Jahlil Mudavanha & Taranji Alvarado
Westside Innovation Fellow 2016
Tendalush’s mission is to preserve the rich cultural history of communities through beautification design that create positive, thriving neighborhoods.
Tendalush is an educational landscaping and beautification program that fights blight by providing training and employment to residents in the 30314/30318 neighborhoods. During the six months of their fellowship, the Tendalush team surveyed the Washington Park and Vine City community, took landscaping design training with the City of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability, learned how to create renderings, and developed and pilot tested a beautification curriculum. Tendalush provides education, tree, and lawn services to beautify neighborhoods and empower their residents.
In 1982, Founder, Taranji Alvarado attended college at the historic Atlanta University Center. As she walked to and from class she dreamed of eventually being able to live in the beautiful, thriving neighborhoods that surrounded the campus. In 1985, she achieved her dream and purchased a home. As an artist and lover of nature, she worked to fulfill her passion as she lived in the community she dreamt of. Within a few years, the neighborhood started to decline and the community started to change. The yards started to become overgrown, the sidewalks and streets were no longer maintained, people began leaving the neighborhood and their properties were either purchased by investors or left vacant. After much frustration and dismay, the neighbors that remained decided they were going to become a part of the solution. They began initiating neighborhood cleanups in hopes of seeing the Atlanta Westside communities prosper in a cross cultured, beautiful environment.