"A Place Where Children Swam, A Place Where People Fished - A Place Where Citizens Were Baptized."
-Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks on
Proctor Creek Before 1967
As first-year students in a Serve-Learn-Sustain affiliated English course at the Georgia Institute of Technology, we feel a calling to inform and educate on the problems facing our community. We have taken that calling and built a website to give community members a sense of the problems that have faced our city for decades. By examining the past, we can make some sense of the problems we can solve today. Utilizing the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen Digital Archive and in partnership with the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, this collection of documentation and research contains information regarding Proctor Creek under Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen's tenure and the problems facing the creek in 1967 and our city today.
We hope that with this information, citizens will be able to take action to help protect this beautiful city and all who live in it. On this website you will find information on the following:
A Note on the Ivan Allen Digital Archive
The Georgia Institute of Technology came together in recent years to collect and digitally publish a digital archive of those documents relating to Mayor Ivan Allen's time in office. On the issue of Proctor Creek, we have chosen 14 separate documents that specify the pollution in the Proctor Creek area. It should be noted that documentation on environmental issues of injustice and racism in Atlanta is extremely sparse and difficult to locate within the archive, often attached to more "pressing matters within other documents," symbolizing the pre-EPA era of minority focus on environmental problems.
What is Proctor Creek?
The picture on the right shows the location of the beginning of Proctor Creek under a system of parking lots in The Gulch. The creek is not visible from the streets as its headwaters were converted into an underground sewer system in the late 19th century. Trash, stormwater, and debris that enters the stream through the sewer system contributes to many of the health and environmental concerns posed by the creek.
The Proctor Creek headwaters begin in an area of West Atlanta near downtown called The Gulch, a heavily urban area in proximity to where the Georgia Dome was previously constructed. The entirety of the creek and its watershed is located within the city limits of Atlanta and flows northeast into the Chattahoochee River.
Proctor Creek travels through more than 35 neighborhoods housing over 52,000 residents. Examples of these neighborhoods includes West Highlands, Center Hill, Grove Park, Bankhead, English Avenue, Vine City, Mozley Park, Lillian Cooper Shepherd Park, Boone Boulevard and Westside Reservoir Park. The condition of the creek through many of these communities is dirty and unhealthy. There are large amounts of trash and debris traveling down the creek