Update 2022-08-28: Valdosta Block Club added to Pepsi sign at Barack Obama and Ricardo 2022-08-28.
Valdosta has replaced the Adopt-A-Spot sign at the corner of Barack Obama Blvd. and Ricardo Street. The sign looks much better now.
But it no longer mentions Valdosta Block Club. That’s the organization former City Council James Wright started to help with Adopt-A-Spot, which he also spearheaded. Valdosta Block Club was featured in his obituary. I guess that’s not important anymore.
If Pepsi’s glowing announcement back in 2007 was accurate, apparently it didn’t last: “literally transformed that piece of land to a place where residents can go for a picnic.” In addition to the obvious problems of trash and no clear access paths into that two acres, I talked to some people who live around there, and they say nobody ever goes in there.
PEPSI BOTTLING GROUP, INC., June 7, 2007, The Pepsi Bottling Group Participates in the Adopt-A-Spot Initiative,
VALDOSTA, Ga.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—June 7, 2007—The corner of Forrest and Ricardo Streets in Valdosta, GA has never been the same since The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) became a part of the clean-up litter campaign that was started by City Councilman James Wright. PBG is responsible for the re-landscaping and the maintenance of a corner section in the local community and has literally transformed that piece of land to a place where residents can go for a picnic. In recognition of PBG’s hard work and commitment, Mayor John Fretti and City Councilman James Wright will show their appreciation to The Pepsi Bottling Group in a presentation on Saturday, June 9, 2007 for their efforts in maintaining the spot.
Companies that participate in the Adopt-A-Spot Initiative within the community are responsible for bringing a fresh look to their particular areas by changing the scenery. The Pepsi Bottling Group’s Territory Sales Manager Chad Pigford said, “Pepsi has been very involved in the community and wants to be a good neighbor. Projects such as greening up communities around our country fit perfectly with PBG’s caring about the environment.”
Under the direction of a landscaper, The Pepsi Bottling Group volunteers worked on weekends to prepare the soil, plant grass, flowers and shrubs in order to turn an old, dry empty lot into what it is now—a place of enjoyment and relaxation. PBG’s wish to make their corner spot in the community of Valdosta a place of beauty also helps to tie in with the campaign’s initiative which brings companies such as PBG even closer to its community neighbors in a way that is beneficial to all.
The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. (www.pbg.com) is the world’s largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages with operations in the U.S., Canada, Greece, Mexico, Russia, Spain, and Turkey.
The lot is also frequently not dry at all, rather under a foot or two of water. Which is why Valdosta Stormwater declined to finish cleaning it up this spring.
When it’s wet, trash washes through culverts under Barack Obama Boulevard into a drainage ditch that leads to One Mile Branch.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®