U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Visits Cheshire Farm Trail

Atlanta (May 2016) – The Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Cynthia Martinez, and other top U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials visited Cheshire Farm Trail in Buckhead on May 13. They reviewed the successes of the South Fork Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership and discussed future goals. There are only 17 such partnerships in the entire country; they are designed to boost opportunities for city residents to connect with nature and restore local environments.

Chief Martinez explained that preserving urban greenspace for wildlife is a key priority. "We’re working closely with neighbors and other partners, and today is an excellent on-the-ground example of exactly what that vision was,” Martinez said. “Thank you for what you’re doing. It's not only the community that’s going to benefit, but our nation as a whole."

South Fork board members and partners showed the extensive progress made in removing invasive species, engaging volunteers, planting native shrubs and trees,  and creating access to the trails. They also demonstrated the “Animal Olympics” activity, which features signs in English and Spanish teaching children about animals and encouraging them to emulate their poses. 

“Atlanta’s a fabulous town but one thing we can work on is more greenspace –particularly for the people in the cities who live a little more closely than people in the suburbs,” said South Fork board member and Founding Director Sally Sears. “We’ll build more public investment in connecting all these pieces and building a marvelous refuge for us, when we need sanctuary (and) for the animals, when they want to return to the urban setting where they used to thrive.”

South Fork’s partnership includes a USFWS Five Star grant for a project called “Who’s Home on the Confluence?” The project involves collecting and analyzing data on plant and animal populations and water quality at Peachtree Creek. It also includes building creek access and engaging underserved communities in monitoring and sustaining current restoration and green infrastructure efforts.

Regional USFWS representatives also attended, as well as many nonprofit friends and partners of South Fork. These included Greening Youth Foundation, Atlanta Audubon Society, Trees Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Latin American Association.

About South Fork Conservancy

South Fork Conservancy is actively developing walking trails along Atlanta’s Peachtree Creek. Designated as an Urban Wildlife Refuge by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nonprofit organization is named for the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, where many of the trails are located. Its goal is to conserve the urban waterway, connect existing and future trails, and restore the area’s natural beauty. The trail system will eventually connect Buckhead, Atlanta’s upscale business and residential center, with the Emory University campus and beyond. Active trails include The Confluence, Cheshire Farm and Meadow Loop trails in Buckhead, and Zonolite Park in DeKalb County. For more information, visit www.SouthForkConservancy.org.

 

 

 

South Fork Conservancy Hits Fund-Raising Milestone

Atlanta (May 2, 2016) – South Fork Conservancy, a nonprofit group building and connecting trails along Peachtree Creek, has hit a milestone. Its annual “Creek Rising” fund-raiser, held at Zonolite Park in DeKalb County on April 28, raised more than $30,000. That’s twice as much as in the previous year. Atlanta broadcasting icon Monica Kaufman Pearson and her husband, former South Fork board member John Pearson, were the celebrity hosts. Refreshments included South Fork’s signature “Bogwater” cocktails. Activities included a demonstration of water quality testing, as well as tours of the wetland gardens, Peachtree Creek and its sandy banks.

“The vision of children playing in what was once a brownfield while groups of conscientious citizens planned further improvements along South Fork was truly inspiring and I can't wait to see what we do next,” said South Fork’s Executive Director Kimberly Estep. “Special thanks to Creek Rising Committee Chairs Martha Porter Hall and Van Hall, who made sure everything was perfect for our big night,” Estep said.

Organizations and individuals supporting the event, and their level of sponsorship include:

Title Sponsor: The FloatAway Zonolite Community

Bridge Builders: Cox Conserves; Kaiser Permanente; McCarty Property Group; Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP; and UPS

Confluencers: AMLI Piedmont Heights, CM2H, Perkins+Will, Sylvatica Studio and Hammersmith, Inc.

Creek Risers: Catalyst Development Partners, The Integral Group

Host Committee: Rutledge Forney, M.D.; Bob Kerr; George Ickes; Tony and Leisa Powers; and Sally Sears

Event Committee: Martha Porter Hall and Van Hall (co-chairs) and members Sally Bethea, Debra A. Edelson, David Eldridge,  Ivy Claire Eldridge, Celia Lismore, Larry Smith, Rich Sussman, Terri Thornton and Barbara Tucker

Board Members, in addition to those named above:  David Eldridge, Billy Hall, Liza Littrell, Chris Nelson and Ruthie Taylor Norton

In-Kind Donors: Black Sheep Ensemble, Murphy’s, Neighbors and Rocky’s

Many of those involved served in more than one capacity. We also thank our many volunteers!

