and Knapp streets from 52nd to 72nd Avenues, connecting with the new Greenway on 78th Avenue."

Master Gardner's Demonstration Garden approved

Also at the meeting, Peter Jacobsen arrived to announce progress involving a new Master Gardners' Demonstration Garden, called "The Annex". "It will be about three times larger than our existing garden – about an acre in size – located at the Learning Gardens Laboratory, across the street from Lane Middle School."

He submitted the first application about 16 months ago, so progress has been slow. "But, we believe that we're now within less than a month of our final approval," Jacobsen said.

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