May 2014 Newsletter

The City of Atlanta's Urban Design Award For The South Fork Conservancy  

Left to right: Henry Batten, LLCC; Heather Alhadeff, CenterForward; Jane Rawlings, NPUF; David Eldridge, South Fork; Stacey Key, DOT Board; Warner McConaughey, South Fork; Bob Kerr, South Fork Board Chair; Sally Sears, South Fork Director; Celia Lismore, South Fork Outreach; Johnny Edwards, Chair, Atlanta Urban Design Commission

Left to right: Henry Batten, LLCC; Heather Alhadeff, CenterForward; Jane Rawlings, NPUF; David Eldridge, South Fork; Stacey Key, DOT Board; Warner McConaughey, South Fork; Bob Kerr, South Fork Board Chair; Sally Sears, South Fork Director; Celia Lismore, South Fork Outreach; Johnny Edwards, Chair, Atlanta Urban Design Commission

The South Fork Conservancy's vision of connected creekside trails won two major design prizes May 20 from Atlanta's Urban Design Commission. The 31 mile Trail Design Vision Plan, created by Ryan Gravel at Perkins+Will,  was praised by city of Atlanta judges.  A second award went to the project creating the Creekside trail under construction beneath the flyover ramps at I-85 and GA 400.  Heather Alhadeff at CenterForward deftly steered the trail plan through city and DOT permitting constraints.  Built as mitigation for neighbors, the trail connects Cheshire Bridge Road to Lindbergh Drive along a half mile of soft-surfaced trail. DOT managers expect the trail to open soon. 

 

Spotlight: Growing Up On The South Fork In The 60s

While other kids stayed inside to watch TV, Buddy Fleming and his friends spent their time "butt scooting" on a pipe across the South Fork to reach adventures beyond the far creek bank. Buddy says his days on the creek gave him an active mind.  "It just fired my imagination to have a place to explore," says Buddy. "It made me write poetry. It made me write songs, and I think it's made me much more interested in history." He says that restoration of the creek banks is "remarkable," and looks forward to seeing it continue.

To read Buddy's full story, sign up for our printed July newsletter by sending us your mailing address.

 

May Day Was A Great Day For The SFC

May 1 gave us a wonderfully successful Spring fundraiser. Thanks to our hosts and attendees, we were able to raise several thousand dollars on that fine May evening at Zonolite. The air was thick with cottonwood seeds as guests toured the trails and took note of the lush growth of the Zonolite woodland and meadow. Everyone also enjoyed some yummy treats donated by South Fork Board Members. Ivey Claire Eldridge created a special "Creek Rising" cocktail which came with a gummy frog on the rim. A special thanks to Chris and Nick from the Motor Car Studio, who provided the venue for the event and allowed guests to enjoy their immaculate collection of restored cars.

Nuts! Better Luck Next Time!

In early March, we planted seven dozen experimental hybrid chestnut seeds with high hopes for green sprouts, joining an effort to reintroduce the American Chestnut after a century of extinction due to the Asian Chestnut blight. However, aside from a few hopeful saplings, many of the seeds remained firmly in their shells. Do we give up? Of course not! The ecological process is a fragile one that requires much patience, and next season we will pick up where we left off and try again with a new batch of hopeful contenders. 


Bob The Beaver and Co. Bring Life Back To The Creek

Have you been keeping up with Tales of Bob the beaver on our Facebook page? Well if you have, then you already know that wildlife has moved back to the South Fork! Neighbor and wildlife enthusiast Donna Davis has reported seeing a family of beavers, two muskrats, and soft shell turtles puttering around the creek. The Atlanta Audubon Society President Joy Carter found and listed 23 species of birds on the trail. We're thrilled with this ever increasing presence of biodiversity and ask that if you visit the trail (and we most sincerely hope you do) please tread carefully on the creek banks so as not to disturb the delicate homes these gorgeous creatures are building.  


Elementary Kids With Green Thumbs Grow Chestnuts

While our chestnut orchards may not have made it, seeds planted and tended by students at the Garden Hills and Morningside elementary schools flourished! The American Chestnut Foundation donated supplies and the each student in the three participating classes planted their very own Chestnut seeds at the beginning of the school year. Throughout the year the kids were engaged by the South Fork and the Foundation and covered a range of topics: from the life cycle of a plant to how plants get their food, and to what makes a Chestnut Tree a vascular plant. The 90 successful seedlings were picked up this week and left school to go to "summer camp" at ACE Hardware in Decatur.

 

Eagle On The Rise

While you're searching for our new wildlife residents, also be on the look-out for a future Eagle Scout hard at work on the Confluence Trail! Thirteen year old Robert Weimar has chosen the South Fork Conservancy for a planned Eagle Scout Service Project. This Inman Middle School student has decided to build and install benches and interpretation boards on the trail sourced from local and sustainable materials. While the bench design is in process, Robert is working on obtaining a permit and working with Executive Director Sally Sears to find the right materials for construction. He hopes to complete the project by the end of July.

 

Posted on May 21, 2014 .