About South Fork Conservancy

South Fork Conservancy is actively developing walking trails along Atlanta’s Peachtree Creek. Designated as an Urban Wildlife Refuge by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nonprofit organization is named for the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, where many of the trails are located. Its goal is to conserve the urban waterway, connect existing and future trails, and restore the area’s natural beauty. The trail system will eventually connect Buckhead, Atlanta’s upscale business and residential center, with the Emory University campus and beyond. Active trails include The Confluence, Cheshire Farm and Meadow Loop trails in Buckhead, and Zonolite Park in DeKalb County. For more information, visit www.SouthForkConservancy.org.

Posted on May 2, 2016 .

Kimberly Estep Named South Fork Conservancy Executive Director

Atlanta (April 2016) – Kimberly Estep has joined South Fork Conservancy as its executive director. She will help the organization continue its work building trails, and access to trails, along Peachtree Creek. She will also work closely with the organization’s board to steer expansion and fundraising efforts. 

           Kimberly Estep

        Kimberly Estep

“We are delighted to have Ms. Estep join us at this phase of our development and aspirations,” said Board Chair Bob Kerr. “She brings a wealth of enthusiasm, experience and intelligence.” 

“I am passionate about urban trails,” Estep said. “They connect communities, create a natural wildlife corridor and provide places to exercise. Plus, South Fork’s trails are really remarkable – they exist in areas that desperately need greenspace, and I look forward to helping expand, and create access to them.”

Estep comes to the South Fork Conservancy from the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, where she directed communication and stewardship projects. Under her leadership, news coverage, social media presence, volunteerism and programs saw exponential growth. She also built robust partnerships with organizations including Georgia State Parks, Park Pride and Atlanta YMCAs. Throughout her career, she has worked to inspire a love of the outdoors and deep connections to local green spaces. Building and promoting trails and long-term stewardship programs has helped her accomplish this goal. 

"Kimberly is a gifted builder of opportunities,” added South Fork’s founding executive director Sally Sears, who now serves on the organization’s board. “She makes us want to explore our urban creeks and reconnect them to ourselves. She's the perfect choice for South Fork's next chapter linking these new trails to the city. We are in sure hands with Kimberly."

Estep earned degrees in Environmental Studies and Communication from Florida State University and a Masters in Communication from Florida Atlantic University, with a focus on grassroots outreach.

About South Fork Conservancy
South Fork Conservancy is actively developing walking trails along Atlanta’s Peachtree Creek. Designated as an Urban Wildlife Refuge by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nonprofit organization is named for the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, where many of the trails are located. Its goal is to conserve the urban waterway, connect existing and future trails, and restore the area’s natural beauty. The trail system will eventually connect Buckhead, Atlanta’s upscale business and residential center, with the Emory University campus and beyond. Active trails include The Confluence, Cheshire Farm and Meadow Loop trails in Buckhead, and Zonolite Park in DeKalb County. For more information, visit www.SouthForkConservancy.org. 

“Animal Olympics” Activity Added to Cheshire Farm Trail in Atlanta

An unlikely parade of animals is set to entertain, educate and exercise children of all ages on a creekside trail in the heart of Atlanta.

The ANIMAL OLYMPICS is an activity kids will find on the Cheshire Farm Trail, which runs between Lindbergh and Cheshire Bridge Roads in Atlanta. The new signs are illustrated with fun facts, and encourage passers to be active and creative by imitating the actions of animals. 

"We love this new way to encourage children of all ages to get outside and have some fun learning their animal neighbors," says Bob Kerr, Chairman of the South Fork Conservancy Board.

   
  
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     Left to right, Kevin Lowry, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Mike Fynn, VP Operations, Greening Youth Foundation; Bob Kerr, Chair, South Fork Conservancy; Angelou Ezeilo, CEO and Founder, Greening Youth Foundation; Sally Sears, South Fork Conservancy.

Left to right, Kevin Lowry, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Mike Fynn, VP Operations, Greening Youth Foundation; Bob Kerr, Chair, South Fork Conservancy; Angelou Ezeilo, CEO and Founder, Greening Youth Foundation; Sally Sears, South Fork Conservancy.

