February 2015 Headwater Highlights

Water Walking? 

DeKalb County is readying to build a connection from one side of the South Fork of Peachtree Creek to the other near Clairmont Road.

Sketch from DeKalb plans.

Sketch from DeKalb plans.

Just don't call the connection a bridge. It will be stepping stones.  This week Facilities Project Manager Bob Sims reported the long-wanted crossing linking neighbors on the Superior Avenue side of the creek to the library and tennis center beyond the old Waterworks on the other side will be sent out for construction bids in March. 

Valerie Boss, leading the effort to add native plants and people to the Ira B. Melton park, broke the good news to the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association meeting Friday Feb. 14.

The group pushed the county for low-impact trails and a creek crossing to link hundreds of neighbors to Mason Mill Park.

The master plan on DeKalb's website  shows how it connects to the dog park and comfort facilities. How will this kind of crossing work?

Stones arranged as DeKalb  plans won't block the normal flow of water, and in flood, the steps will be underwater. 

Plans call for 14 3.5 to 4 foot boulders set in the creek bed, rising 6 inches above average water elevation. Gaps between the stones will be no more than 1.5 to 2 feet. Stairs on either bank will let creek lovers get to the stones without eroding the bank. 

Sims' email confirmed the stream crossing re-design is complete, and permitting approval anticipated within two weeks.

 

How do connections begin?

by Sally Sears

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I gave Marianne Skeen a ride home from trail building in  Zonolite Park to her house on Superior Avenue near North Decatur Road. She stretched her limber fingers and wondered out loud "What would it be like to be able to walk to the library without having to get on Clairmont Road?  We would have to get through the privet thicket and across the creek somehow. But it could be gorgeous."

That conversation was five years ago. Today the adventurous Marianne is back from navigating the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, and reflecting on the success of her wish. 

First she invited Conservancy volunteers to tame some of the privet in Ira B. Melton park. We partnered with the neighborhood associations, led by Valerie Boss and heavy Boy Scout involvement. Dozens of work days pruned the maze of trails to an easy to follow loop. Now a native plant entrance welcomes walkers and dogs, off road bikers and children.  And finally, DeKalb County's creek crossing, on stepping stones,  is promised to be "significantly complete" within the year. What else can Marianne Skeen ask for? We're all ears!  We think a trailhead sign and a high-quality well designed trail head is next on her list.

 

 

 

A Day On for MLK Day

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Sage Hill Kroger's gone and done it again! They provided water, bananas, chips, and granola bars for our MLK volunteer day and fueled SIXTY wonderful volunteers as they restored the Meadow trail. Thanks Manager Bert Bohannan!

Sage Hill Kroger's gone and done it again! They provided water, bananas, chips, and granola bars for our MLK volunteer day and fueled SIXTY wonderful volunteers as they restored the Meadow trail. Thanks Manager Bert Bohannan!

How many volunteers does it take to yank a meadow's worth of invading vines? The MLK Holiday found some 70 people from middle school ages on up tossing vines to return the Meadow Loop to its open habitat. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hole in the Ground where a plant used to be

Emory physics professor Jed Brody tends a sturdy new tree.

Emory physics professor Jed Brody tends a sturdy new tree.

Late on MLK afternoon, somebody snatched three trees from the ground at the North and South Forks Confluence. The news stirred volunteers to action. Trees Atlanta and two dozen helpers replaced the three lost saplings with big, heavy plants, saving the 30 gallon giant beech for the very spot where the trees were lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wiley enjoyed the company of a beautifully colored Muscovy Duck for a month, at his home on the South Fork near Clairmont Road. He reports the duck hung out with mallards and a blue heron, dining on wildlife and John's cheerios.

John Wiley enjoyed the company of a beautifully colored Muscovy Duck for a month, at his home on the South Fork near Clairmont Road. He reports the duck hung out with mallards and a blue heron, dining on wildlife and John's cheerios.

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South Fork Board Member Ruthie Taylor Norton is a Live-Work-Play fan, working in Atlanta's city office of sustainability, and playing with kayaks in whitewater everywhere in the Southeast. Last Saturday on the Chattooga she took a seven foot drop, hit a hole and broke her ankle.   We're sending fruit and best wishes for a fast recovery.

Posted on March 12, 2015 .