February Headwater Highlights

Snow Days On Peachtree Creek 

Olympic planners could envy the beauty of The South Fork at Zonolite after the January 28, 2014 snow.  Photographer George Gentry found company in human footsteps and animal tracks.  At the Confluence, Bob Scott reports "...dozens of paw prints in the snow on the beach across the creek from the up side down bridge....where the pair of coyotes were sighted."

At Peavine Creek, new Briarcliff residents found the trail toward Emory Road and Emory Village. They think it is much safer and faster than driving on Briarcliff or Clifton in the snow. And, oh, yes. Really gorgeous! 


Dave Kaufman on GA 400 flyover ramps

Dave Kaufman prevailed on Archer Western's Matt Baldes and Michelle Lewis to let select South Fork Friends scale the ramp & peek at our creek Jan. 27, 2014.  Beyond the ramp, before the skyscrapers, traffic passes over vital tributaries to Peachtree Creek, cloaked in green tree canopy. South Fork founding board member Dave Kaufman kayaked them all, wrote a book about it, and now helps lead the building of simple trails re-connecting people to the creeks they abandoned. Lindridge Martin Manor neighbors said yes to the GA 400-I-85 ramps if GA-DOT built a nature trail underneath. Photo by Bill Head.


Coyotes, Concrete and Crusty Snow Claim the Confluence

It's not the Olympics but... Bob Scott & dogs are faithful Trail Rangers from Armand Rd at Cardova to the Confluence of North & South Forks. Coyotes along the trail are a reminder native species are returning to the area. Also a reminder to keep dogs on leashes. Overhead, the old Buford Highway is getting concrete repairs. DOT warning cones are in place, and most of the debris is being remove as it falls.  More details and pics at Our Facebook Page.


Flyover Ramp builders show off their work, place span over creek.

Monday, Jan. 27, 4 pm, the day before the snow that first crippled Atlanta. Dave Kaufman said "Hey, let's get G-DOT to take us on the ramp connecting GA 400 to I-85, before it opens to traffic."  I should have said, "Hey, it's 70 feet up in the air over the creek. That's a nose-bleed tour. Don't let me look down."  

Left to right, Warner McConaughey, Dave Kaufman, Ben Hill, Bob Kerr, Matt Baldes, Sally Sears & Richard Taylor. Turned out it was Eighty Feet up. But strikingly beautiful views surrounded us. Plus, no traffic and a snappy borrowed hat.    

This was the last rush hour where cars moved easily for the rest of the week. Snow & ice locked it away. Looking East toward the Druid Hills Exit. Note the rust-colored footbridge on the ground in pieces. One week later, Archer Western crews used two cranes to lift the pieces onto concrete footings well above the flood levels.

South Fork Board Member Warner McConaughey captured the moment with relief. He texted simply "It Fits!"

DOT's latest schedule shows the ramps opening in March. The pedestrian trail opens shortly afterwards.

MLK Day Volunteers mulch, trim and give back to the South Fork

Every year now, Midtown's Martha Porter Hall volunteers at the Confluence in mid-January.  She once was Coretta Scott King's secretary. Giving Back on MLK Day is her gift. Oh, and her truck Maude? Three dozen neighbors filled up Maude's flatbed with mulch, moving from trailhead to confluence tip. Cascade Forestry's Terry Sutton led privet- whacking teams revealing more glade & creekbank for greater biodiversity. Heartiest volunteers gathered below for a tee-shirt ceremony and congratulations.  

MLK Day of Service Volunteers at the Confluence Trail Jan. 20, 2014

More, Different Plants

Biodiversity increased for birds, bees, trees!

Rich Sussman, right, pats mulch around three new Hornbeam saplings on the creek bank.  In the foregrnd is Mountain Laurel, one of nine of these native rhododendrons we planted on cliff rocks separating a parking lot from the creek. True laurel is elusive along urban creeks. But in special curving bluffs, along the South Fork, Mountain Laurel thrives.  The January 27, 2014 planting included volunteers with Trees Atlanta and the South Fork Conservancy.

Hornbeams' trunks look like muscles, the wood hard like horn, and the leaves are edged like a beech. It offers bright, fall color and thrives along creekbanks. The species is host to turkeys, wood ducks and Eastern Swallowtail butterflies. 


Posted on February 20, 2014 .