Lighting Up the Village

An array of color now lights up the the roundabout trees in Emory Village. The idea was several years in the making. It was in the original plans for the roundabout, but electrical and construction challenges kept it from becoming a reality for many years.

Lighting up the roundabout

Last summer, Titan Electric completed boring under the roundabout on North Decatur Road and running the wiring necessary to turn on the lights. Planted under the Japanese maple trees, the lights are LED-powered and can rotate through the entire spectrum of colors.

This addition is a part of EVA’s ongoing efforts to illuminate the Village. The project, which started in 2012 as part of the village streetscape improvement initiative, included the Mary Kelly fountain lights and those lighting up the Emory Village sign wall.

Many thanks to the many donors whose generosity made possible these new colorful lights now adding a sense of magic to evening walks through Emory Village.

New Peavine Trail Attracts Neighbors, Students









The South Fork Conservancy has completed a stream bank erosion control project, slowing storm water draining. The $60,000 project, funded by a generous grant from Cox Communications, allowed South Fork to create an easy crossing over the former concrete lined ditch in Peavine Creek. Emory University contributed over 20 species of native plants and trees, worth more than $5,000, which the Conservancy used to restore the land at the confluence leading to a serene woodland garden, a hidden treasure.

“Every drop of water raining on Emory Village slides into Peavine Creek. The Alliance is doing good work protecting this waterway by keeping eyes on the health of the creek,” says Sally Sears, president of South Fork Conservancy.  

Peavine’s headwaters drain from many neighborhoods: the Decatur City Cemetery, Candler Park’s Golf Course, and most of Druid Hills. In fact, baseballs from Emory’s fields are often prized by hikers who find them in the current.

Three trail walks near Emory Plaza offer a wilder side of the water of Peavine Creek. Trails were first cut when DeKalb County installed a sewer line 20 years ago and improved by Emory students for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2018.

Burbanck Park is a block away, past Domino’s Pizza, where recently, volunteers removed the Burbanck home from the stream buffer and built the park with sweeping views of the creek, benches, and a trail close enough to dip your toes in the creek.

The Peavine Confluence Garden is a 15-minute walk down the trail (across from Candler Field), continues past Old Briarcliff Road, and returns as a loop trail onto Eagle Row, offering a view of the bank’s beaches and tall trees. However, we would like to discourage bicycle riders from veering onto the path toward channel 5, as the traffic harms the native plants.

The newest walk, for those wanting a longer stroll in the woods, begins at the intersection of Harvard and Emory roads. At Panera Bread, two new benches sit right on the bank where herons, otters, and salamanders make their homes. This is where the annual duck race is held during Open Streets Emory Village each fall. Further directions for trails are located at South Fork Conservancy.


COVID-19 Impacts Village

Since March 13, the coronavirus pandemic has imposed an historic metamorphosis on Emory Village. Once well-worn sidewalks pave the way to temporarily closed restaurants and stores, and vacant parking lots leave only the bravest cars to bake under Georgia’s summer sun. Occasionally, village-goers simply walk up to the doors of their favorite restaurants, toting children and over-walked dogs, and remember what once was—all of the Mother’s Day brunches at Rise-n-Dine, the before-school excursions to CVS to pick up that gift card for that friend’s birthday you forgot, and the weekends spent lounging in Ali’s Cookies.

But today, within the pandemic plagued Village, the “palpable impact of COVID-19 is the economic devastation of the businesses.” says Todd Hill, chair of the Emory Village Alliance. EVA remains loyal to the struggling enterprises. “We are patronizing the businesses ourselves,” Hill says, “and are encouraging the broader community to do the same.” 

Hill reports that EVA has shifted to online monthly meetings and is working to improve the Village on behalf of all of its users “by work days, lighting the roundabout trees, keeping the plaza fountain clean and operational, maintaining the streetscape plantings, working with the county to install a pedestrian crosswalk signal, and our upcoming streetlight banner campaign.” Among EVA’s recent successes was a salute to local graduates’ with a drive-through celebration. “EVA posted a banner celebrating the spring graduates, and Emory Villagers and neighbors cheered on the parade of graduates as they drove through Emory Village.” 

Despite the ongoing health crisis, Hill reports that EVA still plans to host the annual Open Streets event. “The 8th Annual Open Streets Emory Village will be a hybrid series of activities held both virtually and in the Village,” Hill says. “EVA is considering a fundraising effort that would be associated with the Open Streets Emory Village event and may benefit businesses.”

EVA plans for a host of village-life improvements demonstrate that it’s definitely not giving up on Emory Village. “As we continue to live the new normal,” Hill says, “we will seek ways to help businesses and keep the Village a vibrant community center—including more social media outreach, focused highlights on specific businesses, and acknowledgement of the healthcare providers in our community.”

                                                     By Megan Walter, EVA high school intern

Emory Village Alliance is on Instagram: Feel free to post your photos using the hashtags  #emoryvillage or #myemoryvillage.

Get Ready for Open Streets Emory Village: Sunday, October 27

It’s time for the whole family to break out the costumes and walk, bike, or roll on down to Open Streets Emory Village on Sunday, October 27, from 2 to 6 p.m.

As usual, the Halloween Parade kicks will kick off at the day at 2, so dress accordingly and bring your pups for the Dog Costume Contests (Best Costume and Best-in-Show). Glenn Trunk or Treat will be back for the kiddos, and you can expect the rubber duckie race at 5 p.m., the Bubble Man (weather permitting), and much, much more.

All your favorites will be there: live music, food and brews, face painting, circus performers, the model railroad, robots, street games, dancing, and more!

Village streets (North Decatur Road from the roundabout to CVS and South Oxford) will be closed to vehicular traffic, but open for free fun for the entire family. If you must drive a car to get there, park for free in Emory’s parking deck at Barnes & Noble.

Open Streets attendees can watch the daring performers of the Imperial OPA Circus (new this year: interactive activities like juggling classes and plate spinning), climb the giant rock wall, and sample food from the many Village businesses.

There will be non-stop music from a variety of performers, as well as dance demonstrations, a fire truck for children to touch, and games and activities for kids of all ages. Some activities may require a small fee.

Open Streets Emory Village is a pedestrian-friendly event presented in collaboration with DeKalb County by the all-volunteer Emory Village Alliance—a partnership of businesses, neighbors, and Emory University, whose mission is to continue to improve the vitality and accessibility of Emory Village as a work, play, and dine destination.