AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Kevin de l’Aigle is a downtown activist who has worked hard to encourage people to get involved in preserving monuments and structures.
Early this year, de l’Aigle and a group of like-minded folks created the Coalition for Action in Downtown Augusta.
“Right, I mean, I’m an 8th generation Augustan. We’ve had so many generations come before and I feel like we really have to show up for our town, for our community, and show up for our ancestors, show up for those who have gone before. And also, I mean, when you show up for yourself, you’re also showing up for the future, for future generations, for your whole community.”
The Coalition was concerned about the many run down houses, big blight, like medians that aren’t maintained and park cemeteries.
“We kept asking for our elected officials to pay more attention to the medians, to the grass, to the azaleas, to how beautiful our downtown can be. And I sort of started going to the commission meetings last year. I kinda felt like I was beating my head up against a brick wall and so many people kept saying, keep going, keep doing it…. but we got to the point where a group of us decided to take some action on our own and show up for our community.”
So far, they’ve worked on the George Washington Monument on Greene Street. They planted new flowers and cleaned up the area.
“We did the whole project for probably less than $200. It doesn’t take some big consultant coming in or a tree special, it is just kind of the community coming out together and rolling up your sleeves, you know, grassroots effort and having a super great time.”
They’ve also cleaned up around the Emily Tubman monument at 7th and Greene.
“These are monuments to every race, creed, color, religion. I mean, it’s just monuments of two people who have really made an incredible impact in our city and in our country and they deserve to be honored. We cleaned up the area, cleaned up the grass all around there, cleaned out the fire ants, there was a beautiful urn that was remaining. And so we got that sparkling white, planted ferns, planted potted flowers all around on the pedestals that remained where the columns of the of the monument had been. So just to honor Ms. Tubman and her contributions to our country, our community, churches, educational, I mean, there’s just no end to the amount of philanthropy that Ms. Tubman has done.”
The Coalition for Action in Downtown Augusta has two events planned in April, and they’d love for anyone who’s interested to show up and help: April 15th at 4:30pm and April 22nd at 3:00pm.
“April 15th, we’re gonna clean up the Dr. Fitzsimmons Eve Monument that’s on Greene, between 6th and 7th. Dr. Eve was one of the founders of MCG. And that monument, we’ll clean that, we’re gonna plants all around that, and have that whole corridor looking all spruced up and beautiful.
“And then on the 22nd for Earth Day, we’re gonna have a cleanup for all along Greene Street. You know, trash cleanup, try to clean up along the monuments along the roadway there starting at 6th and Greene. And that’s starting at 3:00 o’clock on the 22nd, Earth Day.”