 

"With our partners at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, we are making the new trail built by the Georgia Department of Transportation a great place for people to walk, explore and rediscover the beauty of Georgia's creeks inside the city."

Georgia DOT Board Member Stacey Key agrees. 

"Just about everybody wants a chance to get outside and enjoy nature, plus exercise and maybe learn something about the wildlife around us. This project stimulates so many good ideas. I'm happy to support these important concepts of  wellness and diversity education in such a fun way."

The signs are in English and Spanish, and feature ten different animals and insects native to the creeks around Atlanta. 

"I particularly like the Great Blue Heron sign," says Angelou Ezeilo, Founder & CEO of Greening Youth Foundation, a diversity leader in outdoor career placement. "Working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service helps to embrace the very highest standards of wildlife awareness. They know how to make wildlife important and attractive, particularly for urban neighbors who are hungry to re-connect to the outdoors around them."


The sturdy, weather-resistant signs are at home on the new trail, named Cheshire Farm to remember original settlers to the area. It runs beside the creek for half a mile between Cheshire Bridge Road and Lindbergh Drive. Already popular with neighbors, the trail is an early part of the South Fork Conservancy's plan to connect to the BeltLine and the PATH400 trails and up the South Fork of Peachtree Creek to Emory University.  

Parking is available on the Lindbergh Drive end of the trail along Armand  and Lindridge Drives. For more information, visit the South Fork Conservancy website at www.southforkconservancy.org.  

Posted on March 11, 2016 .

Headwater Highlights, July, 2015

Can't Talk. 2 Busy Hydrating!

IT'S HOT! Watch the weeds grow.

Every Monday this long hot summer volunteers bring fun and a keen eye to conditions along the hot Meadow Loop Trail south of Lindbergh Drive. 

Today the Johnson grass was out of control. We tugged out the high blades between the shorter milkweed and were rewarded with a few butterflies. Hot, wet and glorious work. I'd tell you more but I'm hydrating!  -- Sally Sears

Meanwhile Facebook friend Michael Williams reminds us the Monarch Butterflies will be thick on their migration route over Atlanta very soon. Our milkweed should be ready.

  Monarch Butterflies require milkweed for laying eggs. Photo by NatGeo. 

Monarch Butterflies require milkweed for laying eggs. Photo by NatGeo. 

Late summer (late Aug/mid Sept) monarch butterflies migrate from USA down to Mexico...passing right over Atlanta. This spot should be very active with them during that time. - Michael Williams

South Fork & Partners Win Prestigious Grant 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced July 22 that 64 community-led wetland, stream and coastal restoration projects across the nation have been awarded more than $2.3 million in grants. In addition, the grantees have committed an additional $4.8 million in local project support, creating a total investment of more than $7 million in projects that will restore wildlife habitat and urban waters and will engage thousands of volunteers, students and local residents in community-based environmental stewardship projects.

South Fork Board Chairman Bob Kerr acknowledged the importance of the two-year $28,900 grant and thanked the Five Star leaders funding the work. 

"We appreciate every supporter helping this critical work. The Southern Company, EPA, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service,  FedEx, Alcoa Foundation, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company."

The South Fork Conservancy will partner with Park Pride, Trees Atlanta, the Atlanta Audubon Society, Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Georgia Aquarium, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to promote community education and recreational enjoyment of the urban watershed. The partnership will bring scientists and trained volunteers together to establish protocols for monitoring and recording population data on birds, fish, frogs and invertebrates at the Confluence. The data will be shared through newsletters, field trips, and school and youth group activities, increasing awareness and support for conservation and improved biodiversity along the creek.

The Grit of Young Professionals

Four of a dozen volunteers organized a Young Leadership Council to help guide work along the South Fork and the Olmsted Linear Park. 

Nathan Shannon and Ian Karra share a hike with  Druid Hills High School alumns Allie Brown and Katie Bleau. Join them with regular hikes & events. See calendar here

So, What's in YOUR pocket?

I'm washing my jeans after a day working with volunteers along the South Fork Trails.
And when I clean out the lint trap, ouch! Something sticks into my finger.

Sucking out the thorn, I examine a truly astonishing variety of stuff fluffed into the dryer lint. Flower seed heads, slivers of vine bark and a crunchy plastic wrapper from a strawberry cigarillo.

