Celebrating Atlanta’s Original Forest

We’ve had a special guest staying with us the last few days:  Dr. Joan Maloof, author and Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University in Maryland, founded the Old-Growth Forest Network to preserve, protect and promote the country’s few remaining stands of old-growth forest.

“Teaching the Trees” – Joan Maloof

She’s been in Atlanta to induct 13 tracts of land in and near Atlanta into OGF Network (see the list below).  This is a remarkable number of additions and underscores what we already knew: Atlanta truly is a City in The Forest.

These forests have been identified and protected by many dedicated individuals who see their value and importance now and for future generations.  There are many heroes in this story,  but one who stands out is Kathryn Kolb, director of Eco-Addendum (Eco-A).

Eco-A is an organization whose stated mission is “is to raise awareness about Georgia’s rich natural environment, and through education, to reconnect people with the natural world”.  Sign up for one of Eco-A’s “Walk About Down Yonder” hikes;  they’re great and you’ll learn a lot about Atlanta and our forests.

Eco-Addendum organized and produced last night’s event, “Discovering Atlanta’s Original Forests”, on the Emory campus with over 200 people in attendance.  The program included a panel discussion about Atlanta’s trees moderated by Maria Saporta,  writer and frequent contributor to the AJC and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and founder and editor of news website SaportaReport.com, and tree champion.

While Peachtree Park doesn’t qualify as an Old Growth Forest, it is a very valuable urban forest with many old, valuable trees.  We asked Joan to walk the Nature Trail with us yesterday and identify some of the trees.  She spent over 2 hours with us and helped us realize just how special this land is.  She also identified over a dozen species of trees which will be marked with information signs.

Loblolly Pine

Then we asked her to identify the pine tree in our back yard.  It’s a Loblolly, but the real news is that she estimates it to be over 130 years old!  We were stunned!  And we learned that Loblollies can live to be 200 – 300 years old.  We’ve lived beside this tree in our back yard for over 30 years and all the while had no idea it was that old.  There are many trees like this in Peachtree Park: old-growth trees that sustain wildlife and make this neighborhood a wonderful place to live.

Old-Growth Forest Inductions – April 25, 2017

  • Briarlake Forest and Hidden Acres Nature Preserve – DeKalb County
  • Cascade Springs Nature Preserve – City of Atlanta
  • Cumberlander – City of Atlanta
  • D’Agnese tract – City of Atlanta
  • Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve / Herbert Taylor Park – City of Atlanta
  • Deepdene Park – DeKalb County
  • Fernbank Forest – DeKalb County
  • Herbert Greene Park – City of Atlanta
  • Lionel Hampton-Beecher Hills Nature Preserve – City of Atlanta
  • Lullwater Conservation Garden – City of Atlanta
  • Osborne Park, City of Brookhaven – DeKalb County
  • Outdoor Activity Center – City of Atlanta

and these two private forests:

  • McConaughey Nature Preserve and Historic Site – DeKalb County
  • Mosman Forest – City of Atlanta, Fulton Country

 

 

Had Enough Turkey?

Hope not, because we had a chance to see the turkey hen up close; probably the same one reported in last week’s post: Pretty Wild.  Perhaps you might like a follow up.

Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo in Peachtree Park – April 7, 2017

This beautiful bird was roosting on a limb only a few feet from the back door.  She was not at all bothered by us standing only 25 feet away and stayed on her perch for several hours.  There are a few wooded acres in back of the houses which probably makes good habitat.  And the next door neighbor reported seeing her on their driveway and front walk.

“Just this morning there was another post on GABO (Georgia Birders Online) titled Turkey Hen stops traffic in East Cobb County:   “I was traveling East on Shallowford Road near Sandy Plains about 8:30am.  Suddenly – lots of unexpected brake lights.  Something big and dark sauntered across to the other side of 5 lanes.  First thought it was a goose… but no !  A turkey hen !”

Maybe our turkey will hang around. We hope so!