By Brenda Duke

GALA has been very busy so far this year and I want to give you the happy news. GALA continues to be one of the few active community groups in the lower city. We have a busy month of October ahead of us. The first Saturday of the month falls on Thanksgiving weekend so there will be no meeting this month.

On October 13 and 14, GALA and Beautiful Alleys will partner with the Hospital Zone Steering Committee and Green Cities Foundation to plant a natural meadow along Birge Street behind General Hospital.  We’ll plant 780 feet of neglected space with new trees and hundreds of pollinator plants. Please email to learn how you can help or register on line at Join Us for the Birge Street Meadow Community Planting Day! (

On October 21, 2023, Beautiful Alleys with the help of volunteers will do our city wide Fall Cleanup. Meet at Powell Park, email or visit our website to register online.

It’s double duty on the 21st as CN Rail and The Track Gang once again clean the property around Birge and Cheever. The leads for The Track Gang in partnership with Beautiful Alleys and Crime Stoppers are Stefan Spolnik and Taylor Mawdesly. They can be reached at or and

Volunteers are needed so please register!

October 28, 2023 is a banner event for GALA! Our first ever “FALLOWEEN”;  a combination of Fall Fun and Trick or Treat. We’ll partner with Barton Village BIA and CoreKids for games, crafts, music and a costume parade. We’ll be at Powell Park and  event numbers are limited so please register at Falloween Tickets, Sat, Oct 28, 2023 at 1:00 PM | Eventbrite or email

That’s it for what we have coming up and now I need to share some not so happy news.

The GALA Herald made a spectacular return in February. We had some small success with ad sales in the beginning but that has fallen off. Our publication team has not grown as it needed to. So, with that, we have decided to put the paper on hold after the December issue and try to regroup for the Spring. Please feel free to reach out to with your questions or ideas. I still believe that the paper is our vehicle to express ourselves and share news and I look forward to a fresh start.