I remembered putting the cigar wrapper in my pocket when we overflowed our trash sacks picking up litter along the trail. For new volunteers, it's an eye opener, seeing the traces of the people who are learning to love the trail

Today, nine months after the Cheshire Farm trail opened, the litter is mostly beer cans, some fast food wrappers, and light weight paper blown down from the Georgia 400 ramp high over head.
The leaf litter is something else. Every Monday morning since June began, we are clearing the meadow downstream of Lindbergh.

Every day makes the opening more inviting.

On the first Monday, the neighbors in Lindridge Martin Manor came to weed the weed garden. (Love that idea.Weed the Weeds.) Together they won a fat grant from Atlanta's Love Your Block program, and spent it on critical milkweed, the host plant required to entice monarch butterflies to return. Now we get to keep the kudzu and honeysuckle from eating the new milkweed plants. 
On the second Monday, Whole Foods Briarcliff led by manager Marisol Maldonado poured and Mark Lawrence raked mulch to define the walking trails around the oval.
The third Monday Georgia Conservancy brought Johanna McCrehan and Monica Thornton plus a half dozen other people to yank vines. 

Two blue herons flew above us as we worked.

 Johanna McCreahan & Leah Barnett make Ga. Conservancy greener.

Johanna McCreahan & Leah Barnett make Ga. Conservancy greener.

The fourth Monday belonged to Boy Scout Kai Mehra, his mom Lisa Ohno and neighborhood president Carey Sherrell. Barb Tucker led the vine pulling from trees bowed over with the weight of seasons of invasive vine growth.
Every week I worry we will need to borrow the watering pump and hose offered by Park Pride. Every week I wonder where we'll get the extra volunteer in case we need it to get the hose to the creek, the gas in the pump, and the heavy lifting to move it around to our baby plantings. 
On Saturday or Sunday, when it rains, I breathe relief. We will need to water one day. But not this Monday. 
July is seething hot. August is always a challenge. But then there's September, and the gorgeous October in Atlanta is in view. 
We are building a nest of committed volunteers caring for the creek and the trail. Maybe not so much the strawberry cigarillos.

--- Sally Sears

Who is Home at the Confluence?

Tamara Johnson is finding all kinds of surprising wildlife in the creek. She's an Atlanta born scientist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Monthly, she and science students including Gabby Griffin are researching which species and how many are able to thrive in the urban waters.

Long-neglected urban waterways like the South and North Forks of Peachtree Creek are often assumed to be lifeless. But new interest by biologists looking at restoring city creeks means Tamara's work has important potential. Sampling and documenting what wildlife is already here will offer a base line of populations to against which progress in restoring more life can be measured.

 This white tuberculed crayfish seems happy and healthy.

This white tuberculed crayfish seems happy and healthy.

What's Next?

Thanks for generous volunteers supporting the South Fork trails this summer.  We are planning regular workdays every Monday , 9 a.m. to N oon,  now through the growing season in October.

It's exciting to see so many people helping crate a new urban meadow for pollinating birds and bees along the creek at Lindbergh.  

The jobs include mulching, trimming tree branches, pulling vines, installing signs and other light-and medium-weight tasks. 

Neighbors in the Lindridge Martin Manor Association agreed to volunteer on the first Monday of every month.

Whole Foods Briarcliff is already engaged for the second Mondays.

The Georgia Conservancy volunteers will be up to their elbows on the third Mondays.

The Fourth Mondays and the two fifth Mondays will see other neighborhoods and organizations working hard to keep the trails attractive, walkable and sustained.  

See the pics on our South Fork Facebook page. Join us and let us put your picture there, too!

Posted on July 29, 2015 .

Headwater Highlights, June, 2015

Milkweeds, Meadows, Mulch Ado with Volunteers

The Gift of a Meadow

 Girl Scouts and Great Neighbors! - with Dorothy Sussman, John Burger, Kate Koch Presley, Scott Presley, Scott Webb and Kerry Tate

Girl Scouts and Great Neighbors! - with Dorothy Sussman, John Burger, Kate Koch Presley, Scott Presley, Scott Webb and Kerry Tate

You helped us keep the neighborhood's dream of milkweed alive and growing. The early milkweed planters put in the dirt-churning tasks of scraping away kudzu and brambles to find a home for humble weeds. Humble weeds that feed birds and bees!  Without Milkweed, no monarch butterfly families can take wing. It's a critical host plant. Milkweed populations around the country are in decline. This will help restore the meadow and the butterflies.

