Volunteer Spotlight: Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine with Belvedere Condos and Dreamscape Designs

Jason Abbott loves the fact that his condo building, The Belvedere, has a front door onto the Atlanta BeltLine and into Piedmont Park. That “front door” has come a long way in the past few years thanks to the work of Jason and fellow residents of The Belvedere along with Mike Ferreira and his team at Dreamscape Designs. Together, this power duo has spearheaded the care and maintenance of this segment of the Atlanta BeltLine from Evelyn Street (where you pull into the Piedmont Park parking deck) and Westminster Drive (behind Public Storage on Piedmont Road) as part of the Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine program.

Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine groups: Belvedere condos and Dreamscape Designs
Before creating the mulch path connecting The Belvedere to the Atlanta BeltLine, volunteers had to contend with kudzu.

Jason, Mike, and fellow volunteers dedicate countless hours to keeping this stretch of interim hiking trail free from invasive species, trash, and graffiti. A mulch path and small garden now encourage Belvedere residents to take a walk along the peaceful path without having to go out to Monroe Drive in a circuitous route to get to Piedmont Park. Both men are enthusiastic about getting Atlantans out and enjoying greenspace in our city. Jason says:

I’m passionate about the Atlanta BeltLine because it’s part of our local neighborhood and a chance to improve the parkspace in and around the building. It’s our way of extending the property that residents can use and laying the groundwork in advance of a formal plan. When you walk through Lewis Gulch and over Clear Creek, you’ll be surprised that you are so close to the city – it’s such a quiet, wooded setting.

Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine groups: Belvedere condos and Dreamscape Designs
Volunteers came together to create the mulch path from The Belvedere onto the Atlanta BeltLine hiking trail.

Mike was already involved with Trees Atlanta when he heard about the Atlanta BeltLine. Hearing about the project and what it’s trying to achieve convinced him he wanted to get involved. With the close partnership between the Atlanta BeltLine and Trees Atlanta, Mike often gets the chance to do what he loves best – “getting my hands dirty and helping out with whatever I can.”

Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine groups: Belvedere condos and Dreamscape Designs
Sometimes, unexpected projects arise, like clearing this fallen tree from the interim hiking trail.

The groups even created picnic benches in the open area next to Clear Creek with grand views of the Midtown skyline in the background. The Piedmont Park dog park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden are just stones’ throws away and this serves as a quiet escape.

Jack Kinley - Winds of Change - Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
Adopter groups help clear the way for Art on the Atlanta BeltLine and keep an eye on the installations during the exhibition. Seen here is Jack Kinley’s “Winds of Change” from 2011 in Lewis Gulch.

With the opening of the Piedmont Park expansion in the summer of 2013, The Belvedere will be the only condo building that sits directly on the Atlanta BeltLine and straddled by Piedmont Park. The border of the condo complex along the Atlanta BeltLine will no longer be the abandoned railroad it was in its past life. Instead, expect it to be teeming with life as people move back and forth between Ansley Park and Morningside along the path to Piedmont Park, Midtown, and the Eastside Trail. And you can expect the path to always look its best thanks to the hard work of volunteers like Mike and Jason.

You can read more about the program, the segments available for adoption, and how you can get involved with Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine here.

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