Students Win Prizes for Anti-Litter Songs and Videos

The winners of the anti-litter campaign school contest are E.L. Miller Elementary School and Martin Luther King, Jr. High School!

 The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) in partnership with DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson launched the Your Community, Your Litter – Pick It Up! campaign this past March to encourage DeKalb residents to clean-up their communities and eliminate litter throughout the county.

As of part of the campaign, a jingle contest and video contest took place to build litter awareness and promote community pride. Students from DeKalb County were invited to participate and develop original content supporting the campaign theme.

(from left) Gwendolyn Stegall (GHHCDC), Joel Kight (teacher MLK High School), Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson (DeKalb County), De’Ziya White (senior MLK High School), Phyllis Frierson ( (GHHCDC) , and Jan Costello ( (GHHCDC) . Photo by Ennis C. Harvey.

Several entries were submitted for both contests and a committee of judges from the GHHCDC and DeKalb County’s 7th District office came together to tally scores and select winners based on a number of criteria including lyrics, originality, music, interpretation and creativity.

“All of the schools and students that participated were phenomenal and extremely talented,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “DeKalb County is truly home to some of our country’s most creative youth!”

Miller Elementary School, under the guidance of Victoria Waterman and Raphael Habeen-Ullah led 5th grade students in creating a catchy jingle that reminds people to “Stop, Drop and Pick It Up.  (Click here to hear the jingle.)

MLK High School senior De’ziya White created a video that calls out the senselessness of littering. (Click here to see the video.) The sponsoring teacher was Coach Joel Kight.

The runner-up in the jingle contest was Rowland Elementary School. In the high school video contest, another team from MLK High School came in second, and Miller Grove High School came in third.

GHHCDC awarded prizes: $25 Amazon gift cards for each participating teacher; a $100 gift card to the elementary school winner; a $200 gift card to the winning high school.  

The Your Community | Your Litter Campaign is designed to encourage pride in our communities through education and community collaboration. It is time to clean-up DeKalb!”

It culminates with a guerrilla-style marketing event on June 1, 9 a.m. noon. GHHCDC invites you to meet at the staging area, 1215 S. Hairston Road (just south of Redan and S. Hairston).  This event is an opportunity to remind people that “the only cure for littering is YOU!”


Keeping Up Appearances!

Dozens of people worked together to add plants, prune, and put down fresh mulch on the median on S. Hairston near Redan on a beautiful Saturday morning, April 27. Thank you volunteers! And thanks to Keep DeKalb Beautiful for supplying the mulch and the crew and equipment to help us spread it. We appreciate, also, the community service workers.

Great Events Coming Up

April 27, 9:15 a.m.  Mulch Day!  We’re planting a few shrubs, pruning, and spreading fresh cedar mulch on the median on S. Hairston, just south of Redan.  Meet in front of Wendy’s & DOS Seafood.  Bring your pruning shears, a bow rake (not leaf rake), and a shovel.  Many hands make light work! 

April 28, 2 – 4 p.m.  Park Rx Day at Hairston Park.  Super FUN Event.  Enjoy the fitness obstacle course and get tips from professional fitness trainers. There will also be guided trail walks, health education resources, fun games, music, prizes, and more!  Feel free to bring your blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets!

May 4, 8:30 a.m.  5K Walk-Run-Bike.  Join us at Biffle Park,  5221 Biffle Road,  and do your workout in Hidden Hills. This is an official timed event.  Register online at:    or come early and register in person.

June 1 – Your Community | Your Litter Campaign
Greater Hidden Hills CDC and District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson are staging a guerrilla-style marketing campaign to clean up their communities and to stop littering.  The campaign includes contests at local schools and street theatre.  Stay tuned.  To join the effort, write to

Let’s Get Moving at Hairston Park!

Sunday, April 28, 2 – 4 p.m. is
Park Prescription Day.
Friends of Hairston Park is featuring the FANTASTIC 4:

Family, Fun, Fitness and Food!

We will have a fitness obstacle course led by professional fitness trainers, guided trail walks, health education resources, fun games, music, prizes and much more. Feel free to bring your blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets!

Join us at Hairston Park, 889 S. Hairston Road, Stone Mountain.

For more information, contact

Victory! Slaughterhouse Denied!

The Board of Commissioners DENIED the request to rezone the slaughterhouse property. It now is prohibited from operating in the residential neighborhood.

Thanks to all for signing the petition and leaving comments – a total of 565 people made a significant difference in the quality of life of our community.

Thanks especially to Erica Weaver for her constant advocacy. She and Phyllis Frierson met with Commissioner Mereda Davis-Johnson and Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson on the afternoon of the vote and presented more than a dozen documents that helped make our case. These commissioners sponsored the motion to deny, and it was unanimously approved by the others. Commissioner Jester was not present.

Thanks to Beth Thompson and Ryan Brown for sharing their expertise, experience and network.

With the support of the community and the hard work of individuals, we made a positive difference. It is so heartening to know that we can work together for a righteous cause and achieve our goal.

Jan Costello
President, Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation

Sign Petition. Splost Map. 5K Race. New Board Members

No slaughterhouses in our neighborhoods!    

This is a reminder to please sign the petition against allowing a slaughterhouse to operate in a DeKalb County neighborhood. Click here and sign the petition:   

We will share it with commissioners Monday, prior to their vote on the matter Tuesday night.

Please join us if you can and Wear RED.  March 26, 6:30 p.m., 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. The Board responds to public pressure. Numbers count! 

Background:  Bradford Homes & Grounds has been running a slaughterhouse at 1676 Rice Road, Lithonia, Ga., for at least five years without a proper DeKalb County business license. Since January 2016, he has slaughtered at least 2,174 animals. Now that Code Enforcement made the business license department aware of the problem, the owner is seeking a rezoning. In addition to signing the petition calling for the commissioners to DENY the rezoning, we encourage you to call or to write all county commissioners and urge them to DENY the request.


Keep up with your SPLOST dollars

Here’s a great link to see exactly how the SPLOST money is being spent.

Click on Project Map and zoom in on the area you want to see. It will show you exactly what projects are on the list, in progress, and completed.


Ready. Set. Go!

Join us May 4, 8:30 a.m., for the 2nd annual 5K Walk/Run through Hidden Hills. This is a fun event and a great way to start the day. It’s timed and certified for those who are keeping track. Sign up now at this link:


Welcome to our New Board Members

KEN BLAKELY, Executive Committee-Board of Directors. Ken is a 26-year resident of the Hidden Hills community. This is his first year as a board member of GHHCDC.  Ken is retired after working for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) for 25 years in their Washington, DC and Atlanta offices. He currently is involved with several organizations that are working to bring economic development and increased pride in our community. In addition to working with the GHHCDC, Ken is on the Board of Directors of both the Hidden Hills Civic Association, and the Imagine Greenhaven cityhood initiative. He is also a member of the South Dekalb Improvement Association.




LARRY COLES, Executive Committee-Board of Directors. Larry has been a resident of DeKalb County since moving to Georgia over 20 years ago.  He is President of the Highlands at Hidden Hills Condominium Association (13 years), an active member of the Hidden Hills Civic Association, and member of GHHCDC since its inception.

Larry envisions a thriving, clean, and beautifully landscaped area where residents and businesses take pride and responsibility for building a vibrant community for the next generation. 

Larry currently serves as Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office in Atlanta.  He is responsible for building alliances and developing partnership opportunities and services for colleges and universities nationwide.  He has previously served as vice president and in senior management roles at Wells Fargo Bank, Urban Ed Express, the College Board, Georgia Student Finance Commission, and Brown University.