Your work on May 16th outlined the trails to enjoy the meadow, and roped off the 915 square foot garden plot for concentrated attention to pollinator habitat.  The White House is pushing the idea to improve honeybee homes, too.  read here.

As we work every Monday morning through the summer until the end of the growing season in October, we will train and entertain enthusiastic volunteers. Our jobs will begin with appreciating what is before us: open public space, with trees to nurture, undergrowth to control, birds to identify and a creek to enjoy.

Location: MEADOW LOOP TRAIL,  860 Lindbergh Drive, Atlanta
30324 

Much Ado about Mulch!

The Home Depot Buckhead is killing us with generosity. Four (count em!) Four! Pallets of bright mulch will curve the trail at the Meadow around the edge to the Milkweed Meadow made ready for Monarchs by the crowd above. Hooray for every lovin' bag totin' volunteer who put the M In Mulch!

And yea for Home Depot's Orange Trail taking us all back into the Meadow.

Whole Foods Briarcliff Delivers! 

Thanks Jasyn, Earl, Deshawn, Matt, Marisol and Mike. We loved the red buds you planted at the trailhead circle, and the rope line around the milkweed. We'll see you again on second Mondays, through the growing season!

Reading this on Monday morning?

 Paul & Tiffany gave thumbs ups to the Saturday trail mulching with Tucker and Oscar on their leashes. Glad to get another Lindridge neighbor approval.

Paul & Tiffany gave thumbs ups to the Saturday trail mulching with Tucker and Oscar on their leashes. Glad to get another Lindridge neighbor approval.

Volunteers are working right now to keep and maintain the trails along the creek. Each Monday in the months from now through the growing season, volunteers from across Atlanta are helping us build the Meadow Loop trail, maintain the Cheshire Farm trail and support the years' long efforts of Bob Scott and Wayne Owen on the Cedar Chase and Confluence trails.

The new commitment from neighbors and trail supporters means you can count on seeing progress all summer. And you can join us. Just pick a Monday morning, and send an email to Sally@southforkconservancy.org.  

South Fork Featured on WABE's A Closer Look

 Hosts Denis O’Hayer and Rose Scott

Hosts Denis O’Hayer and Rose Scott

South Fork Friends at WABE gave us a wonderful boost on A Closer Look, the popular noon show with Dennis O'Hayer and Rose Scott. cough cough who looked a lot like Jim Burris when I was on the air. They knew where the creek is, and how precious it is to the people who are finding it.

Zonolite Park Trailhead gets a yes from the Commish

 DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon with the South Fork's Sally Sears

DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon with the South Fork's Sally Sears

DeKalb County Super Commissioner Kathie Gannon brought friends, enthusiasm and bug spray for a June trip walking all the developed trails. She liked the new Zonolite Park and approved of the distinctive trail signs. 

DeKalb County's Parks & Recreation Department's Dave Butler is making real the dream of a community garden on the once-contaminated county land.  More pictures on her Facebook page, linked here.

Posted on July 3, 2015 .

Headwater Highlights, May, 2015

Meet the white tuburculed crayfish, a popular native.

Counting Crawdads in the Creek

How many kinds of crayfish live in the creek? Nobody seems to know for sure. The numbers will help measure the health of the watershed. So Tamara Johnson, an Atlanta-born scientist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service,  is planning a multi-year project to find how many of what species, better known as mudbugs or crawdads, are really at Home On the Creek.  

US Fish & Wildlife's Tamara Johnson, right,  and students from metro Atlanta colleges explore best sites to survey native crawfish populations in the South Fork.

Morningside Elementary Hosts South Fork

Tom Tomaka and Diane Ryu took science to the third graders at Morningside Elementary School on May 6 during EarthWeek.

Where does the playground water flow? Into the South Fork, these students learned. 

Here's a nice thanks from Beth, the mom who organized it. 

Thank you so much (and to your colleagues!) for your wonderful engagement with our MES third graders today! I was delighted to see the kids' interest and curiosity (I heard one boy say to his teacher, 'this is so cool!') and we really appreciate your willingness to share your time and your knowledge with them. Hopefully they left school today with a bit more awareness of the importance and function of their own local watershed, and maybe we even encouraged a future scientist! Thanks again for your time and enthusiasm!  

Atlanta workers keep trail in trim

Look at that short clean grass emerging along the new Cheshire Farm Trail. Notice absence of Kudzu on fancy fence? This is Atlanta Parks Dept. doing. Thanks Doug Voss, Tucker Hutmacher and friends at City Hall. 

Clipping the trail in their own office backyard

Thanks, Heather Gartner, Laura Page, Leo Keber and Shreyansh Chandra. 

Four Zonolite grownups who normally design containment bio-labs and hospitals for the business named WSP, formerly Smith Carter took a green break, trimmed up the trails behind their studio at Zonolite. When you see them on the better groomed trails, thank them for keeping the trail clear and the bio-genie in the bottle.

Who is taking the Dog Gone Notes? 

Or, Did the Dog Eat your Homework Again?

Rich Sussman tells a class of UGA Environment and Design students what it took to build the Cedar Chase and Confluence Trails. Professor Stephen Ramos, in white beret, brought the class to see how neighbors built backyard conservation and access to greenspace projects. 

Five Percent Day at Whole Foods = Big $$$$

Five Percent Day for South Fork at Whole Foods? You Bet! 

What a Whole Foods Fine Time! South Fork's Diane Ryu, left, and board member Ruthie Taylor Norton greeted hundreds of Whole Foods shoppers with news of the new trails close to the community.

Barb Tucker, left, and Martha Porter Hall, laughing, share maps and trail guides with a Whole Foods mom and two children ready for a nature walk.  

Milkweed For Monarchs moves to Meadow

Dorothy Sussman knows her way around the Love Your Block grant world. But she wondered if new oversight of Love Your Block by the Community Foundation may not appreciate her latest butterfly project. She didn't need to worry. She and her Lindridge Martin Manor Committee sought... and won! A thousand dollar grant to install milkweed, the host plant required to restore Monarch Butterflies to Atlanta. The neighbors are matching every penny with donated labor and South Fork's loan of Tool Bank Tools. Bring on the Butterflies!

Jack Funderburk chomps down on kudzu roots making way for milkweed. How many mattocks does it take to move mulch for milkweed? Many Many Many. 

Chestnuts Cropping up on the Roadside 

Whole Foods Briarcliff green team volunteers learned of our projects & wanted to help plant American chestnut trees along the Confluence Trail.

 Left to right, Charity Francis, Paris Cole and Mark Lawrence. 

Signs help more find the way

We're editing new panels for sign posts for the Confluence Trails. Rules signs can encourage or dismay trail users. The best language and pictures mean good times on public trails.

Paige Singer, DeKalb County Parks Project Manager personally fitted the new panel to the Zonolite trailhead.

Girl Scouts put up cookie money to support the South Fork's Trail work.

Atlanta Girl Scouts shared their cookie money to support our trails along the creek. $200! That is a lot of thin mints.  Thanks to Judy Adler and her daughter's troop at Garden Hills Elementary School.

Posted on May 18, 2015 .

New Phase Ready for New Director

News Release                       April 30, 2015                        Questions?  404-213-0127

 

 

      CONSERVANCY ENTERS NEW PHASE, SEEKS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  

            

            The South Fork Conservancy needs help with an ambitious plan to link intown Peachtree Creek tributaries to Emory University via low-impact trails. Three separate trails are nearing completion, and a plan to connect them at the headwaters of Peachtree Creek near Buckhead and the BeltLine is underway.

            "We are calling our next phase The Confluence Trails, at the headwaters of Peachtree Creek beneath I-85 and Georgia 400 near Lindbergh Drive," explains South Fork Board Chair Bob Kerr.

              "Now we need a confluence of supporters to make the Confluence Trail a reality. The South Fork's success in our first five years showed us the demand for more connected low impact trails. We need to add staff to make our vision of connecting people to the creeks come true," Kerr said.  "Our founding Executive Director Sally Sears wants to return to the board to raise the funds to complete this important project.  We need to hire her successor with experience in non-profits and building projects."  South Fork Board member Anthony Powers with Intown Ace Hardware on Scott Boulevard is leading the board's search committee.

                Successful trail building and creek restoration includes the 12 acre DeKalb County Zonolite Park, near Briarcliff Road, and the half mile Cheshire Farm Trail between Cheshire Bridge Road and Lindbergh Drive.  These projects required comprehensive partnerships with federal, state and local governments, plus Trees Atlanta, Park Pride, the Kendeda Fund, the Million Mile Greenway and US Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

            The Cheshire Farm Trail cost a million dollars from Georgia Road and Toll Authority funds, and partnerships with the Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association and the Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition.

            For more information, and maps and directions to the new trails, go to the website at www.SouthForkConservancy.org.  Inquiries may be sent to sally@southforkconservancy.org.

Posted on May 4, 2015 .

The Creek Rose!

  The Creek Rising Party introduced new friends to the trails and meadows.

The Creek Rising Party introduced new friends to the trails and meadows.

The South Fork's Creek Rising, our annual fund raiser, gleaned twice the dollars as last year for trail building, maintenance and operations. Plus it was fun for double as many friends.  Dave Kaufman, right, approaches Bob Kerr, center, and Park Pride's Ayanna Williams as they enjoy the trail to the creek at Zonolite Park.                      Photo Tricia Francisco

Posted on May 4, 2015 .

March 2015 Headwater Highlights

Time To Party with the Creek Rising

It's PARTY time! Spring means the Creek is Rising. Our annual friend and fund-raiser is Thursday, April 16, from 5-8 p.m. at Zonolite Park. 

  Find beauty on the banks at Creek Rising Party. Perhaps a mushroom quiche? Or a sip of Bog Water?

Find beauty on the banks at Creek Rising Party. Perhaps a mushroom quiche? Or a sip of Bog Water?

Tickets are limited, so reserve yours now.  Click Here for a fast purchase. 

Party chair Debra Edelson is promising Klezmer Cajun music as we explore the creek trails with food, drink and fun. 

New signposts point to the Creek  

 US Fish and Wildlife scientist Kevin Lowry inspects the new posts with South Fork Board Chair Bob Kerr, right.

US Fish and Wildlife scientist Kevin Lowry inspects the new posts with South Fork Board Chair Bob Kerr, right.

DeKalb County's Parks and Rec crews used skill and muscle to build new trail signposts at Zonolite Park in late March. Sign panels coming soon  will hold maps, information about the creek and  remind trail users of the contaminated dirt removed from the floodplain to restore these creekside 12 acres.  

The unique sign posts feature a colorful chevron on cedar wood; long-lasting, and reminiscent of centuries of Indian life here.  They have gaps between the cedar, allowing visitors to see through the posts to others approaching.

Emory launches Earth Month 

Honoring the Earth at Emory began March 31 with a foodie fest and a scavenger hunt. South Fork's Diane Ryu set maps and stories in front of thousands of students changing classes... and perhaps changing the earth!

Science Festival Second Year Scores

South Fork's not just nature,  you know. Last year, as a founding exhibitor for the Atlanta Science Festival, we gave tours of the creek to dozens of unbelieving Atlantans. They barely knew the creeks and all this ecology was even here.
This second year of support for the Atlanta Science Festival brought volunteer Science Festival enthusiasts to join Tom Tomaka, in plaid on the right, replanting and inspecting our native chestnut orchard.

Boy Scouts build, install bird houses at Confluence

  Ashton Edmeades enlisted Robert Weimar left, Zode Compton on the ground and Alex Langan, right.  

Ashton Edmeades enlisted Robert Weimar left, Zode Compton on the ground and Alex Langan, right.  

When you next walk the Confluence trails, look for the ten new bird houses hiding along the creek. Ashton says "All ten birdhouses were constructed  from long lasting Cypress wood that will age to a silvery grey over time. After consulting on appropriate birdhouses for the area with Ms. Joy Carter, President of the Atlanta Audubon Society, we built and installed five Bluebird Houses and five Wren Houses. These houses accommodate Bluebirds, Carolina and House Wrens, Chickadees, and Tufted Titmice." For more, click here! 

How can we make our creek banks grow?

We can trust Home Depot's garden guru Marty Harris, with Eileen Clarr, to come up with great ideas for plants for perilous places. They invited South Fork's Martha Hall and Dorothy Sussman to promote trails at the Lindbergh Home Depot Garden Kickoff day March 21. About a million people saw our maps & promised help.

Posted on April 6, 2015 .